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ERIC Number: ED428917
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Vision of Sequoyah: A Bibliographic Essay.
Wagner, Elaine
In 1821, Sequoyah, a Cherokee Indian, presented to his tribal council a syllabary of the Cherokee language--an invention that enabled a previously illiterate people to read and write in their own language. This document includes a brief essay describing Sequoyah's life and accomplishment and a bibliography of further resources. Sequoyah was born near Echota (Tennessee) in the 1760s, used the name George Guess, was a self-trained silversmith and artist, and never learned English. Sequoyah experimented with existing Cherokee pictographs and invented others, but soon recognized their limitations. A syllabary is appropriate to the Cherokee language as all syllables are vowel sounds or consonant-vowels, and there are fewer consonants than in English. Many syllables begin with a"hissing S" sound. By giving this sound its own symbol (the only alphabetic character in his system), Sequoyah was able to limit the number of symbols to 85. His system was so adaptable to Cherokee speech and thought that it could be learned in a few days. The years surrounding Sequoyah's invention saw the breakup of the tribe into scattered groups and the eventual removal to Oklahoma. Sequoyah's syllabary provided a means for the various Cherokee groups to communicate and reunite. In addition to a Sequoyah Web site, the bibliography lists 16 journal articles, 5 audiovisual items, 12 books, 14 juvenile books, and a dissertation. (SV)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reference Materials - Bibliographies
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A