The Cherokee Syllabary; Writing the People's Perseverance
by Ellen Cushman; pb; 238 pages--In 1821, Sequoyah, a Cherokee metalworker and inventor, introduced a writing system that he had been developing for more than a decade. His creation—the Cherokee syllabary—helped his people learn to read and write within five years and became a principal part of their identity. This groundbreaking study traces the creation, dissemination, and evolution of Sequoyah’s syllabary from script to print to digital forms. Breaking with conventional understanding, author Ellen Cushman shows that the syllabary was not based on alphabetic writing, as is often thought, but rather on Cherokee syllables and, more importantly, on Cherokee meanings.