Webs: Untangled & Knot

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Cherokee Roots

A lot of being a Native American is the culture thereof (“Untangling the Threads of Human Ancestry”, Publisher’s Letter, J. Douglas Kenyon, AR #128). That is ‘identity’ so I have found. I started in 1985, searching my eldest son’s genealogy. I knew at the time if I could prove 25%, I could get his college paid for, but I discovered how difficult that was.

If you were not born on a reservation or had documents, where your direct ancestors were on the Gieon Miller rolls or other census of Native Americans, you were mostly out of luck. Then along came the DNA testing companies. Finally, ‘Family-tree-DNA,’ put out their Family Finder. I have tested self, eldest son, youngest son, father, and grandchildren. In the case of all our family lines, we date, white-wise, back to Jamestown in 1607, and to Willam Penn’s landing in 1682. I have the documentation. Families who date back to then usually have some Native American DNA, but it is through the women who were given white names.

When you get beyond the seventh generation, it is pretty hard to prove. As it turns out, both Creek and Cherokee, probably others, have Mayan/South American Indian that my sons and my grand-daughters all have some South American Indian, which did show up at the seventh generation, which proves my research correct. You can search for lines further back; but it is very expensive, because it is fragmented. Certain surnames are tied to Native American lines, depending on where they are documented. Location is a lot. If your family went thru 1800’s Georgia and on to Alabama—along the Indian trading paths for 200 years—you can bet they have a trace of Native American DNA. Also early settlers from 1820 to 1860 rented farmland from the tribes, on what are now reservations. However, the seventh generation will not get you anything but, the satisfaction of being proven right.

Dianna Bourke Privette, Jacksonville, FL


Cherokee Words

Recently, because I live so close to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian and have some Cherokee heritage, I took it upon myself to learn at least 100 words in the Cherokee language. I had studied Russian while in the Army at the Defense Language Institute.

I ordered the Kindle version of Ronald Firehawk Headly’s English to Cherokee Dictionary of about 1600 basic words. I also ordered on CD the Cherokee Kituwah Dialect Language Sampler, with Speaker Marie Junaluska, published by “Various Indian Peoples Publishing Company” in 1995.

As I began this study, I occasionally noticed a similarity between a Cherokee word and a Russian word. For example, Oni is Russian for “they” and Oni is Cherokee for “they.” In Cherokee, however, the pronouns never stand alone, but are always prefixed to another word. The Cherokee also do not use the letters B, F, P, R and V, whereas Russian is full of these letters. The Cherokee use only 19 letters and the Russian alphabet has 31 letters. I only have the Russian and Cherokee dictionaries as references. In linguistics, Grim’s law states that the G and K sounds can be interchangeable and also the D and T sounds.

As a comparative philology, I would like to offer an edited list of similar words in Cherokee and Russian that I have found thus far, though perhaps not all are pure cognates.


English           Russian           Cherokee

(Phonetically Spelled)


They   ani       ani

Or      ili         ale

On      na        Na Na

Open  otkroita            ahsdoitah

Close  zakroita           ahsdoodee

Sit       saditee tsah-lah-dee

Me      mayah ah-yah

Give    daite    dah-nay-dee

Eggs   yaitze   oo-way-tsee

Cold   holudna           oo-yuh-dlah

I walk ya idu  ah-ee-suh

I          ya        a-ya

Narrow          ooski    ooski-little

What  kakoe   gah doh

Still     tihii      doh-ee

Bad     plahoi  oo-hoi

Eye     glaza   gah-tah

Color  sweta   sueta

Edge   asuti    ostrie

Eider/goose    gaga    sasa

South  yug      uugaana

Wait   zhdaite jagahtiiye

Rattlesnake     kyuska ksuuti

Feel    ahsushenie      asunasdi

Goat   koza     ksooja

Also of note: both bean/beaver- bob/bobra in Russian, is not the same sound as doh yah/doh ya in Cherokee—but the same concept, in that the root word in each language is in agreement.

If indeed Cherokee and Russian have in common a mother tongue, then it would be my speculation that it is truly ancient with a distance of eight to twelve thousand years in the past. The words I have found, then, are possibly of that age. This means that these cognates have not mutated over that span of time in either tongue. It is like finding a golden nugget every time I discover another pairing of words. I now hesitate, thinking that this work has already been done and I would like to read all of it, except I have found no references to a comparative philology of Russian and Cherokee. I have stumbled upon this only by accident. I am now somewhat at a loss on how to collect this information, if it exists.

I chose to use a basic ”pre-contact” vocabulary list. For example, post-contact, the western Indians did not have a word for glass so they used the Spanish word when they came in contact with them. When the Russians closed their forts in California they broke all of their glass bottles; but there was no Indian word for broken glass, so they used the Russian word for bottle—botilku—for broken glass. This is certainly not the case with primary words like pronouns. It is not that Russian influenced Cherokee, rather that both sprang from some ancient mother tongue that we are not yet aware of. This must have been wide ranging, because even in Papua New Guinea oni (they) is used in their language as an indirect object. Perhaps William Davies, who is searching for the world mother tongue, would know of this.

This, of course, brings to mind the origin and location of the mother tongue and on whether the Bering land bridge was a two way avenue allowing migrations to and from North America over thousands of years.

So again, I would like to have references to previous studies, if there are any, or to be directed to someone that has a deeper understanding of this than myself. This would be greatly appreciated.

Garry Crisp, Asheville, NC


Tower of Babel

Steven Sora, in his latest article (“The Tower of Babel Question,” AR #128) discusses the “changing of languages,” at the time Babel was being built, and the authenticity of there being only one language for all prior to that time. If we accept the words of Scripture, then indeed there was only one, and it continued. If the dates are correct as to Babel being built in the year 2300, then there would have been some 7-1/2 centuries from the flood until the beginning of Babel’s pyramid, the flood having occurred some 1250 years after Adam and Eves were expelled from the garden.

This being so, as Steven and Scripture seem to support, then the survivors would have been speaking the “one” language for some time before the changing would have taken place, with enough time for the various family members mentioned in Gen.10, to have multiplied in number. It was originally not the Creator’s intent that said families were to “intermarry.” And it was the idea of Nimrod to change that, under the devil’s influence. Thus the primary reason for language change.

But consider, as Steven mentioned, a number of Hebrew words can be found in other languages. There is a likely answer to this. Simply because a new language came along, it doesn’t mean that everyone forgot the original language. It simply meant that many, could not communicate with one another, unless they used the original one in order to do so.

This makes it likely that the Almighty, at the time of the language changes, kept in use the original language, by allowing his “chosen peoples” to continue to use it, or, the language of ‘Hebrew.’ Eber, a forefather of Abraham, was living at the time of the changing. And why could he have been the only one (and his family) that was intended to be the “in between” for all of the others to turn to, when they wished to know the law and ways of living that had been handed down from the beginning? After all, what language could it have been that had access to all of the history from Genesis one, one, if it was not Hebrew? To think that the people did not write a language on “paper/reeds, etc.” is silly. For they “traded” with one another. Visited on paper. Worked out problems on paper.

I have come to see that the many “languages” that are found chiseled into stone are not really languages so much as they are “shorthand” renditions of the original language, thus keeping alive the original, for the means of clarifying issues. While at the same time, the written languages were likely quite different than the shorthand examples.

Steven brings up the “DeDanim” peoples, or the tribe of Dan, son of Jacob. Yes, Denmark is of Dan, but its settling came from the East—perhaps as late as AD 325. OTOH, Ireland/Iberia was settled by another half-tribe of Dan, that were “sailors,” and traveled along with the Phoenecians to all of the trade fares from Tyre and up the many rivers flowing from the Mediterranean deep into the present Sahara.

Dan became known as “Iberians” first in Spain, Iberia, being a language used in Spain, meaning “Hebrew,” these Danites settled earlier in Ireland, since they hauled tin, etc., from there to the trade centers. Barry Fell mentions the Iberian “shorthand” being on stones found in the eastern U.S. centuries before the present era.

Ray E. Daly, Bismark, ND


Big Bang and Time

In the “iNews” section of AR #127 (“Our Universe Should Not Exist, Study Says,” pp. 20) is a brief mention of a basic mystery in modern physics. For theoretical reasons, physicists believe that the universe began with a “Big Bang” and that equal amounts of matter and antimatter must have been created. Physicists also say that an antimatter particle (like a positron) can be thought of as a regular particle (like an electron) traveling backward in time. If this is so, is it possible that, at the instant of the Big Bang, our universe went forward (what we consider forward) in time and another universe of equal mass went backward in time (its inhabitants, if any, would see that as forward in time)? That universe would be (from our perspective) composed of antimatter.

Pat Alexander, Sacramento, CA


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