Photographer: Annina Zuber
Cherokee Model: Ylona (who´s wearing our Turquoise Indian Headdress - 95cm)
We want to take a closer look at the native American culture and so we put the today´s spotlight at the native Indian languages. It´s time to proof that there is far more than just stunning Indian headdresses that native Americans are most famous for these days.
With it´s long history and rich culture, the Indigenous Indian community included around 300 different languages. Especially native American women were responsible to pass their languages on to their children to assure that their typical way of speaking may not be forgotten. Surveys estimated that the ´Top 3´ of today´s most spoken Indian languages are Navajo (approx. 150.000 apeakers), Cree (approx. 70.000 speakers) and the Inuit languages (approx. 65.000 speakers). Some of the different tribes had even created their own writing system.
Unfortunately the European colonizers destroyed many of these languages as they suppressed their use to establish their own languages for the official communication. The overseas suppressors even insisted that Natives had to learn their European languages in school and destroyed text in Indigenous languages.
However many Indigenous could preserve their language. It would have been a shame to erase these languages as they are quite special. So have most of them in the North American region a relative small number of vowels. Where languages of the Western part of the US have usually large consonant inventories. Languages of the Pacific West are known for their complex phonotactics (meaning that some words even have no vowels whatsoever).
The native American communities are still famous for their linguistic diversity that left an eternal mark on other language families and that will be hopefully prevented from fading completely away from our today´s world.
"We will be known forever by the tracks we leave." - Proverb from the Dakota