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Sequoyah

Simpson’s hedgehog cactus

Sequoyah and Cherokee literacy

As a silversmith, Sequoyah dealt regularly with whites who had settled in the area. He was impressed by their writing, referring to their correspondence as “talking leaves”. He knew that they represented a way to transmit information to other people in distant places.
However, a majority of the Cherokees believed that writing was either sorcery, a special gift, or a pretense. Sequoyah accepted none of these explanations. He said that he could invent a way for Cherokees to talk on paper, even though his friends and family thought the idea ridiculous

Around 1809, Sequoyah began creating 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/sad to have burned his initial work, believing it to be witchcraft.

He realized that this approach was impractical because it would require too many pictures to be remembered. He tried making a symbol for every idea, but this also caused too many problems to be practical.


Sequoyah

Translation UTAH Cacti

Orange fruit of cylindropuntia imbricata – Ojito Wilderness Area, New Mexico

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