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Tlingit Conversation #39
Speakers are Sháayi Éesh Smith Katzeek, Naakil.aan Mark Hans Chester, Kaséix̱ Selina Everson, Jigéi/Yaakʼw Góosʼ Jackie Williams, Thomas Esquiro, Seidayaa Mary Anderson, and Ḵeixwnéi Nora Marks Dauenhauer. Recorded August 11, 2010, near Atlin, BC, Canada, by Ljáaḵkʼ Alice Taff.
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 X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell. English translation by Kaaxwaan Éesh George Davis and LjáaḵkʼAlice 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
Ha aadéi kunaaleiyi yé x̱áa áwé ḵaa een gag̱eetóow wéit?
Together, can people measure here how far it is. [The recording jumps into a discussion about reopening the trail from Atlin lake down to the mouth of the Taku River, formerly a well used passage between the interior and summer saltwater fishing grounds.]
Wé ah,
The uh,
yaa een shkalneek.
tells about it.
Dáanaa {kaa} aag̱áa kukg̱washée.
Money, she'll be looking for it.
Wé, ah,
The, uh,
ch’áagu deiyí.
the old trail.
A kaanáx̱ yei kg̱atoo.aadí.
Let's walk down it.
Éitsk’ ḵúnáx̱ x̱át,
Yummy really, (to) me,
Dáanaa tlein gé?
A lot of money?
Daa sá?
Dáanaa tlein gé?
A lot of money?
Yéi x̱á.
That's right.
Ch’a wdudzikóowu ḵáa
The person who is just known
gwál aadáx̱
maybe from there
T’aaaḵú Ḵwáan shákdéi ḵudzitee.
came the Taku people.
The descendants.
Has du eetí ḵáa
Their descendants
shákdéi ḵudzitee.
may be living.
Yéi at kug̱astéeni, we can tell them.
If they're alive, we can tell them.
Let's go.
Maybe theyʼll want to go. I know a few of them in Juneau.
Did you guys know thereʼs a Butt Wash Landing?
Is there really? [At shooḵ]
[At shooḵ]
On Taku?
Wáa sá yisáa, Lingít x̱’éináx̱? [Or: Wáa sá kḵwasáa Lingít x̱’éináx̱?]
What would you call that in Tlingit?
Wa.éich tsú.
And you too.
Ha.é! [At shooḵ]
Too much! [Laughter]
Tlámm, yéi x̱at woonei.
Oops, that happened to me.
Kaagwaantaan-i yátx’i, hei, hei, ye wa aa
Children of the Kaagwaantaan
koo aani naa, koo aani naa.
come here. Come here.
??? hei ya hei yaa hei yaa hei, hei hei yaa aa
aa aa aa hei ya aa Goosú wá.é?
Where are you
hei hei ya aa Daḵl’aweidí yátx’i hei hei ya aa
Children of the Daḵl’aweidí
koo aani naa. Koo aani naa.
come here. Come here.
hei hei ya aa hei hei ya aa
Goosú wa.é? hei hei ya aa
Where are you?
Shangukeidí yátx’i hei hei ya aa
Children of the Shangukeidí
koo aani naa. Koo aani naa. hei ya hei ya hei ya hei hei hei ya aa aa a a hei ya aa
come here. Come here.
Goosú wa.é? hei hei ya aa
Where are you?
Welsh yátx’i hei hei ya aa
Children of the Welsh
koo aani naa. Koo aani naa. hei hei ya aa hei hei hei ya aa aa aa hei ya. Yaaw, x̱wei yóo!
come here. Come here.
Iʼll say it in my Tlingit language and then in
[The group has moved outside by Atlin Lake.]
Gunalchéesh {ax̱ s ax̱, ax̱}
Thank you
Gunalchéesh yá haa sháade háni.
Thank you our leader.
Ḵa k’idéin yáx̱ áyá,
And with care,
Dikée Aanḵáawu yáx̱
like God above
yaa ntoo.ádi yéi haa, haa gux̱latseen.
as we're walking along, let us be strong.
Lingít Ḵusteeyí
Tlingit culture
ḵa yaa haa x̱’a.áx̱ji,
and our listening to people,
k’idéin haa yáx̱ kei jisataan,
place a hand over us,
haa S’aatí,
our Master,
ḵa k’idéin yáx̱ nag̱ateeyí gax̱latseen wooch tín,
let it be good and strong together,
yá éil’ ká ḵu.oowú ḵa yá
these coastal people and these
daḵká ḵu.oowú.
inland people.
Há wooch tín yéi jidunéiyi áyá yak’éi.
It is good when they work together.
Haa gax̱latseen.
Let us be strong.
Wooch tín yá yées ḵaax'u jeeyís.
Together for these young people.
Ḵa yá haa yoo x̱ʼatángi, k’idéin yáx̱ and ah,
And our language, in good way
a yáx̱ kei jisataan, haa S’aatí.
put your hand upon it, our Master.
Thank you!
??? gunalchéesh!
??? thank you!
Thank you!
I, I pray in my language and I said to, to our, our Master, there, Our Lord, that was us, to give us a good blessing for us getting together with the people from the coast. And here in the Daaḵaa Ḵwáan people and Tʼaḵu Ḵwáan to get together and work strong together for the young generation. And giving a good blessing for today to work together to start off.
Inland people Taku people
Aa, áwé. Gunalchéesh. Gunalchéesh. Gunalchéesh.
Gunalchéesh everybody. We had to change the plans a bit because of the travel arrangements. We allowed our young children to go out and have their lunch. But they do want to come back and meet you. Right now weʼd like to ask our dancers if they would give us a welcoming. Because our language to us is something that we need to bring back very, very strongly. So the importance of you coming here to allow our young to welcome you.
Thank you!
Thank you!
Gunalchéesh á!
Thank you!
So, weʼre going to do the prayer, our prayer song. Auntie Mary requested us to do our prayer song for us to bless the, the gathering. We, weʼre the Taku Ḵwáan Dancers. And weʼve formed around in years, a long time ago. Itʼs been a long time now and , um, our group is just getting bigger and bigger. We go to Juneau. And we fund raise for that and thatʼs the highlight of what we like to do is to go to Juneau and perform there and be with our fellow Tlingits and learn as much songs as we can. But, um, so this is our Dikee Aankawóo. Oh I should mention Wayne. Wayne Carlick is our leader. Heʼs on holidays right now and so I stepped in to, elders asked me to step and gather ???
Dikée Aanḵáawu
God above,
bring it here
shukwaa hoo, hee, ya haa.
Dikée Aanḵáawu,
God above,
bring it here
shukwaa hoo, hee, ya haa, ha hee hoo, hee, ya haa a hoo haa hee ya haa a hoo haa hee ya haa
Dikée Aanḵáawu
God above
haandé shukwaa
bring it here
hoo, hee, ya haa. A hee, hoo, hee, ya haa. A hoo, haa, hee ya haa. A hoo, haa, hee, ya haa. Dikée!
??? [vocables] Above!
Thank you.
We were, we have a couple of other songs but weʼre going to wait until the kids come because they practiced this morning and they really want to drum and sing for you guys so, when they get back thatʼs what weʼll do at the end of the day.
Gunalchéesh á!
Thank you!
OK. Iʼll give you the schedule of what weʼre planning on doing.
[Recording break. Now waiting in the trip van by a stream.]
That was
Héen áa wdudziḵídi yé.
The place where the water is dammed.
Nineteen hundreds we had our own Thatʼs the dam?
Aaa, dam.
Oh, yeah?
Yeah, thatʼs the old remnent.
I think thatʼs what it is. (dam)
Where the
The right of way that we had
Water is being held back.
Héen áa wdudziḵídi yé.
The place where the water is dammed.
Héen áa wdudziḵídi yé áwé yéi duwasáakw.
It is called “place where the water is dammed.”
«Yaḵéet,» yóo duséix̱ héen.
“Dammed up,” they call the water.
Tliyéix’ dulshádi yé.
The place where it's held still.
«Yisaḵít wé héen!»
“Dam up that water!”
they tell you.
A, hold back the water.
Dam it up!
You guys.
Yeah. Sounds fine to me.
X̱áat x̱’usyee deiyí.
Fish ladder. [Lit: fish's footprint trail]
X̱áat x̱’usyee deiyí.
Fish ladder.
Fish ladder. learn the right way of ??? Just like this place here. As long as ??? the Crow people and our, I want to get somebody to identify the cabin where theyʼre sitting and everything. That way itʼll be all right.
Át yoo ya.átg̱in gé, yóo, am,
Did s/he used to walk around there, that, um,
Alaska kát gé yoo ya.átgin?
did he/she used to walk around Alaska?
Deishúdé ??? had a cabin right by the ???
To Haines ???
They asked the chief, when the chief and council was still in power here. They asked him if he was going to cut the rest of the way to Atlin. Was he going to cut it. And he said yeah but it never happened. But itʼs there and the trail is well marked. And they went as far as their borderline and thatʼs where they stopped. And the sometimes rivers that. And the history about it, the trails, the trails are all over here. And a lot of trails. And you know, the way it fell, is one
Yá Lingít, wududliyéx̱ áyá,
This Tlingit, was built,
that Lingít Yéil Hídi.
Tlingit Raven House.
??? yá Yéil hás
the Ravensʼ
??? a shaayí áwé áa yéi yatee.
it's head is there.
Tlél x̱wasakú a saayí ḵu.aa,
I don't know it's name though,
I heard it but I canʼt think of it right now. But any
áyá Lingítnáx̱,
In Tlingit,
tle k’idéin yáx̱ áwé haa tuwáa sigóo katoonéegi.
we like to really tell the story.
And a, if thereʼs somebody could help that whatʼs the name of this cabin it would,
Wáa sá duwasáakw?
What is it called?
Wáa sá duwasáakw?
What is it called?
Name of the cabin.
Sheʼs asking him what is the name.
Tlé yá lítaa yáx̱ áyá kaawaháa.
Like this knife is dug up.
Tle yá,
Just this,
Lingítx̱ has wusteeyí yaa
when they became Tlingit ???
chá {yá y}
just this
yá dzísk’uch,
this moose,
yóo a x̱eegí áyá yéi yatee yá
the upper part of its foreleg is that way
áyá wáananeens
yéi áyá {a sha}
like that
áyáx̱ áyá yatee yáat’aa.
it's right, this one.