Your Grandmother's Cherokee

Preserving the Cherokee language, one word at a time.


Ancestors--photos of Swimmer and Qweti by James Mooney, Qualla Boundary, 1880s


Feb 8, 2016

Why it matters that I try to figure out the language:

It matters that you try…

It is in the trying that you honor the ones that came before you.

They are why you are here. 

So in the honoring of them, you honor yourself,

And your blood that comes after you.

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HAPPY is an active verb--WORRY is not

Feb 2, 2016

In Cherokee language, HAPPY is an active verb.  The form of it means that someone is doing an action.  Galieliga = I am happy (right now).  Its meaning also includes the feeling of being thankful.

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Snow in the Smoky Mountains.  Photo by Kristy Maney Herron

It is snowing-- Gutiha!

Jan 24, 2016

It’s Snowing –Gutiha

Here in the mountains it has been snowing for several days, as it has throughout the east.  So here are some words for you to use to talk about snow.

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Cherokee runners carry the eternal flame to Red Clay, 1984

Cherokee Running

Jan 16, 2016

“Let’s Run” Using Cherokee Language  “Didadisi” Tsalagi Gawonihisdi Gvdi

Cherokee language includes six different verb roots for running.  Each one can be conjugated into more than 240 forms, using ten persons and twelve tenses, positive and negative.  They include: 

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Outacite, Chief of the Cherokees.  London, 1762

Words for Warriors-- Dahnawa Danatlihi

Jan 11, 2016

The Cherokee word for warrior, Dahnawa Danatlihi,  literally means “War  They-Are-Running-Place.”  One way to translate that would be “They run to the place of war.” Or you could say, “Where they run is war.”

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