Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What's In a Name?

Just the other day, I happened upon a compilation of treaties between the Cherokee Nation and the United States. The collection includes 17 treaties and agreements, the first from 1785 and the last from 1835. I’m sure it will make for fascinating reading, but one thing jumped out at me when I took a quick look at the treaties...the names of the Cherokee signatories are intriguing to anyone with a love of language. Here’s a partial list from a few of those treaties:

Koatohee, or Corn Tassel of Toquo
Kolakusta, or Prince of Noth
Newota, or the Gritzs of Chicamaga
Tuckasee, or Young Terrapin of Allajoy
Chesecotetona, or Yellow Bird of the Pine Log
Tulco, or Tom of Chatuga
Kowetatahee, in Frog Town
Taliusta, or Porpoise of Tilassi
Wooaluka, the Waylayer

Chuleoah, or the Boots
Canquillehanah, or the Thigh
Sawuttch, or Slave Catcher
Kunoskeskie, or John Watts
Koolaquah, or Big Acorn
Toowayelloh, or Bold Hunter
Cheakoneske, or Otter Lifter
Keshukaune, or She Reigns

Iskagua, or Clear Sky (formerly Nenetooyah, or Bloody Fellow)
Nontuaka, or the Northward
Chutloh, or the King Fisher
Teesteke, or Common Disturber
Tekakisskee, or Taken out of the Water

Chockonnistaller, or Stallion
Utturah, or Skin Worm
Kanowsurhee, or Broom
Tunksalenee, or Thick Legs
Kumamah, or Butterfly
Neckaanneah, or Woman Holder

John Jolly, or Eulatakee
Dreadfulwater, or Aumaudoskee
Sharp Arrow, or Costarauh
Turtle at Home, or Sullicooahwolu
The Glass, or Tunnquetihee

The Bark of Hightower
Currohe Dick
Going Snake
Roman Nose
White Man Killer
Katchee of Cowee
The Gourd
Spring Frog

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