Signs of Cherokee Culture Sequoyah's Syllabary in Eastern Cherokee Life
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Description: Based on extensive fieldwork in the community of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in western North Carolina, this book uses a semiotic approach to investigate the historic and contemporary role of the Sequoyan syllabary--the written system for representing the sounds of the Cherokee language--in Eastern Cherokee life. The Cherokee syllabary was invented in the 1820s by the respected Cherokee Sequoyah. The syllabary quickly replaced alternative writing systems for Cherokee and was reportedly in widespread use by the mid-nineteenth century. After that, literacy in Cherokee declined, except in specialized religious contexts. But as Bender shows, recent interest in cultural revitalization among the Cherokees has increased the use of the syllabary in education, publications, and even signage. Bender also explores the role played by the syllabary within the ever more important context of tourism. (The Eastern Cherokee Band hosts millions of visitors each year in the Great Smoky Mountains.) English is the predominant language used in the Cherokee community, but Bender shows how the syllabary is used in special and subtle ways that help to shape a shared cultural and linguistic identity among the Cherokees.Signs of Cherokee Culturethus makes an important contribution to the ethnographic literature on culturally specific literacies.
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All the information you need in one place! Each Study Brief is a summary of one specific subject; facts, figures, and explanations to help you learn faster.
List price: $37.50
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 6/24/2002
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
|Note on Orthography|
|Pride and Ambivalence: The Syllabary's Received History and Interpretation|
|Reading, Writing, and the Reproduction of Cultural Categories: Three R's of Orthographic Choice in Cherokee Language Education|
|Talking Leaves, Silent Leaves: Syllabary as Code|
|Reading the Signs: Metalinguistic Characterizations of the Syllabary|
|What Else You Gonna Go After?: The Commodification of the Syllabary|