Friday, January 29, 2016

The Treaty of New Echota and Land Patent: Cherokee Nation

Osiyo TV takes a look back at two very important documents that shaped the Cherokee Nation as we know it today.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

History of the Cherokee language called Syllabary:

As seen on Wikipedia and the Cherokee Phoenix


Though much of the life of the gifted linguist Sequoyah is unknown today, certain information has been gathered by historians through the years. Much of it was acquired through oral accounts of family members or other individuals who knew the blacksmith. No matter the source, all agree that his development of the written Cherokee language was a remarkable accomplishment.

The Muskogee Phoenix reports that family accounts say Sequoyah was born in what is today Monroe County, Tennessee, but the exact date is left to speculation. His mother was a full-blood Cherokee named Wurteh Watts. She was of the Paint Clan and part of a prominent Cherokee family. His father is believed to be Nathaniel Gist. Sequoyah’s English name has been found in different documents as George Gist, Guess or Guest.

Oral tradition tells us that Sequoyah first developed an interest in creating a written form of the Cherokee language in 1809. A group of friends had gathered in his blacksmith shop in Tennessee and were discussing the “talking leaves” of their neighbors. Some were of the opinion that communication by paper was “witchcraft,” but Sequoyah understood the concept of written language. He set out to create such a thing for the Cherokee language.

He toiled at this project for 12 years. During these years, he served in the military, married Sally Waters of the Bird Clan and had a daughter named Ayoka.

At first Sequoyah tried to develop a symbol for every Cherokee word, but it became quickly evident that this would be too massive an undertaking. He then identified the 85 syllables in the Cherokee language and created a symbol for each one.

He borrowed symbols from every alphabet he could find, copying some from the Waters family Bible. Other symbols he simply created himself. His brother-in-law, Michael Waters, was an early student, but it was Ayoka who quickly learned to use the developing language system.

Sequoyah was not without his detractors. Many who knew about his efforts believed he was dabbling in witchcraft. It is said that his wife burned his early writing attempts. But he carried on and when questioned by Cherokee government officials, he was able to demonstrate how his writing worked with the help of Ayoka.

Even after moving with other Cherokees to Arkansas sometime before 1820, Sequoyah continued to perfect the syllabary. He returned east in 1821 and demonstrated his final effort. Thus, the year 1821 is considered to be the date for the completion of the Cherokee syllabary. This makes it 195 years old in 2016.

Within a short time, most of the eastern and western Cherokees were able to read and write in their own language. Missionary Samuel Worcester sent the syllabary to a printer in Boston to have the symbols cast for type. Soon the Cherokees became the first American Indian tribe to print their own newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix, which still is published today.

Before the development of the Cherokee syllabary in the 1820s, Cherokee was a spoken language only. The Cherokee syllabary is a syllabary invented by Sequoyah to write the Cherokee language in the late 1810s and early 1820s. His creation of the syllabary is particularly noteworthy in that he could not previously read any script. He first experimented with logograms, but his system later developed into a syllabary. In his system, each symbol represents a syllable rather than a single phoneme; the 85 (originally 86) characters in the Cherokee syllabary provide a suitable method to write Cherokee. Some symbols do resemble the Latin, Greek and even the Cyrillic scripts' letters, but the sounds are completely different (for example, the sound /a/ is written with a letter that resembles Latin D.

Around 1809, Sequoyah began work to create a system of writing for the Cherokee language. At first he sought to create a character for each word in the language. He spent a year on this effort, leaving his fields unplanted, so that his friends and neighbors thought he had lost his mind. His wife is said to have burned his initial work, believing it to be witchcraft. He finally realized that this approach was impractical because it would require too many pictures to be remembered. He then tried making a symbol for every idea, but this also caused too many problems to be practical.

Sequoyah did not succeed until he gave up trying to represent entire words and developed a symbol for each syllable in the language. After approximately a month, he had a system of 86 characters, some of which were Latin letters he obtained from a spelling book. "In their present form, many of the syllabary characters resemble Roman, Cyrillic or Greek letters or Arabic numerals," says Janine Scancarelli, a scholar of Cherokee writing, "but there is no apparent relationship between their sounds in other languages and in Cherokee."

Unable to find adults willing to learn the syllabary, he taught it to his daughter, Ayokeh (also spelled Ayoka).[ Langguth says she was only six years old at the time. He traveled to the Indian Reserves in the Arkansaw Territory where some Cherokee had settled. When he tried to convince the local leaders of the syllabary's usefulness, they doubted him, believing that the symbols were merely ad hoc reminders. Sequoyah asked each to say a word, which he wrote down, and then called his daughter in to read the words back. This demonstration convinced the leaders to let him teach the syllabary to a few more people. This took several months, during which it was rumored that he might be using the students for sorcery. After completing the lessons, Sequoyah wrote a dictated letter to each student, and read a dictated response. This test convinced the western Cherokee that he had created a practical writing system.

When Sequoyah returned east, he brought a sealed envelope containing a written speech from one of the Arkansas Cherokee leaders. By reading this speech, he convinced the eastern Cherokee also to learn the system, after which it spread rapidly. In 1825 the Cherokee Nation officially adopted the writing system. From 1828 to 1834, American missionaries assisted the Cherokee in using Sequoyah's syllabary to develop type characters and print the Cherokee Phoenix, the first newspaper of the Cherokee Nation, with text in both Cherokee and English.

In 1826, the Cherokee National Council commissioned George Lowrey and David Brown to translate and print eight copies of the laws of the Cherokee Nation in the new Cherokee language using Sequoyah's system.

Once Albert Gallatin saw a copy of Sequoyah's syllabary, he found the syllabary superior to the English alphabet. Even though the Cherokee student must learn 85 characters instead of 26, he can read immediately. The student could accomplish in a few weeks what students of English writing could learn in two years.

In 1824, the General Council of the Eastern Cherokee awarded Sequoyah a large silver medal in honor of the syllabary. According to Davis, one side of the medal bore his image surrounded by the inscription in English, "Presented to George Gist by the General Council of the Cherokee for his ingenuity in the invention of the Cherokee Alphabet." The reverse side showed two long-stemmed pipes and the same inscription written in Cherokee. Supposedly, Sequoyah wore the medal throughout the rest of his life and it was buried with him.

By 1825, the Bible and numerous religious hymns and pamphlets, educational materials, legal documents and books were translated into the Cherokee language. Thousands of Cherokee became literate and the literacy rate for Cherokee in the syllabary was higher than that of whites in the English alphabet.

Though use of the Cherokee syllabary declined after many of the Cherokee were relocated to Indian Territory, present day Oklahoma, it has survived in private correspondence, renderings of the Bible, and descriptions of Indian medicine and now can be found in books and on the internet among other places.
Nearly two hundred years later, John Standingdeer Jr. figured out that Sequoyah's 85 characters could be divided into 16 basic sounds. He also developed computer software to help people learn the language

As seen on Wikipedia and the Cherokee Phoenix

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What Do Mormons Believe About Caring for the Environment.

The following link and video is from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Newsroom on how Mormons and people as a whole should care for the world around them.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Caribou-Targhee National Forest: Upper Mesa Falls

The following are videos of Upper Mesa Falls in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest just outside of Ashton Idaho.  

Upper Mesa Falls is a 114 feet high and 200 feet wide waterfall on the Henry's Fork River in Fremont County, Idaho. It is located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest on the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. It is Upstream from Lower Mesa Falls.

Caribou-Targhee National Forest: Lower Mesa Falls

The following is a video of the Lower Mesa Falls in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest just outside of Ashton Idaho.  

Lower Mesa Falls is a 65 feet high waterfall on the Henry's Fork River in Fremont County, Idaho. It is located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest on the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. It is Downstream from Upper Mesa Falls.

West Yellowstone Falls: Cave Falls

The following are videos of Cave Falls in South West, Yellowstone National Park. 

This video is a view of the falls from below the falls. 

This video is a view of the falls from above the falls. 

Cave Falls' name comes from a large cave that can be found just off to the side of the falls. Hikers can walk into the cave, which is over 20 feet tall and 100 feet wide. There are several other short trails that lead to an assortment of views of the falls.

This waterfall on the Falls River is in the southwest corner of the park and is only twenty feet high, but its spectacularity rests in the fact that it is 250 feet wide. It is probably the park's widest waterfall. It has an immediate upper step that is about three feet high and a lower step about 100 yards downstream that is around five feet high.

Cave Falls is accessible by road from Ashton, Idaho and is quite popular with local Idaho residents. It is the starting point for many hikes in the Bechler Region as several trail-heads are located here.

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Work of Peter Wolf Toth

Peter Wolf Toth is known for his Trail of the Whispering Giants. There is at least one of Toth's Giants in each of the 50 states. Wikipedia has a complete list of where each of the Whispering Giants are here.

The following are pictures of the one that can be found in Idaho Falls, Idaho at North Tourist Park.

This one can be found at the Cherokee Heritage Museum located in Cherokee, NC. It is of Sequoyah, who is known for creating the Cherokee syllabary.

This is a video of the artist explaining how important these giants are to him.