North America - the CherokeeIn North America the great Native American genius Sequoyah invented the following system for his own Cherokee people. According to the Cherokee Companion , "The written form of the Cherokee language was developed by Sequoyah, who completed his twelve-year work and gave it to the Cherokee people in 1821. The Cherokee "alphabet" is called a "syllabary" since each character represents a syllable. There were 86 symbols in Sequoyah's original syllabary... [one] was dropped by Sequoyah several years after he created the syllabary.
"The original syllabary was modified by Rev. Samuel A. Worcester, who collaborated with Sequoyah to re-shape the characters into forms that would allow the creation of type for a printing press. The reshaped syllabary characters have been in use since 1828, and have come to be known as Sequoyah's syllabary. The font that we use today follows the tradition set by that "old-style" litho font."
In the table below, Sequoyah's original character is shown
at top, then the character as modified by Worcester, and finally the character
value spelled in roman characters. Nine cells have only the Worcester
character, since the author could not always identify the proper original
Sequoyah character to use.