How a Cherokee Leader Ensured His People’s Language Survived

Prior to colonization, over 300 different languages ​​were spoken by Native Americans in what is now the United States. However, almost all of these languages ​​had one feature in common: they had no written form.

In 1809, a Cherokee named Sequoyah began work on a writing system for his country’s language. It was a monumental task, especially since he could neither read nor write in English or any other language. But 12 years later, he completed the Cherokee syllabary, an innovative writing system still used today.

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