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ᏣᎳᎩ

Cherokee

tsa-la-gi

Fire

ᏣᎳᎩ

tsa-la-gi

Cherokee

Tsalagi (Cherokee) was one of the predominant languages in southeastern North America for thousands of years before European contact. When Spanish explorers reached the Cherokee in 1540, our Nation had up to 50,000 native speakers living in a network of Cherokee communities that spanned the modern-day states of West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. Today, the Cherokee Language is still the mother tongue of about 2,000 Americans, and is spoken as a second language by several thousand more. 

The Cherokee syllabary consists of 85 characters, each representing an entire syllable. The syllabary was developed by Sequoyah and completed in 1821.

Our tribal government has made it a top priority to preserve our beautiful language, and has provided many new tools to help us learn to speak it. The Colorado Cherokee Circle is lucky to have a couple of fluent speakers who stand by ready to help. Our goal is to incorporate a short language lesson into every gathering of the Circle, so we can all learn to speak at least a little Tsalagi.

ᏣᎳᎩ ᏄᎵᏔᏂᏙᎸ

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Cherokee History

  • Cherokee Women

    Long before the arrival of the white man, women enjoyed a major role in the family life, economy, and government of the Cherokee Indians. The Cherokees originally lived in villages built along the rivers of western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, northern Georgia, and eastern Tennessee. When white men visited these villages in the early 1700s, they were surprised by the rights and privileges of Indian women. Perhaps most surprising…

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  • Booger Masks

    TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- When a call went out looking for the Cherokee considered the most knowledgeable in gourd mask making, Cherokee National Treasure Wendell Cochran was agreed to be the "Yoda" of not only its history but how it's used today. Cochran has made gourd masks for years and is said to be responsible for revitalizing the art in Oklahoma. "Masking is a tradition that's used by almost every civilization…

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8 Great Reasons to Join the Colorado Cherokee Circle!

  • Build relationships around shared heritage
  • Get back to your roots with Cherokee culture, history and traditions
  • Benefit from opportunities to learn Cherokee arts and crafts
  • Opportunity to learn the Cherokee language
  • Access to resources available to people of Cherokee descent

  • Direct connection to the Cherokee Nation
  • Genealogy (now free through the Nation!)
  • Opportunity to be a part of helping to preserve Cherokee history and heritage

Persons not of Cherokee descent, who are interested in Cherokee culture, are also welcome!

8 Great Reasons to Join the Colorado Cherokee Circle!

  • Build relationships around shared heritage
  • Get back to your roots with Cherokee culture, history and traditions
  • Benefit from opportunities to learn Cherokee arts and crafts
  • Opportunity to learn the Cherokee language
  • Access to resources available to people of Cherokee descent
  • Direct connection to the Cherokee Nation
  • Genealogy (now free through the Nation!)
  • Opportunity to be a part of helping to preserve Cherokee history and heritage