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                 Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama   

Seven Clans of the Cherokees

Wild Potatoes, Bird, Long Hair, Blue, Paint, Deer and Wolf.  The symbol 
of the seven clans and the seven sided council  house which was the center of their ceremonial and governmental life.

In the center burns the sacred fire, kindled with seven kinds of wood. Around this fire the struggles, victories and agonies  of the Cherokee empire were discussed and many momentous decisions of their history were made.


The Cherokee and Iroquoian languages evolved from the same mother tongue. The Cherokee language developed into three dialects. The Eastern dialect, "Elati" is now extinct. The Middle dialect, "Kituhwa" is used in Western North Carolina. The Western dialect, "Atali" is used in Oklahoma.

Cherokee is a unique language of rising and falling tones spoken with little movement of the lips. Guttural and at places very difficult, it has a beauty all of its own.

The many tribes of Indian people had only spoken languages, and they used pictures rather than letters and words to record their tribal history.

However, among the Cherokees, a man by the name of Sequoyah had a dream of making a "talking leaf" like that of the white man. Sequoyah whose English name was George Guess, was an illiterate, but out of his personal genius and determination he created a Cherokee alphabet or Syllabary and endowed his entire tribe with a written language. 

After twelve years of trial and hardships, Sequoyah finally produced a syllabary of eighty five symbols, each representing a sound in the Cherokee spoken language. His alphabet was approved by the Cherokee Chiefs in 1821. In a very short time, the tribe was reading and writing in the new language. The New Testament was translated and a newspaper begun.

Today the Cherokee language has given away to the more practical and necessary use of English. Some of the Elders still prefer to speak in their native tongue. As the Elders die there is a real danger of the language being lost. Efforts are being made to teach the young and keep it alive.


In the next few weeks, I will be adding lodging, food, games and more of the culture, please come back.

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Cherokee Holocaust

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