SCHS grad embraces Native American stole
Native American and Shelbyville Central High School graduate, Allison LeMaster, moved to Shelbyville 15 years ago with her family. The upcoming graduate and her Cherokee family are now highly anticipating her senior walk, especially as she’ll be wearing, along with her traditional gown regalia, a stole gifted by her tribal elders.
“My family is Eastern Band Cherokee,” says the proud 2020 SCHS graduate. “Our reservation [Qualla Boundary] is located in Cherokee, North Carolina.”
Allison notes proudly how her great-grandmother, grandmother, uncle and cousins live on the reservation. She says proudly how it was her grandmother who coordinated her special stole honor.
Featured on one side of her blue, gold and white stole is her name in Cherokee Syllabary-language. The opposite side inscription represents her alma mater and senior year 2020.
Cherokee syllabary was first invented by Native American Sequoyah in the late 1810s and early 1820s in an effort to write the Cherokee language. His creation of the syllabary is particularly noted in history as Sequoyah could not previously read any script.
Allison said her stole is certainly a family heirloom, which she will hand down someday to her family. The intricate work is indicative of her tribe, she says.
“Cherokee are renowned for their basket weaving and they included [the] noonday sun basket weave pattern on the stole as well.”
So when it comes to formal graduation day on Thursday, Allison says she’ll be proud to have by her side not only her parents, but her tribal elders who expressed recently how they’re very proud of her and can’t wait to see what her future holds.