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About the story
What’s with this “Wren” thing?
   The oldest extant version of the fable we are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology of Low Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”) collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read more ...


Tsalagi (Cherokee)

The Trail of Tears (painted by Robert Lindneux in 1942)
which forced the Tsalagi-speaking Ahniyvwiya and other
indigenous nations to leave their ancestral lands forever.

Language information: Tsalagi—previously known as “Cherokee”—is the only surviving South Iroquoian language. As such it is only distantly related to surviving Iroquoian (Rotinonhsyón:ni) languages such as Mohawk, Huron, Tuscarora, Wyandot, Nottoway, Laurentian, Onondaga, Susquehannock, Seneca, Cayuga and Oneida. There are three dialect groups of Tsalagi: Eastern (Alani, now extinct), Central (Kituhwa) of North Carolina, and Western (Atali) of Oklahoma.
     Tsalagi is currently used by about 22,000 people, most of them at least bilingual: Tsalagi and English. Tsalagi is a tonal language (with four basic tones) with a complex tone sandhi system. Since the early 19th century it has been written with a syllable script invented by Ssiquaya (also written “Sikwâ’yĭ,” “Segwaya,” “Sequoyah” or “Sequoia”), whose English name is George Guess (or Guest or Gist), a native speaker with no command of English. While the written characters represent syllables, their shapes were inspired by the Roman and perhaps also Cyrillic alphabets that Ssiquaya, a silversmith, saw in his contacts with people of European origin. His syllabary was officially accepted by his nation in 1825. However, these days, especially in informal electronic communication, Roman-letter-based systems are often used instead, in which the letter v stands for a vowel: a nasalized schwa. None of these writing systems represents tones.
     “Tsalagi” is not the native name of the people and their language. Many claim it is based on a Creek (Muskogee) name meaning “people speaking differently.” Others claim it is based on a Choctaw term meaning “mountain people” or “cave dwellers.” The people refer to themselves as Ahniyvwiya, meaning something like “principal people” or “the Creator’s people.” However, using “Tsalagi” has become acceptable under non-Ahniyvwiya influence, and it is now the usual name for the language.
     A large portion of the Ahniyvwiya nation lives in the US state of Oklahoma. It is there where most government-recognized ALL languages and dialects are beautiful, precious gifts. So cherish yours and others! Share them with the world!Ahniyvwiya people’s ancestors were forcibly moved from their homeland in the southern Appalachian mountain region during the “Trail of Tears” following the infamous Indian Removal Act of 1830. There are Ahniyvwiya communities in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee as well, though not all of them are government-recognized. Some more recent Ahniyvwiya communities have sprung up elsewhere, such as in California, Texas and Ohio. The Ahniyvwiya were considered one of the so-called “Five Civilized Tribes” (along with the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole), one of five indigenous nations that tended to emulate European-derived culture, including owning slaves of African descent. As such, the Ahniyvwiya nation has had a long history of contacts and influences in the development of the United States of America. Many Americans have some Ahniyvwiya ancestry, with a large percentage of them also being of German and/or African background. Well-known 20th-/21st-century Americans with partial Ahniyvwiya ancestry include Kim Basinger, James Brown, Kevin Costner, Carmen Electra, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Val Kilmer, Eartha Kitt, Demi Moore, Chuck Norris, Elvis Presley, Robert Rauschenberg, Burt Reynolds and Tina Turner.

Genealogy: Iroquoian > Southern

Historical Lowlands language contacts: Appalachian, English, [Scots?]

   Click to open the translation: [Click]Click here for different versions. >

Author: Reinhard F. Hahn

© 2011, Lowlands-L · ISSN 189-5582 · LCSN 96-4226 · All international rights reserved.
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