Letters, actually, in the Cherokee syllabary. Created in the 1810s and 1820s by George Gist, also known as Sequoyah, each symbol represents a syllable. The syllabary achieved great popularity quickly, leading to a dramatic rise in literacy among the Cherokee people. It was adopted by the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper, the first newspaper published by Native Americans in the United States and the first published in a Native American language. The first issue of the Cherokee Phoenix was published in both English and Cherokee on February 21, 1828, in New Echota (in present-day Georgia) , then capital of the Cherokee Nation. The paper continued until 1834, was revived in the 20th century, and today is published on the Web.
This photo, taken at the New Echota historic site, shows the entrance way to the site’s museum.
The original printing press at New Echota was destroyed in 1835 by the Georgia Guard who were brutally keeping the Cherokee “under control.” Three years later, New Echota was a ghost town. Cherokees were rounded up and forcibly moved west in the infamous Trail of Tears, the 175th anniversary of which is being remembered this year.
In 1987, a press similar to the one destroyed in 1835 was donated to the New Echota historic site and today can be viewed by visitors through security bars.
For more letters (and numbers, too) check out Cee’s challenge at http://ceenphotography.com/2013/11/26/cees-fun-foto-challenge-numbers-or-letters/