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Indigenous Peoples' Literature

Tsalagi (Cherokee)
Literature
(In Italiano)


Tsalagi (Cherokee) Web Ring

"We are now about to take our leave and kind farewell to our native land, the country that the Great Spirit gave our Fathers, we are on the eve of leaving that country that gave us birth...it is with sorrow we are forced by the white man to quit the scenes of our childhood... we bid farewell to it and all we hold dear."

Charles Hicks, Tsalagi (Cherokee) Vice Chief on the Trail of Tears, August 4, 1838


Kanagagota (Standing Turkey)


"Many proposals have been made to us to adopt your laws, your religion, your manners and your customs. We would be better pleased with beholding the good effects of these doctrines in your own practices, than with hearing you talk about them".

Old Tassel, Chief of the Tsalagi (Cherokee)


"Whole Indian Nations have melted away like snowballs in the sun before the white man's advance. They leave scarcely a name of our people except those wrongly recorded by their destroyers. Where are the Delewares? They have been reduced to a mere shadow of their former greatness. We had hoped that the white men would not be willing to travel beyond the mountains. Now that hope is gone. They have passed the mountains, and have settled upon Tsalagi (Cherokee) land. They wish to have that usurpation sanctioned by treaty. When that is gained, the same encroaching spirit will lead them upon other land of the Tsalagi (Cherokees). New cessions will be asked. Finally the whole country, which the Tsalagi (Cherokees) and their fathers have so long occupied, will be demanded, and the remnant of the Ani Yvwiya, The Real People, once so great and formidable, will be compelled to seek refuge in some distant wilderness. There they will be permitted to stay only a short while, until they again behold the advancing banners of the same greedy host. Not being able to point out any further retreat for the miserable Tsalagi (Cherokees), the extinction of the whole race will be proclaimed. Should we not therefore run all risks, and incur all consequences, rather than to submit to further loss of our country? Such treaties may be alright for men who are too old to hunt or fight. As for me, I have my young warriors about me. We will hold our land."

Chief Dragging Canoe, Chickamauga Tsalagi (Cherokee)



"I believe it is in the power of the Indians unassisted, but united and determined, to hold their country. We cannot expect to do this without serious losses and many privations, but we possess the spirit of our fathers, and are resolved never to be enslaved by an inferior race, and trodden under the feet of an ignorant and insolent foe, we, the Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Seminoles, and Tsalagi (Cherokees), never can be conquered..."

Confederate General Stand Waitie, Tsalagi (Cherokee)


"By peace our condition has been improved in the pursuit of civilized life."

John Ross


Tsalagi (Cherokee) Stories


The Tsalagi (Cherokee)

{chair'-uh-kee}

The Tsalagi (Cherokee) are a nation of North American Indians that formerly inhabited the mountainous region of the western Carolinas, northern Georgia, and eastern Tennessee. An Iroquoian-speaking people, they originally lived near the Great Lakes they migrated to the Southeast, eventually becoming the largest and most powerful group in that region. Their traditional culture included maize agriculture, settled villages, and well-developed ceremonialism. In 1827 the Tsalagi (Cherokee) established a constitutional form of government.

The first explorers of the Southeast discovered the most talented Indians north of Mexico. Builders, agriculturists, artisans, fishermen, and hunters epitomized especially the Tsalagi (Cherokees)' varied skills. Knowledgeable in herb culture, they developed useful medicines from them that are still used today. They also developed environmental concepts about ecological thought and survival. We are blessed by the legacies of Tsalagi (Cherokee) oral traditions, providing ethnologists with opportunities for cultural interpretations: legends about man, animals, supernatural deities, witches, and other evil influences. Their most famous leader, Sequoya, believing literacy provided power to the white man, alone developed the Tsalagi (Cherokee) alphabet (c.1820), and became immortalized when his name was given to Sequoia National Park in California.

A series of fraudulent, land-acquiring treaties were imposed on the Tsalagi (Cherokee) in the 1830s. The Treaty of New Echota (1835), in which a small tribal faction sold 2.83 million ha (7 million acres) of Tsalagi (Cherokee) land, required their removal westward within 3 years. The vast majority of the Tsalagi (Cherokee) Nation repudiated this document, but under Gen. Winfield SCOTT, most remaining Tsalagi (Cherokee) were driven from their land and forcibly marched to Arkansas and Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in 1838-39. About 4,000 of the more than 15,000 Tsalagi (Cherokee) who made the journey died of disease and exposure.

In Indian Territory, they joined the CHICKASAW, CHOCTAW, CREEK, and SEMINOLE to form the so-called FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES. Tribal lands were lost in the 1860s, after the Five Tribes sided with the South during the Civil War, and again in the early 1880s, when the federal government abolished tribal ownership of lands. When Indian Territory became the state of Oklahoma in 1907, all tribal lands were opened for white settlement.

In the 1980s, 43,000 persons of Tsalagi (Cherokee) descent lived in eastern Oklahoma; about 15,000 of these are considered full-blooded. The Tsalagi (Cherokee) who avoided the forced removal of 1838 escaped into the Great Smoky Mountains and resettled in North Carolina, where they formed a tribal corporation in 1889. Tsalagi (Cherokee) on or near the reservation in North Carolina numbered 6,110 in 1987.


 
 
One of today's
best-known actors,
Wes Studi, is Tsalagi (Cherokee)
and can be contacted
through his band, Firecat of Discord.
 
 
 



Another well-known actor, Burt Reynolds, is also Tsalagi (Cherokee).


The Tsalagi (Cherokee) Language

by Joe LoCicero


Tsalagi (Cherokee) Language Sylabus

Character Name
----------------
e
ge
he
le
me
ne
que
se
de
te
tle
ye
o
go
ho
lo
mo
no
quo
so
do
tlo
tso
wo
a
ga
ha
la

ma
na
qua
sa
da
yo
yu
yv
wa
ya
ka
hna
ta
i
gi
hi
li
mi
ni
qui
si
di
ti
tli
tsi
wi
yi
u


gu
hu
lu
mu
nu
quu
su
du
tlu
tsu
wu
v
gv
hv
lv
nv
quv
sv
dv
tlv
tla
nah
s
dla
tsa
tsv
wv
tse
we


The Tsalagi (Cherokee) Language (Font) is placed here for the furtherment of research into the native language of the Tsalagi (Cherokee) Nation of North America. This font represents the 85 character syllabary of the Tsalagi (Cherokee) standard written language.


Universities Teaching the Tsalagi (Cherokee) Language

UNIV. OF TULSA
DEPT OF LANGUAGES
TULSA, OK 74104
(918) 631-2332
Attn: MELVYN C. RESNICK

WESTERN CAROLINA UNIV.
CULLOWHEE, NC 28723
(704) 227-7241
Attn: SUZANNE MOORE


Tsalagi (Cherokee) Bulletin Boards (BBS)

Tsalagi (Cherokee) Nation (508)452-2082 96 90:324/296(N)
New Cherokee Phoenix (704)497-5898 24 1:379/601(F), 90:379/601(N)


Tahchee, Tsalagi (Cherokee) guide




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The Indigenous Peoples' Literature pages were researched and organized by Glenn Welker.

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