Sequoyah, Cherokee Indian Museum, Cherokee Reservation NC
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member GA Cacher
N 35° 29.074 W 083° 18.950
17S E 289911 N 3929247
Quick Description: Sculptor Peter Toth hand chiseled this monument of Sequoyah the Native Indian who invented the Cherokee alphabet.. The magnificent sculpture can be found at the Cherokee Indian Museum.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 8/21/2007 5:12:27 AM
Waymark Code: WM21RY
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 165

Long Description:
Peter Toth is a Hungarian emigrant whose family escaped from Hungary just before the Communist takeover in 1956. He was 9 years old. In the US, he developed a strong empathy for American Indians, possibly because of his own experience with oppression. In 1968, the 21 year old Toth began a series of sculptures to honor the American Indian. The first, in California, was sculpted from stone. Over the next 21 years, he sculpted 66 more memorials, at least one in every state, all of wood. For his efforts, he has been given the Indian name "Wolf". His first sculpture in any state was without commission, but I'm told he did accept commissions for subsequent works.


Probably born handicapped, and thus the name Sequoyah (Sikwo-yi is Cherokee for "pig's foot"), Sequoyah fled Tennessee as a youth because of the encroachment of whites. He initially moved to Georgia, where he acquired skills working with silver. While in the state, a man who purchased one of his works suggested that he sign his work, like the white silversmiths had begun to do. Sequoyah considered the idea and since he did not know how to write he visited Charles Hicks, a wealthy farmer in the area who wrote English. Hicks showed Sequoyah how to spell his name, writing the letters on a piece of paper. Sequoyah began to toy with the idea of a Cherokee writing system that year(1809).

He moved to Willstown, Alabama, and enlisted in the Cherokee Regiment, fighting in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, which effectively ended the war against the Creek Redsticks. During the war, he became convinced of the necessity of literacy for his people. He and other Cherokees were unable to write letters home, read military orders, or record events as they occurred.

After the war, he began in earnest to create a writing system. Using a phonetic system, where each sound made in speech was represented by a symbol, he created the "Talking Leaves", 85 letters that make up the Cherokee syllabary (he would later add another symbol, making the total 86). His little girl Ayoka easily learned this method of communication. He demonstrated his syllabary to his cousin, George Lowrey by sending Ayoka outside the house, then asking Lowrey to answer a question. Sequoyah wrote the answer down on a piece of paper, then had Ayoka read the answer to Lowrey. Lowrey encouraged Sequoyah to demonstrate the syllabary in public. A short time later in a Cherokee Court in Chattooga, he read an argument about a boundary line from a sheet of paper. Word spread quickly of Sequoyah's invention. In 1821, 12 years after the original idea, the Cherokee Nation adopted Sequoyah's alphabet as their own. Within months thousands of Cherokee became literate.

SSome text from (visit link)
Type of wood carving: Chainsaw, grinder, chisel & carving tools

Other type:

Artist's Name: Peter Toth

Approximate size/height: 22 feet

Type of wood: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
All logs must be the result of an actual visit to the wooden carving.
"Visited" only remarks will not be accepted.
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