Early Cherokee History
The Cherokee Nation. The Cherokees -- we call ourselves the Ani-Yun' wiya meaning leading or >principal people. The original Cherokees lived early times in Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. The Cherokee seal (left) was designed to embrace the early government structure, and the eternal endurance of the Cherokee Indians. It was adopted by Act of the Cherokee National Council, and approved in 1871.
The seven-pointed star symbolizes: (1). the seven age old clans of the Cherokee: (2). the seven characters of Sequoyah’s syllabary, meaning"Cherokee Nation." (The Cherokee characters are phonetically pronounced "Tsa-la-gi-hi A-yi-li"). The wreath of oakleaves symbolizes the sacred fire which, from time immemorial, the Cherokees kept burning in their land. Oak was the wood traditionally burned, different species of oak having ever been indigenous to Cherokee country, both in North Carolina and Georgia as well as in the Indian Territory to which the Cherokees removed in the early 1800's.
The margin wording proclaims the authority of the seal in both the English and the Cherokee languages, and records the date (1839) of the adoption of the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation West. This seal was imprinted on all documents by the Cherokee Nation, and has continued since Oklahoma statehood.
References: Muriel H. Wright, "Seal of The Cherokee Nation." The Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume XXXIV
by High Eagle
Cherokees our friends,
my brothers and sisters.
they lived together
once to leave and die.
Miles they walked,
but strong they went with
heads held high.
My heart is saddened,
The way of the Indian is to survive.
My heart is happy,
yes, happy indeed!
"I have always believed that the Great Creator had a great design for my people, the Cherokees. I have been taught that from my childhood up and now in my mature manhood I recognize it as a great truth. Our forces have been dissipated by the external forces, perhaps it has been just a training, but we must now get together as a race and render our contribution to mankind.
We are endowed with intelligence, we are industrious, we are loyal and we are spiritual but we are overlooking the Cherokee mission on earth, for no man nor race is endowed with these qualifications without a designed purpose... Our Mixed-bloods should not be overlooked in this program of a racial awakening. Our pride in our ancestral heritage is our great incentive for handing something worth while to our posterity. It is this pride in ancestry that makes men strong and loyal for their principal in life. It is this same pride that makes men give up their all for their Government."
-- Redbird Smith, stated in early 1900.
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