How to use Cherokee Place Names

We suggest that you click on the Index button above.  That will open up a useful starting place with partial lists of the many place names in the blog.  There are links to specific sections containing a given group of names so that you can quickly locate information about each one. Note that there is also a “Search” function on the upper left of this and other pages.  You can use it to search this site for any word you wish.  [Unfortunately, for the mobile version, one must scroll all the way to the bottom of a section to find the search function.  The search function on the mobile version can be most quickly located by going to the Index section or the About section.  They are much shorter than the Home section, and you will be able to scroll very quickly to the bottom of each of them to find the search button.  Any search button you find anywhere on the site will search the entire site.]

You may also find the About section worth browsing.  It contains links to a number of interesting external sites, including spoken Cherokee samples  and Amazing Grace sung in Cherokee. Your comments are always welcome. We send a special greeting to the Rabun County [GA] Historical Society.  They seem to have one of the best organized county historical websites in the old Cherokee country.

To make the content of this blog more widely available, the materials in it have been reorganized, extended, and provided with more illustrations and maps to create a Kindle version, which can be read on any tablet or computer with an installed Kindle reader.  The e-book has a table of contents with hyperlinks to the chapters and a list of illustrations, also with links.  There are a few internal links for cross-references, and there are external links for additional reading and research. There is an extensive index, but the items in the index do not have links because many items occur in more than one place.  Searching from the index can be done with the normal Kindle or other reader’s  search function.   The illustrations are in full color when a color-enabled e-reader is used. The book, now in its second expanded and enlarged edition [as of 23 February 2013], can be found at this link on Amazon.  It is speech-enabled, and I am impressed with how much that technology has advanced.  The voices are no longer robot-like and they generally pronounce English words and  sentences quite well.   However, the pronunciation of Cherokee words is less than perfect, as would be expected.   [Note that the Eastern Cherokee Treaty Signers pages are not included in the book.] [The price has been set at $2.99.] Thank you for your interest in Cherokee Place Names.

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Eastern Cherokee Treaty Signers

It is useful to see the names of the Cherokee men who signed the various treaties made specifically with the Cherokee by the United States, beginning in 1785.  The names of some of the signers have become place names in the southeastern United States.

So that we can look at the signers’ names, I have arranged the treaties chronologically, and I have listed the signers for each treaty alphabetically by the first word of each name.   For perhaps obvious reasons, I have chosen to omit the Treaty of New Echota [1835], because this false treaty was signed by a group of Cherokee who were not authorized representatives of the tribe, and which formed the spurious legal basis for the Removal [“Trail of Tears”].  See this page for details of the Removal.

Because this list is long, please note the page numbers at the bottom of each page.   Click on the next page number to continue.

The majority of the Cherokee signers were not literate in English and the Cherokee had no written language until the early 1820s.  Signing was usually done by “his mark,” normally an “X.”   Because the name of the signer had to be written down beside his mark, it was mostly white people who had the task of creating some reasonable spelling of the Cherokee names.  The results were often quite strange, variable, and difficult to decipher even by one who knows a great deal about the Cherokee language.  Different transcribers often had quite different spellings and some of the transcribers—in my opinion—probably were very poor spellers in English, with distorted notions of how sounds should be written.  We all tend to hear sounds of some foreign language differently anyway. [Hobson-Jobsonism: altering foreign words or expressions to fit the speech and spelling patterns of another language, in this case, English.] Moreover, perhaps some of the transcribers may have been Cherokee or other Indians who also served as witnesses or even as signers and whose command of written English was less than perfect.

A good example of variability comes with the name Wyuka on the Treaty of Hopewell.  The same chief appears as Skyuka on the Treaty of Holston [1792] and the Treaty of Philadelphia [1791].  His name in Cherokee was probably Kiyuga, which retains its meaning as chipmunk, which we in the mountains call “ground squirrel” in English.

In a future post, I will provide more information about the meanings of some of the names of the signers, but, for now I will avoid making any notes directly in this list.

Treaty of Hard Labour, 1768

Chinistoe

Conanennah

Cotchatoy

Ecuy

Mankiller of Chote

Otacite of Quaratrie

Oucconnastotah

Raven of Newcassie

Raven of Tugaloo

Saliey

The Wolf of Keowee

Tiftoe

Tuckassie Keowee

Usteneca

Warrior of Cowie

Willinawaw

 

Treaty of Lochaber, 1770

Altahkullakulla

Chinista

Chinista Watoga

Chukamuctas

Ecuij

Kaheatoy

Kinnatitah

Kittagusta

Otacite of Higwassie

Oucconnastotah

Skaliloske

Tarrapin

Teutchkee

Tiftoy

Uka Youla

Wolf of Keowee

 

Treaty of Hopewell, 1785

Akonoluchta, the Cabin

Amokontakona, Kutcloa

Cheanoka, of Kawetakac

Chescoonwho, Bird in Close of Tomotlug

Chesecotetona, or Yellow Bird of the Pine Log

Chesetoa, or the Rabbit of Tlacoa

Chokasatahe, Chickasaw Killer Tasonta

Chonosta, of Cowe

John, of Little Tallico

Keukuck, Talcoa

Kolakusta, or Prince of Noth

Konatota, or the Rising Fawn of Highwassay

Kostayeak, or Sharp Fellow Wataga

Kowetatahee, in Frog Town

Lach’n McIntosh Koatohee, or Corn Tassel of Toquo

Necatee, of Sawta

Newota, or the Gritzs of Chicamaga

Onanoota, of Koosoate

Ookoseta, or Sower Mush of Kooloque

Ooskwha, or Abraham of Chilkowa

Scholauetta, or Hanging Man of Chota

Skeleak

Sketaloska, Second Man of Tillico

Tatliusta, or Porpoise of Tilassi

Toostaka, or the Waker of Oostanawa

Tuckasee, or Terrapin of Hightowa

Tuckasee, or Young Terrapin of Allajoy

Tulatiska, of Chaway

Tulco, or Tom of Chatuga

Tuskegatahu, or Long Fellow of Chistohoe

Umatooetha, the Water Hunter Choikamawga

Unsuokanail, Buffalo White Calf New Cussee

Untoola, or Gun Rod of Seteco

Will, of Akoha

Wooaluka, the Waylayer, Chota

Wyuka, of Lookout Mountain

Yellow Bird