In 1821, George Guess, a full-blooded Cherokee also known as Sequoyah, invented the Cherokee "syllabary." The syllabary allowed the Cherokee to read and write in their own language. Sequoyah's written words were sometimes called "talking leaves" by Native Americans. The syllabary broke down the Cherokee language into eighty-five characters. The characters represented every combination of vowel and consonant sounds in the Cherokee language.
Photo: The syllabary helped in translating English into the Cherokee language.