The Cherokee Nation


The Cherokees called themselves the Ani-Yun' wiya meaning leading or principal people. The original Cherokees lived early times in Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

The Cherokee seal (above) was designed to embrace the early government structure, and the eternal endurance of the Cherokee Indians. It was adopted by Act of the Cherokee National Council, and approved in 1871. The seven-pointed star symbolizes: (1). the seven age old clans of the Cherokee: (2). the seven characters of Sequoyah’s syllabary, meaning "Cherokee Nation." (The Cherokee characters are phonetically pronounced "Tsa-la-gi-hi A-yi-li") .. The wreath of oak leaves symbolizes the sacred fire which, from time immemorial, the Cherokees kept burning in their land. Oak was the wood traditionally burned, different species of oak having ever been indigenous to Cherokee country, both in North Carolina and Georgia as well as in the Indian Territory to which the Cherokees removed in the early 1800's...The margin wording proclaims the authority of the seal in both the English and the Cherokee languages, and records the date (1839) of the adoption of the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation West...This seal was imprinted on all documents until the dissolution of the Cherokee Nation at Oklahoma Statehood.

References: Muriel H. Wright, "Seal of The Cherokee Nation." The Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume XXXIV (Summer, 1956): original painting by Guy C. Reid.



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