Tahlequah, Oklahoma

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Tahlequah (Cherokee: ᏓᎵᏆ,[3] pronounced /ˈtælɨkwɑː/ TAL-ə-kwah) is a city in Cherokee County, Oklahoma, United States located at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. The population was 14,458 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Cherokee County[4]. The main campus of Northeastern State University is located in the city. It is also the capital of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and the Cherokee Nation. Tahlequah is also known for being featured in the book, Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.


Origin of the name

The name, according to legend, derives from the Cherokee word "Ta'ligwu" meaning "just two," or "two is enough." The "two" refers to a meeting between elders that presumably took place shortly after the Trail of Tears. Three tribal elders had planned to meet to determine the location of the Cherokee Nation's permanent capital. Two elders arrived and waited for the third. As dusk approached, they decided that "two is enough."[citation needed]

A more likely origin for the name is that it is named for an ancient eastern Cherokee town of Great Tellico, the English spelling of Cherokee Talikwa, the meaning of which is lost, according to James Mooney, although some trace it to the word tel-i-quah which is interpreted as "plains".[citation needed]

Indian Capital

Tahlequah has the distinction of being the capital of both the Cherokee Nation and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.

There are several markers of Cherokee and Native American heritage found across town: street signs and business signs appear in the Cherokee language along with English, mostly in the syllabary alphabet created by Sequoyah, a Cherokee scholar of the 1820s.

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