Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sequoyah's Cabin To Become Oklahoma Literary Landmark | Sequoyah's Cabin To Become Oklahoma Literary Landmark

The great Cherokee inventor, scholar and warrior, Sequoyah, will be honored this fall when the Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma (FOLIO) add Sequoyah's home to the National Literary Landmark Register.

FOLIO will celebrate the contributions of Sequoyah to Cherokee and Oklahoma culture and make his Sequoyah County cabin the sixth Oklahoma Literary Landmark to be listed on the National Literary Landmark Register.

Sequoyah, inventor of the Cherokee syllabary, is the most famous Cherokee in the tribe's long history. The syllabary, introduced in 1821, consists of 84 characters that represent the 84 syllables used in speaking Cherokee. It quickly led to almost universal literacy among Cherokees in their own language.

Principal Chief Chad Smith said, "The Cherokee language is important to maintaining our cultural heritage and identity. The Cherokee language enhances the quality of life of our people. We at Cherokee Nation are pleased to provide these funds to help commemorate Sequoyah's contributions to our tribal culture, history and literacy as well as to be a good partner with our communities."

FOLIO's multiyear centennial project, "Oklahoma Literary Landmarks," which began in 2001, will honor Sequoyah and his cabin at 1 p.m. Oct. 6. Sequoyah's cabin and home site are located off State Highway 101, east of U.S. Highway 59, east of the small town of Akins.


Yargee said, "I attended a planning meeting of Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma and learned that they were going to honor Sequoyah (this year) and Will Rogers (next year) with Literary Landmarks for their contributions in literacy and works for and on behalf of the Cherokee people. Personally, I thought this was a very noteworthy event and we as Cherokee Nation citizens should also be involved in and sponsor part of their agenda and activities."


Additional guest speakers on Oct. 6 will include Marilyn Hinshaw, director of the Eastern Oklahoma District Library System; Susan McVey, state librarian for the Oklahoma Department of Libraries; and Bethia Owens, Sequoyah County librarian.

Previous honorees in the FOLIO Oklahoma Literary Landmarks program with ties to the Cherokee Nation include home of Cherokee playwright Lynn Riggs (1899-1954), author of "Green Grow the Lilacs," upon which Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1943 musical "Oklahoma!" was based.

Cherokee Nation is helping FOLIO celebrate the two famous Cherokees, Sequoyah and Will Rogers, by contributing $3,000.

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