November 30, 2009

Cherokee Nation Stop Sign

Just returned from Thanksgiving in the wonderful little town of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, a hot bed of cozy Americana! Highlights of our whirlwind tour included world-class pizza at "Sam and Ella's cafe," a delicious Thanksgiving turkey dinner, a tour of several Barbecue restaurants (most of them closed for the holidays, unfortunately), and roasting imaginary marshmallows over an imaginary camp fire while conducting an imaginary orchestra with a 3-year-old. (Note the "food" theme, so far. Very important. I gained three pounds.)

Also toured the Cherokee Nation, or at least that part of it in Tahlequah. Those shapes above the word "stop" on this sign spell out the word 'stop' (naturally) using the Cherokee alphabet. Which, according to our host, isn't really an alphabet, it's a syllabary: the shapes stand for sounds/syllables, rather than letters. The flags and marker in the background are to honor Cherokee soldiers killed in a variety of U.S. wars.

1 comment:

Your Friendly Mindbloggler said...

Funny how things fit together sometimes - I was just reading a magazine my son brought home from school ("Missouri Conservationist") and thinking gee, this article reminds me of "Where the Red Fern Grows," a book which almost everyone I've mentioned it to apparently hates, at least in part because it, like the article, talks extensively about raccoon hunting. And thus is a way of life, though described about as well as anybody could expect, considered noxious and beneath reproach. The Cherokee are still with us, but in order to survive, did they need to give up what apparently made them beneath reproach?
I hope not - I hope they're still making white people upset somehow.