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Sequoyah's syllabary

Q: How significant is Sequoyah's syllabary to the Tsalagi people? How important has it been historically over the years?

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A: The syllabary has been greatly important to the Cherokee people because it has increased literacy in their native language. Consequently there is a strong tradition of literature within the Cherokee language which does not exist in many other tribes. Before they were forced to move to Oklahoma, the Cherokee were one of the most powerful and influential Indian tribes and had higher rates of successful bilingualism, literacy in both Cherokee and English, and overall educational level than other Indians who did not have the benefit of a native writing system. Even after they were forcibly moved to Oklahoma without any of their belongings, the Cherokee language remains healthier than many of the neighboring languages which are teetering on the edge of extinction. Additionally, the syllabary has provided a source of Cherokee pride.

Hope that helps!
Native Languages of the Americas

Related Links

 Cherokee syllabary
 Cherokee language lesson
 Cherokee Indian history
 Cherokee Indian names
 Oklahoma Native Americans



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