syllabary
The Cherokee syllabary, which was reputedly invented by George Guess, a.k.a. Sequoyah, of the Cherokee, was introduced in 1819. Sequoyah’s descendants claim that he was the last surviving member of his tribe’s scribe clan and the Cherokee syllabary was invented at a much earlier date by persons unknown.By 1820, thousands of Cherokees had learned the syllabary, and by 1830, about 90 percent were literate in their own language. Books, religious texts, almanacs, and newspapers were all published using the syllabary – which was widely used for over 100 years.Today, the syllabary is still used. Efforts are being made to revive both the Cherokee language and the Cherokee syllabary, and Cherokee courses are offered at a number of schools, colleges and universities, including Western Carolina University.