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Re: "Tell Them They Lie"

Dan Moonhawk Alford wrote:
> > I saw this book in the Muskogee, Oklahoma, library, along with other
> > Cherokee material.
> I've read the book fairly closely, and beyond that, being part Cherokee
> myself, they're relatives of mine. And beyond THAT, after 30 years with
> Turtle Islanders 

	Who are the Turtle Islanders?  I've never heard of
them before.

> I can only say that I would take a book like this
> seriously no matter what tribe it was from; indigenes don't sit down to
> write books for the Invaders unless there's a really good reason.

	There is a reason.  Some oppressed ethnic groups go
too far in trying to regain pride in their heritage. 
Some Black Americans have written that the Pharaohs of
Egypt were actually black.  I can't accept that.  They
have the same reasons to write such things as did the
authors of "Tell Them They Lie".  But they don't need
to!!!  Sub-Saharan Blacks and Native Americans have
plenty to be proud of without resorting to
exaggeration!!!!!!  The Cherokee can be proud indeed to
count a man like Sequoyah among their numbers.  And
Black Americans can well be proud of their ancestors'
genuine accomplishments.  That's why  E. Jefferson
Murphy's *History of African Civilization* is so

> >     So these native African writing systems - phonemic, syllabic, and
> > ideographic - all developed in a manner quite analogous to that of
> > what Sequoyah did.  We've even have the name of a possible inventor of
> > one script, D. Bukele for the Vai syllabary of Liberia.  In light of
> > the differing situations seen in Africa, the traditional view of a
> > sole man, Sequoyah, inventing a writing system for his people seems
> > quite tenable.
> Sure, it's tenable; it's possible and even plausible -- but is that
> enough? Tell me: did any relatives of D. Bukele publicly object to the
> story that he developed it from scratch by writing a book to set history
> straight?


I find:
"By dreams, indigenous
systems of writing were invented. Dwaki Bukele
(Vai tribe) invented such a system. Other scripts
are Bassa Vah (invented by Di Widah), Kpelle by
chief Gbili of Sonoyea, and Bond Lorma by
Widoh Zobo from Lofa County. "


I find:

"The ninth part discusses the invention of writing in
modern times,
both by experienced linguists, and by previously
individuals. In the latter case, the possibility of
writing was either
imparted to the individual by direct contact with a
culture which
possessed writing; such was the case with Sequoyah, the
inventor of
the Cherokee script. Or else, the inventor of writing
was supposedly
inspired by a dream, as in the case of Momolu Duwalu
Bukele, the
inventor of the Vai (West African) script, or by a
vision as in the
case of Shong Lue Yang, the inventor of the Pahawh
script. Discounting the scripts (such as Cree) invented
by linguists,
most of these writing systems are not particularly
remarkable, qua
writing system; this, of course is not to say anything
about the
remarkableness of their invention."

	I'd be most curious to hear more about D. Bukele.  If
anyone finds something, please tell us!

> Has anyone ever found examples of Mormon "golden tablet" writing on the
> web? I'd love to compare it to Cree.

	Ah!  Robert Firth and I just had an interesting
discussion of this.  On a site for the Reorganized
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (RLDS; one
of Joseph Smith's sons led this group because they
could not accept polygamy; they did not join Brigham
Young's Great Trek westward and now have their
headquarters in Independence Missouri USA):


there is a link to a replica of the Gold Plates:


	Robert tells me that the official LDS line is that the
plates were in Hieratic Egyptian.  I have samples of
both Hieratic and Demotic Egyptian in front of me.  The
characters look closer to Hieratic than to Demotic, but
they don't have the flowing character of either
Hieratic or Demotic.  Or they may be nonsense
symbols.   A much better Egyptologist than me would
have to comment.