Cherokee Coin

By: Cherokees

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The Cherokee Coin Called "Adela", pronounced phonetically as "ah-day-la" which means money in the Cherokee language, since there is no word in Cherokee for dollar. This word is accepted to mean dollar in Cherokee, this could be said to be a Cherokee dollar in English.

The front of the Cherokee coin has a likeness of John Ross inside the seven pointed star, the greatest and longest seated Chief of the Cherokee Nation, he served from 1827 till his death in 1866 , the star represents the seven clans of the Cherokee People, the words written in the Cherokee syllabary between the points are the seven clans of the Cherokee.

The Coin. is stamped on the top edge above Ross's head 99.9% Silver, on the bottom edge is stamped the number of the coin in the sequence of the total minting, weighing one troy ounce, and is the exact same size as a U.S. Silver dollar. The apparent English D on the face of the coin is actually a character from the Cherokee syllabary and is the first character in the word Adela pronounced "ah", in the center of the character D is 1 signifying one Adela, the English numeral "1" was used because there is no single character representing one in the Cherokee language, the phonetic spelling and pronunciation of one is "sa-wu". Therefore a Cherokee speaker would say "sa-wu-ah-de-la" and would be understood to mean one dollar or one Adela if that be the conversation topic.

The number 2000, is the year minted, the background behind Ross's head, signifies rising sun, the bird signifies rising phoenix. This is what a group of Cherokee call a project they are involved in, the reviving of the Cherokee Nation Government with in the bounds of the 1839 Constitution of the Cherokee. The bird is called in the Cherokee language the coowescoowee bird which means the great white bird, which was John Ross's Cherokee Name!!

The Back of the coin has a likeness of the original 1839 Cherokee Nation Seal, which is different than the one the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (CNO), The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee in Oklahoma (UKB), or the Eastern Band of Cherokee (EBC) of North Carolina uses.

Back in the 1980's Chief Swimmer commissioned a Navajo artist to re do the symbol of the Seal used as the official seal, on letterheads and the (CNO) flag as it is known today, where ever you see anything of the CNO you will see the modified seal. I have seen the Cherokee Nation Flag that was done after removal once, The Elder Paul Thomas had possession of it, where it is today I do not know, seems I remember the background being a light grey with a bluish tint, The Cherokee originally, had two flags, a war flag that was red, and a peace flag that was white, a story told by an elder was the war flag was buried along with a war hatchet prior to the removal.

The likeness of the Seal on this Coin which is also the official Seal of the United Cherokee Nation is correct, as our ancestors designed it, one single point of the 7 pointed star points upward, and is a very important part of Cherokee culture, it points to the "CREATOR" above, the two points pointing downward signifies the creator's way, it takes two of all, for the perpetuation of creation.

The Coin has the correct Cherokee writing for Cherokee Nation, as close as can be spoken or written in Cherokee anyway, because there is no word for Nation. The garland image on the back of the coin is of oak leaves, which has a very significant meaning in the Cherokee culture, for life and strength. the CNO seal has Laurel leaves insignificant in Cherokee culture. This Cherokee coin was designed by a Cherokee, the presently seated Chief of the United Cherokee Nation, Robin Mayes, who is the great-great-grandson of Chief John Ross.