Speak, Read, and Write in the Cherokee Language

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Learn How to Speak, Read, and Write in the Cherokee Language!

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Learn how to speak, read, and write in the Cherokee Language

Do you desire to speak, read, and write the Cherokee language? Consider purchasing: Beginning Cherokee, Ruth Bradley Holmes (Author), Ruth Bradley Holmes (Author), (332 pages) (University of Oklahoma Press). Description: This is the best primer on both spoken and written Cherokee! There have been other attempts to write language instruction in Cherokee; all the others that I have seen are too complex...attempting to teach too much, too fast. Cherokee is so unlike English, in terms of grammar and syntax, that learning the language is difficult; however, the difficulty is minimized by starting slowly and building vocabulary first. The optional accompanying CDs, Beginning Cherokee, are an invaluable addition. Continued below…

Review: Michael from Norman, Oklahoma: “I began learning Cherokee with this book over a decade ago. Growing up in Illinois, I didn't have a Cherokee community around that I could learn from. Over the years this book has became absolutely invaluable to me. I have read almost all the Cherokee language books written, and this is definitely one of the best. When I finally did get to Oklahoma to work on my Master's, I was actually able to talk to Cherokees in Cherokee largely through the rules of grammar, sentence structure, etc. that this book taught me. I also learned the syllabary through this book.”

Review: Rachel in Columbia, Missouri, writes: “I taught my four children to read and speak Cherokee with this book. For years it was the only Cherokee resource we had, and we treasured it. Many people today take Native American language courses for granted, but there was a time, not so long ago, when all native languages were headed for extinction. Many still are. This book paved the way for others, and the author should be recognized for her pioneering work.”

Do you want to speak the Cherokee language? Then consider purchasing: Beginning Cherokee (Audio CDs) (January 5, 2005) (3CDs and Text). Description: This course is the first of its kind and teaches the basics of Cherokee, the native tongue of about 20,000 Americans who use it only as a second language. If you ever thought about learning the Cherokee language, purchase this CD set and you won't be disappointed! "Worth its weight in gold." "Absolutely priceless!" Continued below...
How about reading, writing, and speaking Cherokee? Then also purchase its companion, Beginning Cherokee (332 pages) (University of Oklahoma Press). While there have been other attempts to write language instruction in Cherokee; all others are too complex. "Beginning Cherokee is the best for both 'spoken and written Cherokee!'"


Recommended Reading: Meditations with the Cherokee: Prayers, Songs, and Stories of Healing and Harmony. Description: A collection of earth-centered meditations to enhance our connection to the natural world. Reveals the Old Wisdom of the Cherokee elders for living in harmony with all beings. Written by J. T. Garrett, of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, who was taught the ancient ways by his grandfather and other medicine men of his tribe. Continued below…

In a time before ours, humans could talk with animals, hear whisperings from plant life, and understand the origin stories written in the stars. Survival depended on active kinship with family and tribe, with four-leggeds and plant people, with sun and moon and fire. The Cherokee, known widely as the Principal People or the First People, hold a deeply tapestried collection of stories about human interrelatedness with nature. Those stories, passed down through countless generations of Cherokee, are especially significant at this time in human history, when Mother Earth suffers under the weight of unchecked "progress." As a boy, J. T. Garrett sat beside his grandfather and the other medicine men of his tribe as they chanted and drummed the stories of his ancestry. From those stories of Nu-Dah (the Sun), Grandmother Moon, Spring Rain, and Little Eagle comes this collection of active meditations for reconnecting with the natural intelligence that is our birthright. Recognizing that we are all kin in the Universal Circle of life opens us to communication with all beings, bringing us back to our natural spirit selves. If we listen carefully to the Cherokee stories of the Old Ways we can gain understanding of lost social and spiritual traditions that can help ensure a thriving future. About the Author: J.T. Garrett, Ed. D., of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, is a public health director in North Carolina and is retired from the U.S. Public Health Service, Indian Health Service. Trained in Native American Medicine and coauthor of Medicine of the Cherokee, Dr. Garrett is devoted to presenting the old teachings of his ancestry to guide people in living the Medicine Way.

Recommended Reading: Walking on the Wind: Cherokee Teachings for Harmony and Balance. Publishers Weekly: How does one learn from the wisdom of Native American cultures without adding to the violence that has been done to the sacredness and integrity of those traditions? In this volume, Garrett, an Eastern Band Cherokee who teaches education at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, provides profound and beautiful answers to that question. As he notes, the book has two goals: to honor his people's vision of a balanced life and to share their accumulated wisdom about health and wellness with the larger, contemporary culture. Continued below...
Each chapter features delightful narratives of Cherokee stories and myths, the love of Moon for Sun, how the animals teach humanity to respect the harmony of nature, why possum's tail is bare, why turtle's shell is scarred, as well as recollections from Garrett's childhood. He notes that his father taught him that it was his task "to discover through the stories, the beauty and lessons offered to us through everyday experience." Garrett discusses lessons learned about how to make difficult choices, how to hear our intuitive sense of right and wrong and how to deal with painful experiences. Also included in this wide-ranging book are descriptions of the purposes of Pow-Wow, Iroquois False Face Societies, managing a modern kitchen in ways that respect the balance of nature and brief discussions about acid rain and greenhouse gases. Written in accessible language, Garrett's book is a useful primer on Native American spirituality. Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Traditional Cherokee teachings passed down by author Michael Garrett's great-grandfather instruct us that all things are connected, have purpose, and are worthy of respect and reverence. Through stories of the Sacred Fire, the Talking Circle, the Giveaway, and Community, these stories counsel us to keep our feet on Mother Earth, our eyes and minds above the tree tops, and our spirit with the Great Universal Spirit. About the Author: Michael Tlanusta Garrett, Ph.D., is both a student and teacher of the Cherokee Way, drawn from the ancient wisdom teachings of the medicine elders on the Cherokee Reservation in the Great Smoky Mountains. He is an assistant professor of counselor education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and the coauthor of Medicine of the Cherokee: The Way of Right Relationship.


Are you Cherokee? 


Are you the individual that has always been told that you are a Cherokee, but have no facts or records to prove it? To claim Cherokee membership means that you must prove it – you must have the facts, so toss the doubt away, get the facts, and claim what is rightfully your heritage by blood quantum. Now, are you ready to prove that you are a Cherokee? It’s not difficult if you take the time to locate the facts. Below are proven resources for tracing your family genealogy, the family tree, roots, bloodline, and for researching your ancestors to prove that you meet the blood requirements (qualifications) for Cherokee membership and tribal enrollment. Those that qualify as “Native Americans are American Indians” and are entitled to the rights and benefits of the tribe! Below is a proven “how to dos” written by the foremost expert in Cherokee history, genealogy and heritage. Cherokee membership is not like joining a gym or paying dues, it’s your blood, so claim it. Are you remotely interested in knowing that you are a “Cherokee Indian” or are you the individual that enjoys genealogy? Do you want to locate and preserve your Native American ancestry? Finding information about ancestors for genealogy and heritage is also a lot of fun. Moreover, you are preserving your own family history and heritage with your relatives and loved ones for generations and generations… Take a look below at exactly what is required to locate and organize and present your information to prove that you meet the qualifications as a member of the Cherokee tribe. Cherokee Proud, by Tony McClure, is referred to as the "Bible for Cherokee Genealogy." Cherokee Proud has also been rated a SOLID FIVE STARS by every person that has read and rated it. To see if you meet the 'Cherokee qualification and requirement for membership', then look no further -- purchase Cherokee Proud. Read the reviews below and see what people and organizations are saying about it.

Recommended Reading: Cherokee Proud, Second Edition, by Tony Mack McClure. Description: Absolutely the "Bible" of Cherokee Genealogy. New, 336 pages, 2nd Edition. If the information in this remarkable new book doesn't lead a person to proof of their Cherokee roots, nothing can! “It is an A-to-Z on organizing and locating the requirements / qualifications for membership.” Continued below...


"Cherokee Proud is the very best book I have ever seen on tracing Cherokee genealogy." -- RICHARD PANGBURN, acclaimed author of Indian Blood, Vol. I & II found in most libraries

"McClure unabashedly loosens his journalistic standards for portions of this book which reach him too emotionally. Understood. Fascinating and enlightening."

BACK COVER: Among the people of this country are individuals in whose blood runs the proud heritage of a noble and resilient people whose ways and talents rank with the finest civilizations the world has known. They are the " Tsalagi ". . . the Cherokee. This book will help you learn if you are one of them. -- BOOK READER

"The contents of Cherokee Proud are exceptional - valuable information that can be used by so many readers and researchers who have Native American (Cherokee) ancestry." -- DON SHADBURN, Famous Georgia historian and noted author of Unhallowed Intrusion and Cherokee Planters of Georgia

"This Cherokee guide is the best yet!" -- LAWTON CONSTITUTION

About the Author: Well known and acclaimed Cherokee author Dr. Tony Mack McClure, a native of Tennessee, is a certified member of the Native American Journalists Association, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, and Committeeman for the Tennessee Chapter of the National Trail of Tears Association. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, over 250 newspapers, on all major television networks and many cable systems.


Recommended Reading: The Cherokee Herbal: Native Plant Medicine from the Four Directions. Description: A practical guide to the medicinal uses of over 450 plants and herbs as applied in the traditional practices of the Cherokee. Details the uses of over 450 plants for the treatment of over 120 ailments. Written by the coauthor of Medicine of the Cherokee (40,000 copies sold). Explains the healing elements of the Four Directions and the plants associated with them. Includes traditional teaching tales as told to the author by Cherokee Elders. Continued below…

In this rare collection of the acquired herbal knowledge of Cherokee Elders, author J. T. Garrett presents the healing properties and medicinal applications of over 450 North American plants. Readers will learn how Native American healers utilize the gifts of nature for ceremonial purposes and to treat over 120 ailments, from the common cold to a bruised heart. The book presents the medicine of the Four Directions and the plants with which each direction is associated. From the East comes the knowledge of "heart medicine"-blood-building tonics and plants for vitality and detoxification. The medicine of the South focuses on the innocence of life and the energy of youthfulness. West medicine treats the internal aspects of the physical body to encourage strength and endurance, while North medicine offers a sense of freedom and connection to the stars and the greater Universal Circle. This resource also includes traditional teaching tales to offer insights from Cherokee cosmology into the origin of illness, how the animals found their medicine, and the naming of the plants.


"This is an outstanding book . . . disclosing the valuable information of the herbs."
(Making Scents, Winter/Spring 2004, Vol. 8 Issue 2)

"Readers will learn how Native American healers utilize the gifts of nature for ceremonial purposes."
(AZNetNews, December 2003/ January 2004)

"This book is highly recommended. If you are interested in herbal medicine, lore, and the unusual, Garrett's book should be on your reading list. Excellent."
(Lee Prosser, Ghostvillage.com, March 2006 )

"A must for every herbalist's bookshelf, or for anyone who is interested in learning about Cherokee Medicine."
(Thora Wodenshild, SageWoman, Summer 2003, No. 62 )

Recommended Reading: Medicine of the Cherokee: The Way of Right Relationship. Description: Discover the holistic experience of human life from the elder teachers of Cherokee Medicine. With stories of the Four Directions and the Universal Circle, these once-secret teachings offer us wisdom on circle gatherings, natural herbs and healing, and ways to reduce stress in our daily lives. Continued below…

Medicine of The Cherokee: The Way of Right Relationship is the story of the physical, mental, spiritual, and natural aspects of humans as told through many generations of elder teaches of Native American medicine. With stories that tell about the "four directions" and the "universal circle", these ancient Cherokee teachings also offer wisdom on circle gatherings, herbs, healing, and ways to reduce stress and find harmony and balance in all our relationships. The way of our modern world can separate us from nature and make us prone to disease, signs of being on the wrong path. -- Midwest Book Review

About the Authors: J.T. Garrett, Ed.D., and his son, Michael Garrett, Ph.D., are members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee from North Carolina. As students and teachers of Indian Medicine, they draw on the ancient wisdom teachings of their Medicine Elders on the Cherokee Reservation in the Great Smoky Mountains. The Garretts have developed ways to present the "old teachings" to effectively guide people today to appreciate and understand living the "Medicine Way."


Recommended Reading: The Cherokee Full Circle: A Practical Guide to Sacred Ceremonies and Traditions. Description: A comprehensive overview of Native American spiritual principles and their application for personal spirit-healing. Includes traditional sacred exercises, teaching tales, case studies, and suggested rituals for individual and group healing. Outlines the core principals of Native American traditional values and teaches how to apply them to the contemporary path of wellness and healing. Continued below…

Publication coincided with the annual Full Circle gathering in September 2002. The Four Directions, the four seasons, and the four elements that make up the sacred hoop of the full circle must be in right relationship with one another or disharmony will result. Native American ritual has always emphasized the restoration of balance through ceremonies that provide a forum for learning, transition, and expressions of personal growth. Now, Cherokee authors J. T. and Michael Garrett share Native American traditions to explore interrelationships as a tool for growth and transformation. The Cherokee Full Circle gathers techniques representing Native American cultures from across America-stories, exercises, and individual and group rituals-to teach the inherent dynamics of right relationship and apply them to the healing path. The authors provide a comprehensive overview of Native American spiritual principles and traditions and demonstrate how these ideas and methods can be applied universally to deal with life's situations-from depression and grieving to finding purpose and establishing positive relationships. About the Authors: J. T. Garrett, Ed.D., is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee from North Carolina. His son, Michael Garrett, Ph.D., is the author of Walking on the Wind and together they are the authors of Medicine of the Cherokee. As students and teachers of Indian Medicine, they draw on the ancient wisdom teachings of their Medicine Elders on the Cherokee Reservation in the Great Smoky Mountains.


Recommended Reading: James Mooney's History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees (768 pages). Description: This incredible volume collects the works of the early anthropologist James Mooney who did extensive studies of the Eastern Cherokee Nation (those who remained in Appalachia) at the turn of the century. The introduction is by Mooney's biographer and gives a nice overview of both Mooney and the Cherokee Nation, as well as notes on Mooney's sources. It then goes straight into the first book "Myths of the Cherokee", which starts with a history of the Cherokee Nation. Continued below...

It progresses from the earliest days, through de Soto, the Indian wars, Tecumseh, the Trail of Tears, the Civil War and ultimately to 1900. Continuing, it explores Cherokee mythology and storytellers. This book is truly monumental in its scope and covers origin myths, animal stories, Kanati and Selu, the Nunnehi and Yunwi'Tsundi (little people), Tlanuwa (thunderbirds), Uktena (horned water snake), interactions with other Nations and numerous other myths, as well as local legends from various parts of the Southeast (North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, etc). There is also a section of herbal lore. Mooney closes with a glossary of Cherokee terms (in the Latin alphabet rather than the Sequoya Syllabary) and abundant notes. We advance to the next book, Sacred Formulaes of the Cherokee, which covers a number of magical texts amongst the Cherokee Nation. This book does a wonderful job talking about such manuals, mentioning how they were obtained, going into depth about the Cherokee worldview and beliefs on magic, concepts of disease, healing ceremonies, practices such as bleeding, rubbing and bathing, Shamanism, the use of wording, explanations of the formulae and so forth. It then gives an amazingly varied collection of Cherokee formulae, first in the original Cherokee (again, in the Latin alphabet) and then translated into English. Everything from healing to killing witches, to medicine for stick ball games, war and warfare. Both books include numerous photographs and illustrations of famous historical figures, Cherokee manuscripts and petroglyphs and a map of Cherokee lands. Again, this is a truly massive book and even today is considered one of the essential writings of Cherokee religion. Anyone with an interest in the subject, whether anthropologist, descendant of the Cherokee or just a curious person interested in Native culture, should definitely give this book a read. I highly recommend it.

Recommended Reading: A Cherokee Encyclopedia (Hardcover). Description: A Cherokee Encyclopedia is a quick reference guide for many of the people, places, and things connected to the 1) United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees (Oklahoma), as well as for the other officially recognized Cherokee groups, the 2) Cherokee Nation (Oklahoma) and the 3) Eastern Band of Cherokees (North Carolina). Continued below...

From A Cherokee Encyclopedia: "Crowe, Amanda: Amanda Crowe was born in 1928 in the Qualla Cherokee community in North Carolina. She was drawing and carving at the age of 4 and selling her work at age 8. She received her MFA from the Chicago Arts Institute in 1952 and then studied in Mexico at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel under a John Quincy Adams fellowship. She had been away from home for 12 years when the Cherokee Historical Association invited her back to teach art and woodcarving at the Cherokee High School. . . ."

"Fields, Richard: Richard Fields was Chief of the Texas Cherokees from 1821 until his death in 1827. Assisted by Bowl and others, he spent much time in Mexico City, first with the Spanish government and later with the government of Mexico, trying to acquire a clear title to their land. They also had to contend with rumors started by white Texans regarding their intended alliances with Comanches, Tawakonis, and other Indian tribes to attack San Antonio. . . ."

About the Author: Robert J. Conley is the author of over seventy books. The Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers named him Wordcrafter of the Year for 1997. He has won numerous Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America and was presented with the Cherokee Medal of Honor in 2000. An enrolled member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees, Conley lives with his wife, Evelyn, in Norman, Oklahoma.

Recommended Reading: Footsteps of the Cherokees: A Guide to the Eastern Homelands of the Cherokee Nation. Description: Footsteps of the Cherokees divides the Cherokees' eastern homeland into 19 geographical sections and explores many of the historic Cherokee sites in these areas. Continued below...
Sites range from Moccasin Bend in Chattanooga, inhabited by Cherokees and earlier Indian cultures and considered one of the most important archaeological complexes within a United States city, to the Qualla Boundary, the home of the Eastern Cherokee reservation, where visitors can still experience the historic Cherokee culture. For each site, Rozema gives historical background, directions to the site, and the hours of operation and telephone numbers if the site is located within a park or museum area. The book also includes an overview of Cherokee history that sets the stage for the tours of the historic sites. About the Author: Vicki Rozema is the editor of Cherokee Voices: Early Accounts of Cherokee Life in the East and Voices from the Trail of Tears (see page 15). She is currently working on a Ph.D. in early American history with a specialization in Cherokee history at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, but she still maintains a home near Chattanooga.

Recommended Reading: The Cherokee Nation: A History. Description: Conley's book, "The Cherokee Nation: A History" is an eminently readable, concise but thoughtful account of the Cherokee people from prehistoric times to the present day. The book is formatted in such a way as to make it an ideal text for high school and college classes. At the end of each chapter is a source list and suggestions for further reading. Also at the end of each chapter is an unusual but helpful feature- a glossary of key terms. The book contains interesting maps, photographs and drawings, along with a list of chiefs for the various factions of the Cherokee tribe and nation. Continued below...

In addition to being easily understood, a principal strength of the book is that the author questions some traditional beliefs and sources about the Cherokee past without appearing to be a revisionist or an individual with an agenda in his writing. One such example is when Conley tells the story of Alexander Cuming, an Englishman who took seven Cherokee men with him to England in 1730. One of the Cherokee, Oukanekah, is recorded as having said to the King of England: "We look upon the Great King George as the Sun, and as our Father, and upon ourselves as his children. For though we are red, and you are white our hands and hearts are joined together..." Conley wonders if Oukanekah actually said those words and points out that the only version we have of this story is the English version. There is nothing to indicate if Oukanekah spoke in English or Cherokee, or if his words were recorded at the time they were spoken or were written down later. Conley also points out that in Cherokee culture, the Sun was considered female, so it is curious that King George would be looked upon as the Sun. The "redness" of Native American skin was a European perception. The Cherokee would have described themselves as brown. But Conley does not overly dwell on these things. He continues to tell the story using the sources available. The skill of Conley in communicating his ideas never diminishes. This book is highly recommended as a good place to start the study of Cherokee history. It serves as excellent reference material and belongs in the library of anyone serious about the study of Native Americans.

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