“ᎤᎵᎮᎵᏍᏗ” Not a familiar word? Unless you read Cherokee, you may not recognize it; however, visitors to the Frisco Native American Museum & Natural History Center will hear the words – which mean Welcome” – at the museum this summer.
Although considered by some to be endangered, the written Cherokee language dates back to the early 1800’s. It was developed over a period of 12 years by Cherokee native, Sequoyan, who began the process in 1809. By the 1900’s the language was widely accepted and during World War I, it was one of the languages pioneered by Code Talkers to help win the war.
On Wednesdays throughout the summer, museum visitors will have an opportunity to learn about Cherokee culture, language, and history from descendant and scholar, Dr. Tina Bradley. Individuals will also have a chance to see their names written in the Cherokee language syllabary. The translated name makes a great keepsake regardless of heritage, and the opportunity to hear the language and try to speak it is fun for everyone in the family – from pre-schools to seniors!
Dr. Bradley, who teaches at College of the Albemarle, has done extensive work with the original Cherokee language including the online Cherokee-English Transcription and Translation program, creating the K-12 language curriculum for the federal reservation school, and crafting the embedded language technique opening the way for digital transfer of documents and graphic design to anyone.
The museum program is FREE with admission and will be available Wednesday afternoons from May 30th-August 27th.
The Frisco Native American Museum & Natural History Center is located on Hatteras Island and is open Tuesday–Sunday from 10:30 AM 5:00 PM. For more information, call 252-995-4440 or visit the museum website at www.nativeamericanmusuem.org