‘At the Mountain’s Base’ book translated into Cherokee

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
10/05/2020 09:00 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The 2019 book “At the Mountain’s Base” by Cherokee author Traci Sorell has been translated into Cherokee by linguist John Ross.
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The 2019 book “At the Mountain’s Base” by Cherokee author Traci Sorell has been translated into Cherokee by linguist John Ross.
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee author Traci Sorell’s 2019 book “At the Mountain’s Base” has been translated into Cherokee by linguist John Ross.

The book tells the story of a Cherokee family awaiting the return of their kin serving as a pilot during World War II. The book’s afterword summarizes the achievements of Native women in the armed forces and mentions the military career of Ola Mildred Rexroat, a Lakota pilot who served during World War II and the Korean Conflict.

The story’s structure, a circular poem, is what appealed to Sorell.

“So, we start at the mountain’s base and that’s where we end up. We go on this journey that really talks about this family who are waiting for another family member to come home,” she said.

Namrata Tripathi, the book’s publisher, and Jasmin Rubero, the art director of Kokila Books, talked about seeing what it would cost to provide an oversized edition for schools and programs to teach the Cherokee language to use in read alouds, but it was cost prohibitive,” Sorell said.

“It worked better to reach everyone wherever they want the book,” she added. “Someone at home learning the language through our Cherokee Nation online courses, students in schools, universities or homeschooling, and those in our at-large communities around the world all have access to the electronic book, which is the best possible scenario.”

To find a translator, Sorell reached out to Jeff Edwards with the CN Language Translation Department to recommend someone who does freelance translation work. John Ross was recommended.

“The intent behind it is to help anyone learning our language to have a Cherokee story to read in the syllabary outside of what may be included in Cherokee language curriculum,” she said.

It took Ross about two weeks this past summer to do the translation.

“Since he does this work outside of his full-time language translation work for Cherokee Nation, he had work on another project to finish first before starting ‘At the Mountain’s Base,’” she said.

The e-book version can be purchased for $10.99 online from Penguin Random House at https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/671561/at-the-mountains-base-cherokee-edition-by-traci-sorell-illustrated-by-weshoyot-alvitre/ and through Apple Books, Google Play Store, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million or Kobo.

Penguin’s Listening Library is also producing an audiobook for “At The Mountain’s Base” to be read by Colville, Salish-Kootenai, Cherokee actor Kimberly Guerrero. She is a native Oklahoman from Idabel and a University of California Los Angeles graduate.

Guerrero enjoys a career in entertainment as an actor, screenwriter and director, and works with tribal communities throughout North America as an advocate for personal and community wellness. She is most often recognized as “Winona,” Jerry’s Native American girlfriend on “Seinfeld” and starred as Wilma Mankiller in the movie the “Cherokee Word for Water.” This year she is appearing in the movie, “The Glorias,” again playing Mankiller.

The audiobook will be released on Dec. 8. It will be available for $7 and can be downloaded from Libro.fm, Audible, Google Play Store, audiobooks.com, audiobookstore.com and Kobo.
About the Author
Will Chavez is a Cherokee/San Felipe Pueblo Indian who has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 25 years. During that time he has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a writer, reporter and photographer for the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers. 

For many years h ...
WILL-CHAVEZ@cherokee.org • 918-207-3961
Will Chavez is a Cherokee/San Felipe Pueblo Indian who has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 25 years. During that time he has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a writer, reporter and photographer for the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers. For many years h ...

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