The Cherokee language is one of North America’s healthiest native languages primarily due to its extensive documentation throughout history. The progression and adaptation of the language is being presented in a special exhibit at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Oklahoma.
“Cherokee Syllabary: From Talking Leaves to Pixels” is on display through April 2 and showcases the development and evolution of the language into modern-day.
“Our language is a direct connection to our ancestors and a living reminder of the strength and intelligence of the Cherokee people,” said Candessa Tehee, executive director for CHC. “These 85 characters have connected us all in such a beautiful way for decades, and this exhibit honors that connection.”
Featured within the exhibit are examples of how the Cherokee syllabary has been restored throughout time by the Cherokee Immersion School and the Cherokee Phoenixnewspaper as well as through clothing, décor and more.
Partnerships with technology giants such as Apple, Google and Microsoft have been instrumental in the revitalization of the language and are presented in the exhibit on interactive displays.
“This exhibit shows how vital each development was in bringing our language into the 21st century and back into our daily lives,” said guest curator Roy Boney Jr., manager of the language program for Cherokee Nation. “These advancements have kept our language alive, and it is important to understand and appreciate that history to ensure it thrives for generations to come.”
The Cherokee Heritage Center is the premier cultural center for Cherokee history, culture and art. It is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive in Park Hill.
For information on 2016 season events, operating hours and programs, please contact the Cherokee Heritage Center at -888-999-6007 or visit the CHC Facebook page.