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Tlingit Conversation #34
Speakers are Wooshjix̱oo Éesh George Ramos and Achkwéi Lena Farkas. Recorded July 23, 2010, at the home of Achkwéi Lena Farkas in Yakutat, Alaska, later on at Ḵaa Googu Yík beach near Yakutat. Recording by Ljáaḵkʼ Alice Taff and Ḵaa Saayí Tláa Amanda Bremner. This is a continuation of recording #33.
This material is based on work supported by National Science Foundation grant BCS-0853788 to the University of Alaska Southeast with Ljáaḵkʼ Alice Taff as Principal Investigator and by National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship 266286-19 to Ljáaḵkʼ Alice Taff. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or National Endowment for the Humanities.
Tlingit transcription by Naakil.aan Mark Hans Chester. English translation by Kaséix̱ Selina Everson and Ljáaḵkʼ Alice Taff. Edited by X̱ʼaagi Sháawu Keri Eggleston.
SYMBOLS: {false start}. (added for clarity). [translator/transcriber's note]. ??? = can’t understand. «Lingít quotation marks». Time-aligned text for this video was accomplished using ELAN ((Versions 6.0 (2020), 6.1 (2021), and 6.3 (2022) [Computer software]. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Language Archive. Retrieved from
He, he told all the other little birds, "Iʼm going to teach you how to build a nest," and he invited all the different kind of little birds. And, uh, he, he said um, "When you build a little nest," he was, a, picking up all the little sticks and stuff and putting it on there, like a little nest. And he, when he was through doing that, then he got some little mud
Tsoox̱aan sáwé mud?
Is “tsoox̱aan” mud?
Thatʼs mud. And he put that inside it. And some of the, uh, birds took off. "Oh yeah, I know how to make a nest. I know how to make a nest." So they took off. And then he took feathers, sort of like down feathers from from his chest. Around his chest and stuff. And put it on there. And some of the birds took off again, "I know how to make a nest. I know how to make a nest." And by the time he got through, he said, "OK, hereʼs the nest," there was just one little bird sitting there. And he learned how to make a nest from the beginning to the end. And thatʼs a parable. And if youʼre going to learn something, do it from the first to the end. Donʼt get up and go. Because you wonʼt know how to really do it. And that, thatʼs the thing behind it. And these are things he likes to tell and theyʼre true. You have to, a, stay there from beginning to end if you really want to learn how to make a nest. {If you want } If you really want to learn, Anything to how, how to do anything, whatever is, is offered to you that you want to do, from the beginning to the end. Itʼs just like
Ḵaa Saayí Tláa.
[personal name, Amanda Bremner Porter]
She wants to learn Tlingit. She wants to read and write it. She wants to live it. And so sheʼs going to take all the advantage of, of all the recordings and what she already knows until she can sit and talk. Talk and say, "This is the way we do it. This is the way itʼs done. "And Iʼm real proud of her cause sheʼs one of the few that really wants to take the language. So is Joeʼs, uh, uh, grandson. And theyʼre determined theyʼre going to learn. And these are the kind of people that I like to help that I know they want to do it and, and talk it and write it and live it. Even, even if it happens like this uh, um, glacier galloped again, sheʼd know, what to do. Uh, either weʼd get in a boat and save ourself or call for help on the, a, army and stuff. Weʼd have to move to a different place. But sheʼll remember and have all the things that, that a, the way our life used to be here. Maybe weʼd only move 40 or 50 miles away but she still remember all the things we did here. And so thatʼs what heʼs, what heʼs, a, talking about.
When, when they told me the story, they, they told me the story quite a few times. And like I was telling you, the, the, the uncle is a shrewd man. He donʼt say youʼre a good boy. He donʼt tell you, "Good." ??? You make a mistake, heʼll say, "Ooh! You sissy or you ???" Thatʼs the way they ??? One of the birds that built a perfect nest is the hummingbird. The other one that was sitting there, I forgot because I never used it for so long. And I donʼt know, just as some, somebody some place who heard the story, they could tell me what the other bird is that was sitting there last. But this is the way they used to instruct young boys. Like I said, we talk about Blackskin. [Duktóotl] Blackskin is one of the first stories they tell you. Theyʼll tell you the story of what he did. How he pulled up a tree. How he tore the sealion in half. But they never tell you the moral of the story. Why are they telling you? The moral of the story is, he trained himself. They call it self discipline. And so thatʼs why they tell you that story.
Aadéi kg̱idashooch yé.
The way you will bathe.
That inner spirit. You know. And I, I always used to think about that.
Lessons to learn.
Always comes back to me. Think about it. If you instill this word and they capture it, theyʼll think about the things thatʼs going on around.
Sh kakg̱idaḵáa.
You will put yourself on a mission.
You will see yourself to do things. Thatʼs another parable. Thereʼs another parable on that.
Nóosguk'w Ḵáak'w. Thatʼs his name.
Little Wolverine Man.
What is it?
Nóosguk'w Ḵáak'w.
Little Wolverine Man.
The wolverine.
Ḵeix̱'éix' áyú
In the early morning
aysateení wa.éich
when you see it,
shaa yáx̱ yaa gashxíxch noosgúk'w,
running along the face of the mountain, the wolverine,
ḵushee nooch.
always searching.
Shux'wáanáx̱ {kaw}
When he first
shawdanoogú ḵu.aa áyú s,
wakes up though
shaa yadaatx̱ áyú
from around the mountain
yínde at latín nooch,
always looking down,
ldakát át áyú
a daax' yóo tután yínde
he thinks about down
héen x̱'ayaax̱dé.
along the water.
Aag̱áa áyú,
And then,
du tóog̱aa at wuteeyí áyú yéi yanaḵéich, «Há!
if things are satisfactory to him, he says, “Hmm!
Tlél wáa sá at utí.»
Everythingʼs fine.”
Aag̱áa áyá s g̱unéi oosheexch.
Then he starts to run.
Shaa yáx̱ yaa gashxíxch.
He runs along the face of the mountain.
Tsu ḵeix̱'é ch'a g̱óot aa ḵeix̱'é áyá tsu áx' daak oogootch.
Dawn again, another day dawns and he emerges there again.
Yínde yóo at ultínch yá.
Always looking down.
And so!
Wáa sáyá
How is this
áa g̱unéi aa kaawaxíx yóo téix'i sáani.
one of the pebbles started to fall there.
Ch'a g̱óot yá g̱un One little rock moved.
A different
ch'a g̱óot yéide kateen. ???
different place.
Tle áwé l ooltín.
Just not watching.
“Go ahead!
Aadéi neeshxeex.»
Run over there.”
Dei nashxíxch.
He runs.
K'idéin a daa yakḵwas.áa.
I will inspect it carefully.
Wáanáx̱ sáyú
Why is it
g̱unéi kaawaxeex yá yú té?
the pebble started falling?
Yéi áyá.
Thatʼs the way it is.
Kéi ikg̱wawáat.
Thatʼs how you will grow.
Aaá. Aadéi sh kakg̱idaḵáa.
Yes. You tell yourself to go there.
Táatx' tayeedéi kg̱eegoodí áyú,
When youʼre going to bed at night,
you will think,
«Daaḵw.aa sá yéi kḵwsanéi seig̱ánin ḵeix̱'éidáx̱?»
“Which one am I going to work on/fix tomorrow after dawn?”
Yú áyú.
Thatʼs how it is.
Ách áyá ch'a g̱óot yéide at kadayéini,
Thatʼs why when things are different,
sh kakg̱idaḵáa.
you will send yourself on a mission.
Ách á yéi duwasáakw Nóosguk'w Ḵáak'w.
Thatʼs why they call him Little Wolverine Man.
Ch'áagu yóo x̱'atángi áyá.
These are words from long ago.
Mhm. This is really long time ago talk. And they did, the people a long time ago, the Tlingit was sort of different than what it is today. And uh, this little, what did he call it, wolverine, used to go around the mountains, the face of the mountains there looking. Looking down in the water, down the beach, see whatʼs going on. And this one day, they saw a little rock moving. And they told him, "Go down there and see what that little rock, why itʼs moving." And so thereʼs, what theyʼre telling him is, when you see something different happening down there, you go down there and find out what it is. And, and so all these little parables are taught, um, so that you remember. And the parables of different things that they ask of you. Itʼs just like this one, a couple years ago, down at Celebration, I heard, um, Clarence Jackson tell this one that I thought was so neat. And I donʼt know if anybody from Yakutat heard what he said. He was thanking the people of Yakutat because they came dancing in first. They always pick what dance groupʼs going to come dancing in first. And, a, he said, everybody from this village had gone fishing. They were all gone except for the old ladies and the old men. And this old man in the morning, before the sun came up, heʼd go down the beach there, sit on a big rock and heʼd watch the sun coming up. And this little boy, every morning went down to get water and come back. And he used to wonder what this old man was doing going down to the rock, sitting there and watching the sun come up. Heʼd sit there until the sun went down. And one day the old man didnʼt show up. So the little boy ran down there to the rock and he thought to himself, well, Iʼm going to try this. Iʼm going to go sit on a rock and sit there for, for as long as that old man used to sit. So he sat there and he watched the sun come up until it went down. And he wondered why the old man did this and he found out. The sun used to warm him through his whole body and made him feel good cause he had arthritis too and probably some other ailment. But this sun getting him warm was why he sat there all the time from morning til, til night. And uh, this is what, uh, Clarence Jackson said to the Yakutat dancers, St. Elias Dancers, he said, {he made} this young man made uh, realize the sun made him feel warm and warmed his body up and felt good. And he said, "This is the way you folks, the St. Elias Dancers, has made me feel and I want to thank you." So the dancers made him feel good. And thatʼs why he used that as a parable saying, "This is the way you made me feel."
Áwé aan áwé
From the village
aax̱ ḵoowdigáas' x̱áa yanshukaadéi yú
they moved see, to go to camp
asg̱eiwú áwé.
for fishing.
Ah, aax̱ ḵoowdigáas' ch'as yisikóo ch'as wé
Uh, they moved from there and you just know
yanwáatx' áwé ch'a neilx' has dunáḵ.
the older people were left at home.
Has du náḵ asg̱eiwú ḵukdagás'ch.
They would leave them to go fishing.
Ch'as wé atk'átsk'u áwé wé du léelk'w,
Just the kid, his grandparents,
ḵáa aa du léelk'w ḵa shaawát shákdé wé x̱áa
his grandfather and grandmother maybe, see,
{has alti} hóoch áwé has altín wé atk'átsk'uch.
he watches them, the boy.
Áwé, wé ḵáa shaan áwé ch'a tlákw áwé ḵeix̱'éi ḵa chʼu l g̱agaan kéi ooxeexjí wé,
And so, this old man, whenever dawn and even before the sun would come up,
wé éiḵ té tlein káa áwé g̱anúkch.
and he would sit on a large rock on the beach.
Tle g̱agaan
When the sun
kéi naxíxi wé ch'a áa g̱anúkch.
is coming up, he would just sit there.
Tle, tle yáa
tle, tle yáa
yagiyee kaanáx̱ áwé ch'a, ch'a
all day long, just, just
tle g̱agaan yan, {yan woox}
when the sun
yéináx̱ wuxeexí áwé tsá aax̱ gadahánch tsú neildé.
sets, then he stands up and goes home.
Á áwé
yá Celebration-x'.
at Celebration.
Áwé, ah,
That is, uh,
Clarence Jackson-ch áwé kaneek.
Clarence Jackson is the one telling it.
Áwé tléix' yagiyee áwé tlél
Then one day
tlél át wugoot wé ḵáa shaan,
the old man didnʼt arrive there,
wé du léelk'w, ách áwé áa woonook.
his grandfather, thatʼs why he sat there.
Kei kukḵwa.áaḵw, wáanáx̱ sá kwshé yá áa g̱anúkji,
Iʼll try to figure out why he sits there,
héi ḵaa léelk'w.
that grandfather.
Át áa wé atk'átsk'u, tle ch'a áa woonook.
The little boy sitting there, he just sat there.
Tle {wé s} wé g̱agaan yéináx̱ wuxeexí áwé tsá,
Then when the sun set,
aax̱ wudihaan.
he got up from there.
Tle k'idéin uwat'áa tliyáa du
He was nice and warm,
ldakát yá {d tle du du x̱'} du sháadáx̱ tle du x̱'oosdéi áwé k'idéin uwat'áa.
from head to toe he was really warm.
Ásíwégé yóo ḵáa shaan tle ldakát tle yáa du daa.ít néegu,
Maybe thatʼs why the old man, when his whole body aches,
tsú aax̱ nahéich yá g̱agaan tóox'.
it goes away in the sun.
Tóot aayí.
The warmth.
K'idéin sh tóo danúkch.
He feels good.
Yéi áyá yáa Yaakwdáat St. Elias Dancers
The St. Elias Dancers of Yakutat are that way
ax̱ ée yatee, ch'a ldakát x̱át áyá ax̱ toowú yak'éi.
for me, I feel good all over.
Clarence Jackson yóo x̱'atángi áwé.
These are the words of Clarence Jackson.
So thatʼs what it is. Clarence is good at telling these kind of stories, too.
Haaw. Hóoch' áwé. [At sh ooḵ.]
Well. Thatʼs it. [laughter.]
Yéi shákdé yáa
Yéi ák.wé?
Thatʼs it?
Hóoch' áwé ákwshé?
Thatʼs the end?
Yeah. Thatʼs about as much as he, yeah, weʼre done for today.
??? een yóo x̱'agax̱tula.aadí kwshé?
Weʼre going to talk with ???, right?
Um, Hans, we need for him to write to us and let us know when heʼs coming up again, if he does come up again, so that we can think about what, what we can talk about. Itʼs hard to just come one day and say, we want you to talk. We can think about what, what weʼre going to say. OK?
When, when theyʼre going to have a potlatch and you know that you have to say
Achkwéi yóo x̱at duwasáakw.
My name is Achkwéi. [We move to a beach location.]
Yaakwdáatdáx̱ áyá.
From Yakutat.
K'inéix̱ Ḵwáan, Yéil naax̱ x̱at sitee.
Iʼm of the ??? people, of the Raven moiety.
Yáa Alice áyá yáa
That Alice
Ankawt yóo tuwaháa.
we wanted to go to Ankaw.
Lingít x̱'éináx̱ «Ḵaa Gooxʼu Yík» yóo duwasáakw.
In Tlingit it is called «Ḵaa Goox'u Yík».
áx' áyá yáa
there, this
{yáa áx', áx' kéi} ḵées' kéi dayíx̱ch
ḵées' kéi oodáaych yéi áyá
the tide comes up like this
tle yáa Pacific Ocean-dáx̱.
from the Pacific Ocean.
Á áyá
That is
laaḵ'ásk áyá {áa kanatl a} áa kana.éich yáa
seaweed grows there
yóox̱ yaa ḵukg̱ahéinín
when the season is changing
May ḵa June.
May and June.
Á áwé
ḵa yá tsaa tsú.
and the seals too.
{Déex̱} Tléix' xáanaa yáx̱ áwé yáax' haa ux̱éich.
We'd spend one night here.
Yú ḵeix̱'éix' haat
At dawn
haat tooḵoox̱ch yaakw g̱eit.
we'd come by boat.
Yáa neilnáx̱.áx' wé ax̱ éeshch áwé
On the inside my father
Ḵachgéi yóo duwasáakw.
Ḵachgéi he was called.
Ch'a wé s'ísaa
The cloth
áwé yáa
that is
yáa haa,
yáa ch'áakw káa yéi ana.eich.
long ago he'd put it over it.
A káx̱ {a yaa ei} ayooyéeshch.
He'd pull it over it.
A tayeex' áwé xáanaax' {natoow}
Underneath it at night
we'd sleep.
Ch'a wé ḵeix̱'éix' g̱aa áwé yéi kg̱walg̱éinín ???
Early in the morning, ???
wé tsaa áwé oo.óonch
heʼd shoot the seal
yáadáx̱ yandáx̱.
from here, from shore.
Yáa {há} haa ig̱ayáak áwé s kéi ulhaashch yáx̱,
Then it would float up to the shoreline
yax̱ {ya} yéi naléini.
when the tide is going down.
Aag̱áa áwé
yá íḵde ntoo.átch yá té ká wé,
we'd go to the beach on the rock,
wé laaḵ'ásk,
the seaweed,
yéi daatoonéi nooch.
we'd work on it.
K'idéin aatlein haa jeex' yéi wuteeyí áwé yáa daaḵkʼ
When we get enough,
daaḵ too.aatch.
we come up.
Ch'a yáa chookán, ḵa yáa
The beach grass and the
kéi kana.éin át káx' áwé
the things growing,
ax̱ tláach wé
my mother
yá at kag̱áaji,
a cloth,
ḵach'u wé nadáakw kag̱áaji
or a table cloth
wé a káx̱ akg̱ayéich.
she'd spread it out.
Aag̱áa áwé
And then
yaa aksaxúkch yáa
then she starts drying it
yáa g̱agaan
in the sun
ḵa yáa óoxjaa kát wé laaḵ'ásk,
and the wind, the seaweed,
tle yagiyee kaanáx̱ áwé tle yan oonéiych.
she would put it there all day.
Uxúkch k'idéin.
It dries well.
Ax̱ léelk'w
My grandparent
{Kitty I kuk}
Kitty Isaac
{ḵuka ḵu}
A kát x̱at seiwax'áḵw du saayí.
I forgot her name.
Uh, hú áwé haa een,
She is the one who, with us,
??? yóo dux̱áaych,
??? people would eat,
Xáanaax' áwé shóot atuda.aakch aag̱áa áwé
In the evening, we'd build a fire and then
wé at dus.éeych haa x̱'éis wé x̱áat ḵa wé
they would cook for us the fish and the
wé {d} tsaa dleeyí.
the seal meat.
Toox̱áaych, ḵa tea.
We'd eat and (have) tea.
Ḵóox̱aan Ḵoowtaan yóo áwé duwasáakw, wé haa léelk'w.
Ḵóox̱aan Ḵoowtaan was my grandparentʼs name.
Dei ḵúnáx̱ wudishán ch'a aan áwé haa een.
She was very old and yet she was with us.
Tle haa g̱éix̱ gagútch yáade wé
And sheʼd come with us here,
wé laaḵ'ásk yéi daané.
preparing the seaweed.
Ḵa wé dleey tsú wé
And the meat too, the
wé a taayí k'idéin ax̱ tláach has akooxáshch
my mother would cut up the seal fat real well
ḵóok g̱eit
in a box
ḵa áwé laaḵ'ásk tsú ḵa
and the seaweed too and
tsaa, tsaa dleeyí.
seal, seal meat.
Yú aan aax̱ ??? áwé tsú yéi aan tusanéich wé laaḵ'ásk.
We'd fix the seaweed with ??? too.
Á ḵach'u {yé} a yáa
ḵóok ḵach'u yáa x'eesháa g̱eex' áwé yéi ntoo.eich.
weʼd put it in a box or a bucket.
Aatx̱ áwé neildéi,
Then home again
natooḵúx̱ch tsu.
we'd go by boat.
Ch'a wé neilx' áwé tsu wé gáanx' aa tusaxúkch wé laaḵ'ásk.
Then at home weʼd dry the seaweed outside.
Ḵa yáa
And so,
Ḵaa Góogu Yíkx' {wutulis} wé tusixóogu aa ḵu.aa áwé,
the stuff we dried at Ḵaa Góogu Yík though,
ax̱ tláach yá ḵaashaxíshaa een áwé
my mother used the scissors
{aa yaa a a} axásh nooch wé
she cuts the
wé laaḵ'ásk.
the seaweed.
Aag̱áa áwé wé ínx'eesháa tlein tóox' áwé yéi ana.eich táakw yís.
And then she would put it in a large jar for winter.
Ch'áakw tlax̱ ch'áakw ḵu.aa áwé wé ḵóok
Long time ago though the box
yáa ḵáax'ch layéx̱ nooch, a g̱eix' áwé duchákjin ch'áakw ḵwá.
the men used to build the box and thatʼs where they would store it years ago.
Yáa a g̱eix', a g̱eix' yéi ndu.eich táakw yís.
They'd put it inside it for winter.
Áyá yáadax̱ áwé
From here
tléix' ???-dáx̱
after one ???
yóo aandéi ntooḵúx̱ch.
we'd go by boat to that village.
Aanx' áwé ch'a yéi ḵaa x̱'éix̱ aa tooteech nooch wé tsaa ḵa wé
In the village, we'd give some seal to people to eat
wé a, laaḵ'ásk tsú.
and uh, seaweed also.
Daa sá haa jeet koowdahaayí áwé.
Whatever we happened to have.
Yáa yux̱ yaa ḵukg̱wahéinin áwé ḵaa jeet shooxeexch ḵaa atx̱aayí.
As time goes by people would run out of food.
Aag̱áa áwé
And then
ch'a shux'wáanáx̱ wuduwajág̱i aa,
the first things they killed,
daa sá haa jeet koowdahaayí áwé,
whatever we had,
ldakát ḵáa x̱'éix̱ áwé ntooteech wé, wé aanx'.
we'd distribute it to everybody in the, the village.
Ch'a hás tsú yéi haa een has ḵustéeyin,
And they used to live like this with us,
G̱anáashk, ḵa Luwushkáan,
the G̱anáashk and Luwushkáan, [clans]
ḵa Iltóog̱uwé.
and the Iltóog̱uwé. [clan]
Yóo naakéedei has naḵúx̱jin.
They used to go further up north.
Aag̱áa áwé wé t'á
At that time king salmon
ḵa cháatl
and halibut,
ḵa, ḵa wé tsaa, haat has ayoox̱áaych.
and seal, they'd transport it here.
Tsu wé éiḵ kéi {nas} wuḵoox̱ú áwé
When they come back ashore
has du táat oo.áatch.
a lot of people come to meet them.
«Yee lunag̱úḵ!»
“You all run!”
I tláa ḵa, ḵa éesh, «Ch'a wáa sá koogei.
Your mother and your father, “However much.
Aax̱ yéi geeysané aadé gax̱yix̱áa yáx̱.
Help yourself to whatever amount youʼll eat.
Yá cháatl
This halibut
ḵa yáa t'á.»
and this king salmon.”
Yóo áwé has haa yanasḵéich.
This is what they'd tell us.
Aaá, ch'a ldakát ḵáa áwé s aadéi na.átch, ah, aax̱ duxásh nuch wé
Yes, everybody would go there and cut off the
wé tsaa ḵa wé
the seal and the
t'á, ḵa
king salmon and
ḵa cháatl.
and halibut.
Neilx' áwé kooduls'úkch.
At home they'd smoke it.
Á áwé
That is
ch'a yéi haa téeyin ch'u ch'áakwdáx̱,
the way we used to be from way back,
yá woosh x̱'éix̱ adatéex̱ haa jeet at koowdahaayí.
sharing food with each other, when it comes into our possession.
Háw. Hóoch' áwé.
And thatʼs all.
Yá July-t ḵuwahaayí áyá tsú ḵutaanx',
When July comes and it's summertime again,
yá ḵ'áach' áwé yáax' kanat'éich.
the sea ribbons grow here.
{ya gugi} Yáax' á tsú yáa {téx'} téi x̱oox' yaa kaga.éich.
Here too, it grows among the rocks.
Ḵ'áach' á tsú yáat yéi tooḵúx̱gun yá ḵ'áach'.
Sea ribbons, that too, we used to come here for sea ribbons.
Haa jeet koowdaháaych tsu á tsú yaa ktusaxúkwch.
We'd get some and that too, we'd start drying them.
Tsu táakw atx̱aayí yís ḵa ch'a yá
for winter food and this
ḵutaanx' wé
in the summertime the
útlx̱i een áwé dux̱áa nuch.
itʼs eaten with boiled fish.
Ḵach'u yéi
kax̱gáani yeit káx' áwé.
in a frying pan.
Wé eix̱ ḵach'u yáa aan at dus.ée aa eix̱.
The oil, they cook with some of the oil.
Kát áwé káa yéi ndu.eich wé {laaḵ'} wé ḵ'áach'.
This is what the sea ribbons are put in.
{yax̱ ḵuwdu} yáa ḵaashaxíshi ách koowdu- xaashídáx̱, aag̱áa áwé
Using scissors, after it's cut up, and then
k'éi nooch ch'a yéi atx̱á.
it's always good, food that way. [ALF gestures grinding the seaweed.]
Ch'a ḵaa x̱'éit duwaxíxi yáx̱.
Like the food you give to a person. [Gestures spoon feeding someone]
Á áwé
And this
tle aatlein áwé koowdulx'úl'ch wé ḵ'áach' átx̱
they'd pick a lot of sea ribbons
áwé tsu neildé kunaldích???
and then [bring???] it home.
Neilx' áwé, ah, dusxúkw nuch.
At home they dry it.
1940 áwé
It was 1940,
yá Army aag̱áa WWII yaa {yanda}
the army, at the time WWII was
yaa yanaxíx yéi áwé yáax',
happening, that's the way here,
yáax' haat has yoowduwax̱áa wé
they were brought here, the
wé Army ḵa Navy.
the Army and Navy.
Hásch áyá has {aw} awliyéx̱ yáa dei tliyáa
They were the ones that built the road there
a t'ikaadéi.
on the outskirts.
Tle tsu yú
Then there
Lost River-dé.
to Lost River.
Uh, wé hásch áwé yáa
It was them
ldakát yáa dei has awliyéx̱.
that built all the roads.
Uh, ách áwé yeedát ch'a, ch'a,
That's why now
tle ch'a haa car-yi g̱eit áwé ntooḵúx̱ch, yáa laaḵ'ásk g̱aa.
we get in our car to go after seaweed.
Ḵa yáa ḵuk'éet' tsú ch'a ldakát yéide shákw.
And picking berries too, everywhere, strawberries.
Ḵa, ah,
And, uh,
kanat'á, neigóon,
blueberries, nagoon,
was'x'aan tléig̱u, ldakát áwé ch'a yéi át natooḵúx̱ch yeedát, ḵuk'éet'.
salmonberries, all of them, we drive around now berry picking.
Tle ḵúnáx̱ áwé k'éiyin ch'áakw.
It used to be real good a long time ago.
Ch'a ldakát át áyá
ch'a g̱uwunéidei yaa natéen.
is getting to be different.
Yáa haa tlákw áyú haa káa,
It was always on us,
it used to shine.
Yeedát ḵu.aa áwé tlákw ḵoowdigwás'ch.
Now though, itʼs always foggy.
Ch'áakw ḵwá ḵúnáx̱ haa
A long time ago though
haa een k'éi noojéen yáa, yá g̱agaan yá haa atx̱aayí daa,
the sun always used to be good to us, while on our food,
daa yóo jiktula.átgi.
weʼre working on it.
Ḵa yáa héen tsú.
And the water also.
Tlél, tlél, tlél tlax̱ wáa sá utéeyin, yeedát ḵu.aa tle ḵúnáx̱ kéi xíxch,
It used to be all right, now though it comes up,
yá ḵutí, yáa, yáa héen, ḵa yáa, yáa séew.
the weather and the water and rain.
Ḵa yáa k'eiljáa, tle ḵúnáx̱
And the storm really
t'éex' ??? wáang̱aneins.
hard ??? sometimes.
Ch'a yóo naakéedei wooḵoox̱
He/she/it went north
tsú ḵach'u yóo yaa táakwde.
also [to the winter???].
Keishísh yóo áyá duwasáakw,
Alder it's called,
yáax' x̱alashát aa.
the thing Iʼm holding here.
Á áyá yéi ntoo.eich,
This is the thing we use,
yáa at x̱'éeshi yóo,
the dryfish,
smokehouse, yóo átx'aan daakahídi sákw.
smokehouse, for that smokehouse.
Á áyá tulag̱ích nuch
This is what we chop down
gán sákw yóo, yóo x̱áat áx̱ aktulas'éḵx̱i yís.
for the wood that we use to smoke the fish with.
Yáat'aa ḵu.aa áwé s
And this one though
yaana.éit yóo áyá duwasáakw.
wild celery we call it.
Ch'a ch'u cháagudáx̱
From long ago
wududzikóo yá yaana.éit x̱aadí, a x̱aadí áwé.
they knew the wild celery roots, its roots.
A, yéi ndu.eijéen ch'áakw ḵaa, {n}
Uh, it was used long ago when people,
ḵaa néegu yáa,
people are sick,
yáa ch'a {ji}ḵaa jín
a person's hand
ḵach'u ḵaa x̱'oos infected-x̱ wusteeyí,
or a person's foot was infected,
wé ḵéet át kuwadaayí,
when the pus is flowing,
á áwé yéi ndu.eich yá,
thatʼs what is used,
yá a x̱aadí dul.úkwch áwé.
the roots are boiled.
Aag̱áa áwé tsá yáa,
And then,
green yáx̱ nateech,
when it's green,
yáa a daayí áwé aax̱ kaduls'él'ch.
the bark is peeled off it.
Aag̱áa áwé
And then
stóox tóonáx̱ áwé dus.éeych.
it's roasted in the oven.
Wé, wé át, ah, át áwé yaa,
The, the, uh, the thing,
eix̱ yáx̱ yateeyi át áwé vaseline áwé áa yóo kduhéik nooch yáa áx'
the thing like oil, vaseline, it's rubbed there
áx' kax̱dunáakw yé.
where they medicate there.
Aag̱áa áwé tsá, tsu
And then also
{waan g̱wéi} jig̱wéinaa áa a káx̱ ḵulduyáach.
they'd spread a towel over it.
Aag̱áa áwé yáa
And then
yaawat'aayí aa yáa, yáa a daayí,
the warm stuff, this bark,
á áwé káa yéi ndu.eich.
thatʼs what we put on (the infected area).
Tsu áwé s jig̱wéinaa {a káa n} a káx̱ kax̱duyáach.
They wrap it again with a towel.
Tléix' yagiyee káanáx̱ ḵa xáanaax',
For one day and evening,
áwé a káa yéi ndu.eich.
they put it on there.
Aatx̱ ḵeewa.aayí áwé naduxáshch
After dawn, then they cut it
yáa áx', áx' lushk'idéin yaa nanein yé.
in the area thatʼs infected.
Aag̱áa áwé, ah, a tóodáx̱
And then, uh, from the inside
a tóodáx̱ yéi daadunéi nuch.
(the infection) is taken from inside of it.
Yóo duchúx ??? nooch yáa ḵaa doogú.
The person's skin is massaged.
Aatx̱ áwé wé Fels Naptha soap yóo duwasáagu aa áwé.
After that the stuff called Fels Naptha soap.
Ax̱ tláach, {yá}
My mother,
wé ḵáas' áwé oolyéx̱ch ax̱ éeshch aag̱áa áwé wé
my father would make sticks and then the
wé s'ísaa a káa yéi s ana.eich.
wrap it with cloth.
Aag̱áa áwé wé ús'aa Fels Naptha soap yóo dusáagun ch'áakw.
And then the soap, they used to call it Fels Naptha soap long ago.
Yeedát ḵu.aa shákdé wé "Dial" yóo duwasáagu aa shákdé áa yéi gax̱du.oo.
Now I guess theyʼll use the one they call Dial.
Aag̱áa áwé
And then
a tóo áwé a.ús' nuch yá
they wash the inside of it
yáa awuxaashí yéidáx̱.
in the area where they cut.
Wé ḵáas' ḵa wé
The stick and the
wé ús'aa.
the soap.
Aag̱áa áwé tsu a káx̱ akg̱ayéich wé
And then they wrap it again
wé, {át} ah,
the, uh,
yaana.eit x̱aadí daayí.
the bark of the wild celery root.
Aag̱áa áwé tsá g̱anéx̱ch k'idéin.
And thatʼs when it heals real good.
Yéi áwé.
Thatʼs that.
Yáat'aa ḵu.aa,
This one though,
dleit ḵáa,
white man,
dleit ḵáa saayí áyá "willow" yóo has ayasáakw.
white manʼs name is willow, they call it.
Uháanch ḵwá, cháal',
Us though, we call it willow,
ch'áal' daayí.
willow bark.
Á áyá
And this
ax̱ tláach haa een na.átch.
my mother would go with us.
Áyá ktoos'éil' nuch yá a daayí
We'd peel the bark off of it
yáx̱ yaa ḵunahéini yóo.
when the time is right.
Á áwé
And this
yáat'aa áwé
and this one
too.eenídáx̱ koowtulas'éil'idáx̱,
after we pick it and after we peel it,
wé x̱'aan yéi anasneich ax̱ tláa.
the fire, my mother would do it.
Wé x̱'aan tóonáx̱ áyá á ḵu.aa
In the fire this though
{áx̱ akan} ah, ch'a yéi googéink' uwat'aayí áwé wé,
uh, when it (the peeling) is a little bit hot,
wé, wé x̱'aan, aag̱áa áwé yáat'aa ch'áal',
the, the fire, then this willow,
ashes yáx̱ yéi ndusneich.
they'd make it into ashes.
Aag̱áa áwé wé
And then the
wé dutáx' náakw "Black Bull" yóo duwasáakw áwé tsú wé
the medication that they chew on (chewing tobacco) “Black Bull” it's called also that
a, stóox ḵílaa tóot áwé yá stóox tóo yandu,
uh, in the pan, in the stove they,
dus.eench á tsú tle
would cook it, that too, just
tle, tle soft yáx̱ wusteeyí áwé woosh een áwé héen een.
when it gets soft, they mix it with water.
{wu} A, yóo {kdudli}
Uh, they (mix)
ḵ'wátl' ḵach'u s'íx' g̱eit áwé.
in a pot or in a bowl.
Ah, {woosh éen} woosh tóo yakduháaych.
Uh, they mix them together.
Aag̱áa áwé duwaagúx̱,
And then the snoose,
ḵaa wásh tóox' yan dutéeych.
they put this inside a person's cheek.
Thatʼs a, of course youʼd get the bigger part. The, then you, youʼd roast this. Either roast it oe on a fire and make ashes out of it. You can put it on fire, you know, and make ashes. And then you put the Black Bull. Stir in leaves, you know, big leaves, those, a, tobacco leaves? And you put that in a oven also, a, Black Bull, to get it real crisp. And then you get a bowl. My mother had a regular bowl. There were some around made for, for uh, making your own snuff. And, uh, I think they got them from the Russians. Anyway they were factory made. They werenʼt, you know, they didnʼt make it here themselves. And once everything is crisp, ashes and crisp ???, then you uh, get a little bit of water and kind of make it damp. And then you, you keep stirring it until itʼs made into snuff. Then you can chew it. And this makes it a little stronger. I tasted it. You put it in your, between your, your teeth and your cheek and itʼs strong.
k'wát' yáx̱ kaaxádi aa,
the one thatʼs round,
té ax̱ jeet tí.
the rock, hand it to me.
Give me a round wood. A, a, a round rock that looks like an egg, round like an egg rock.
Ḵa a káx̱ at koowjikáx'.
And thereʼs spots on it.
Looks like itʼs got little marks on them.
Ax̱ jeet tí wé
Give me the
Áwé, a,
How would you say, "flat"? Huh! I donʼt know the word for "flat".
Tle ḵóok yáx̱ áyá yatee á ḵu.aa.
Itʼs like a box, though.
Itʼs sort of like a box. Itʼs square like a box.
A, ḵóok yáx̱ áyá
Uh, like a box
ah, yatee á ḵu.aa.
it is, though.
Yeah, shaped like a box.
Yáx̱ yatee.
Itʼs like (that).
Hóoch' áwé. [At shooḵ]
Thatʼs it. [Laughter]
Wé áx' shóodei gax̱tuda.áak yéix' yéi na.oo.
Leave at the place where weʼll build a fire.
Yá a káx' wé shoodé gax̱tuda.áak aag̱áa áwé tlél daat
Weʼre going to build a fire on it and then nothing
sá kukg̱wagaan.
will burn (around it).
Weʼll put the rocks there so, so that we could build a fire on it and the fire wonʼt spread.
Yéi áwé, yak'é.
That's it, good.
Yak'éi áwé a daayíx' yéi at du.oowú.
Itʼs good when things are put around it.
Aag̱áa áwé tlél daatx̱ sá akoogaan.
That way nothing catches on fire.
Long time ago they didnʼt have no, no fire trucks or any way to turn a, a fire off so it was good that they could put rocks around it before they build a fire.
Yéi áwé.
Thatʼs the way.
And you could even put
wé táal'.
the flat one.
Thatʼs the word I was trying to think of.
Táal' yáx̱ yatee.
They are flat.
Yeah the flat ones.
Táal' yóo duwasáakw, yáat'aa ḵwá s k'wát' yáx̱ yatee.
Flat it's called, this one though is like an egg (round).
Táal' yáx̱ yateeyi áwé yáa, ah, ah,
It's flat, this, uh, uh,
a g̱eix' yéi du.oox̱.
it's put inside of it.
Áa yan tí á tsú, ch'a, ch'a wéix'.
Put it down there, it too, just leave it there.
Yáat'át tsú wé,
And this one too,
The, the flat rocks go in the middle. Thatʼs what youʼre going to build your fire on.
Haw. Ḵáas' g̱aa nagú!
Oh. Go get a stick.
Wé ḵáas' aax̱ gatí.
Pick the stick up off of it.
Wé ḵáas', ḵáas',
The stick, stick,
Thereʼs a little peice of wood sitting right on this side. Right here! Yeah. Now build a fire on it. Anybody got matches or a lighter?
Yéi áwé shóox̱ adu.aagín ch'áakw.
Thatʼs how they built a fire long ago.
Thatʼs how they used to build a fire a long time ago.
Ḵa at gax̱dus.eeyí tsú.
And when they're going to cook too.
I suppose thereʼs no skunk cabbage around here. Thatʼs what they used to put around, ah, ah, theyʼd dig a hole. Like if we were hungry and we wanted to eat some fish, we got a, a king salmon one way or another, not a very big one, but
Á áwé,
And this,
áwé t'á áwé,
the king salmon,
k'idéin natusaneich.
we fix it real good.
A shaayí aax̱ natooxáshch
We'd cut the head off
ḵa yáa a l'éedi.
and its tail.
K'idéin wutusaneiyídáx̱ áwé ntoo.óos'ch yáa
And after we do this real well we wash it, this
Skunk cabbage. I donʼt know the name of skunk cabbage in Tlingit.
Á áwé yáa, yáa koowtuwahaayí yéix' áwé,
At the place where we dug,
yéi ntoo.eich áwé skunk cabbage.
we'd use the skunk cabbage.
Aag̱áa áwé yáa x̱áat a g̱ei yan {toochée}
And then the salmon, right in there,
we'd boil it.
Tsú a kanáak áwé s yéi aa ntoo.eich wé skunk cabbage.
And we'd put some more skunk cabbage on top.
Aag̱áa áwé
And then
yáa l'éiw tsú a káa yéi ntoo.eich.
we'd put sand over it.
A kanáakx' áwé shóot tuda.aakch.
And then we'd build a fire on top of it.
Aag̱áa áwé shóot wutuda.aagí wé
And after we build the fire, the
t'á á áwé {yaa yaa ks} yaa sh gasa.éeych yáa
king salmon, it cooks by itself
yáax' x̱'aan tayeex'.
here underneath the fire.
Ok. Iʼm going to say it in English. We usually, if we have a fish, whether itʼs king salmon or halibut, and we want to cook it, supposing we didnʼt, forgot to get a frying pan. So, weʼd gather, uh, skunk cabbage. Weʼd dig the hole and weʼd put the skunk cabbage around depending on how big the fish is. And put the skunk cabbage inside, all over in that hole. And put the, and clean the fish and put it in there. Then you get some more skunk cabbage, real good, enough so that you got it on top of each other on there. And then you either put the gravel or sand on top of that, whatever you have handy. And then you fix a fire with the stones, with the flat rocks on top of that and build a fire on top of that so that the rocks get hot and the fish cooks. And you put it in there for, thinking how long will it take?