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Tlingit Conversation #67
Speakers are Lʼx̱éisk Lily White and Shak’sháani Margaret Dutson. Recorded July 12, 2011, at the home of Lily and Jacob White in Hoonah, AK, by Ljáaḵkʼ Alice Taff and Naakil.aan Mark Hans Chester.
This material is based on work supported by National Science Foundation grant 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.
Transcription by Shaag̱áw Éesh Devlin Anderstrom. English translation by Kaséix̱ Selina Everson with Ljáaḵkʼ Alice Taff, and by Shaag̱áw Éesh Devlin Anderstrom. Edited by X̱ʼaagi Shaawú Keri Eggleston and by Shaag̱áw Éesh Devlin Anderstrom.
SYMBOLS: Brackets = {false start} . [translator/transcriber's note]. (added for clarity), ??? = canʼt understand. «quotation marks for Tlingit text». [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]
Hás ḵúnáx̱ á Chookaneidí, i éesh hás.
They were true Chookaneidí, your fathers.
When the people settled here, there was a man-eater bear coming down among the people.
It eats people; nothing else, and uh,
X̱ʼatadaa yóo duwasáakw, Xóots hittaan.
X̱ʼatadaa is how he is called, Bear House People. [House group within a clan.]
They didnʼt have Xóots Hít yet.
Everybody try to kill that bear, they canʼt make it.
They know where its cave is, is up here.
X̱ʼatadaa got ready.
He said that, "I donʼt want no interference." He worked on his knife.
He went in that cave backwards. He could hear the bear running at him.
"Hwaaaaaa!" He was ready. The bear,
ash woosháat.
It grabbed him.
He got his knife, he turned and got the bear right here.
[Between the eyes.]
«Ax̱ x̱ooní yax̱ yaa yanilajáḵ.»
“You are killing off my relatives.”
The bear just
«Háaaaaa, n-n-n-n, ha gwáʼ!»
“Haahhh, grrrrrrrr, so there!”
He kicked it.
So thatʼs where they got their name.
Thatʼs where they killed it. Thatʼs where, when they first built their tribal house,
«Wáa sá gax̱toosáa haa hídi?»
“How are we going to name our house?”
Ḵaaksakʼaa said, «Hnh. Hél gé yisakú?
Ḵaaksakʼaa said, “Don't you know?
Xóots Hít yóo gax̱toosáa!
Weʼre going to name it the Bear House!
Yá haa x̱oonxʼí yax̱ ayawsix̱áa.»
He ate up our relatives.”
They called it Xóots Hít. Then they built another one; Bear Claw House.
Xóots Jíni Hít.
Bear Claw (hands) House.
Oh my goodness.
Have you got it going now? Lingít.
Have you got it going now? Tlingit.
Aaá yaa kanajúx,
Yes, it's rolling (recording),
chʼas Lingít x̱ʼéináx̱.
just in Tlingit language.
Á áwé yaa kanajúx.
So itʼs rolling (recording).
Chʼas Lingít x̱ʼéináx̱ has du tuwáa sigóo yeedát.
Just in the Tlingit language they want it now.
It keeps working in my mind that you canʼt speak Tlingit, you know. I try to explain. I gu.áa yáx̱ xʼwán.
Have courage.
Itʼs hard.
Láaxw ḵaa x̱oot jikaawaxíx.
Starvation had spread amongst the people.
Láaxw áyá yaa yanaxíx, they had no food.
There was starvation happening, they had no food.
Tsʼootaat kéi wdzigít {that} wé ḵáa. Láaxw.
In the morning he woke, that man. Starvation.
He could hear it, "Poox! Poox! Poox!"
He though it was guns. No, it didnʼt sound sharp enough.
Shawdinúk. Gáant awdlig̱ín.
He got up. He looked outside.
They had, about two miles, they dug a hole; bears.
Heʼs pretty sure thereʼs about eight hundred bears.
They were hitting something, "Poox!" and theyʼd see them eating it. He was watching.
Chʼa du waḵkáaxʼ. Yeah.
Right in front of him.
Then, it came to a time they (bears) had enough to eat.
Aax̱ yóot uwa.át wé xóots.
They started walking away, those bears.
Right there at Garteeni.
[Garteeni Creek in Hoonah, «G̱aat héeni» 'Sockeye River' in Tlingit.]
They settled way up there, Hoonah people.
Sháach .ák noojín baskets.
Women used to weave baskets.
Real big one, he grabbed it and ran out there.
He said the cockles were real big. He was putting it in (there.) People were still asleep.
Yeisú ax̱éxʼw.
People are still sleeping.
He came in, he start putting it around the fire in the shells. They start boiling. It woke people up, the smell.
Ḵaa tuwáa litsʼáa.
It smelled good to people.
And the other one, though, cannery, the pond.
Cháatl wé pond kaanáx̱ kéi ayawsiyíḵ.
A halibut he pulled up over that pond.
Giant halibut. He told everybody, "Go home and get your baskets. Get food."
«Yee ḵágug̱áa nay.á.»
“You folks go for your baskets.”
People were cutting up that halibut.
It didnʼt even fight him, he was a shaman.
Then, ʼcross, cannery.
"Take me out there," he told his men.
He put his spear in, itʼs got a rope on it.
Kéi anasyíḵ.
Heʼs pulling it up.
It was a reef. He brought a reef up from the water.
They said there was real big gumboots (chitons) on there.
Wé, wé cháatl.
That, that halibut.
The one that brought up that cháatl.
The one that brought up that halibut.
His name was Shaax̱oo.
[Recording break] -aneek. Wé {kéi} cháatl kei awsiyíg̱i aa.
The one that brought up the halibut.
He had two.
Du daa ḵáawu déix̱ yatee.
The people around him are two (there were two helpers). [A shamanʼs helpers are called “the people around him or near him”.]
Go for him. They go for things for him. They call it:
du daa ḵáawu.
his helpers.
Du daa ḵáawu.
His helpers.
Daaḵw aa sáwé yéi-
Which ones are those that that way-
«Ax̱ daa ḵáawu nayḵoox̱!
“My helpers, go on a boat!
Ḵoon kanayneek.»
Tell the people.”
The boats would come as soon as heʼd take that
shaaw aax̱ kéi wudultaag̱í
when a gumboot is pried up off of it
another one comes out.
Oh my.
Daa sáwé yéi duwasáakw «du shaa ḵáawu»?
What is it that is called, “du shaa ḵáawu”?
Du daa ḵáawu. Du daa ḵáawu.
The people around him.
{theyʼre} They take care of the shaman.
Oh, I see. Care keepers.
Hél ax̱ tuwáa ushgú chʼa koogéiyi kax̱laneegí.
I don't want to tell the story any old way.
Ax̱ tuwáa sigóo kʼidéin,
I want it to be well,
Chookaneidí i éesh hás, i aat hás, yax̱ ỹaa s yanalláxw.
The Chookaneidí, your fatherʼs people, your paternal aunts, they are (were) all starving.
Starvation. Thatʼs when he came out and helped,
They did the act, you know, when they started Huna Totem down there.
Freddy Bennett, I told him, he had a spear, I told him, "You dance around the fire," he was jumping.
"Hei!" he always hollered.
And he danced towards the pond and put it in there, you get a giant halibut.
"Oo! What if I do get one?" he said.
Áaayá. Theyʼre acting out the history, when it first started.
Ách ásíwégé, am,
It seems thatʼs perhaps why, um,
ldakát ḵáach a daa yoo x̱ʼala.átgi nich
everybody would always talk about it
a,h chʼu {een} ḵa dleit ḵáa tsú,
uh, and even the white people, too,
a daa yoo s x̱ʼala.átgi nich cháatl. Wayne Howell from it
they always talk about it, halibut.
Glacier Bay, heʼs just Tlingit with us now.
They took him out of Glacier Bay to New York, we missed him.
Daaḵw aa sáyá?
Which one is this?
Wayne Howell. Gee, he sure can Tlingit dance, that guy. He outdanced the Tlingit boys.
Dleit ḵáa ágé?
Is he a white man?
Wáa sá duwasáakw?
How is he called?
Wooshkeetaan adopted him. They gave him the name, uh,
letʼs see, what name? Itʼs about a bear.
Boy, he sure can dance.
They were having a big doing in Juneau, he outdanced the Tlingit people.
Everybody said, "Hey! Whoʼs that guy?" you know.
{hél dei hél} Kʼé i een kanḵaneek ax̱ x̱án.aa, wé yeedát x̱at uwashayi dleit ḵáa,
Let me tell you about my husband, the white man that Iʼm married to now.
Ligéi, héitʼaa yáx̱ kuligéi,
He's big, similar in size to this one here,
Gáande yaa andulʼéx̱ áwé {ax̱}
They were dancing an exit dance, then
“Come here.
Kʼé anax̱toolʼeix̱, uháan tsú.»
Let's dance, us too.”
Hél kʼidéin x̱washagóok.»
I don't know how to very well.”
«Chʼa aan!
“Even so!
Kʼidéin yakḵwadláaḵ shákdé.»
I'll probably make it OK.”
Áwé litseen.
Well, heʼs strong.
Áa daak x̱at jeewashát.
He pulled me out there.
Ḵúnáx̱ alʼeix̱.
Heʼs really dancing.
Lingít yáanáx̱ alʼeix̱.
Heʼs outdancing the Tlingit.
Him too.
Ḵúnáx̱ du tuwáa sigóo.
He really likes it.
Kʼé wé ax̱ éesh x̱ʼasheeyí
My fatherʼs song,
awu.aax̱í a kát akg̱walʼeix̱.
when he hears it, he's going to dance to it.
Probably learn it. Itʼs easy song.
Ax̱ jeeyís copy-x̱ layéx̱, xʼwán.
Be sure to make a copy for me, please. [xʼwán makes the request polite]
I have other books, Iʼll just give you this one.
Ax̱ éesh x̱ʼasheeyí áyá ax̱ jeedé akg̱watée.
My father's song this is, she's going to give it to me.
{aawa} Aawashee wéitʼát káxʼ.
She sang it on that thing (the recorder).
Thank you.
You guys should see my Tlingit work. I have a
cabinet just full, and a
what is it? Clothes hamper too, just full, Tlingit work.
Working for years helping the young generation.
Worked with all tribes.
See, Mary Sheakleyʼs Song, Ross Sheakleyʼs Song, Jimmie Marksʼ Song...
Hél yáatʼaa, wé, wé,
Not this one, that, that,
shuxʼáa aayí ax̱ éesh x̱ʼasheeyí x̱á.
the first one of my fatherʼs songs, you see.
Hél aadóoch sá yá, uh, gug̱ashee tléináx̱.
Nobody can sing it solo.
X̱áach áwé,
ax̱ tuwáa sigóo kʼidéin ax̱ séekʼ een.
I would like (to learn it) well with my little daughter. [A sign of endearment to add the diminutive suffix -kʼ to a younger relative kinship term.]
Hél awuskú yankáxʼ du léelkʼw, chʼas
She doesnʼt actually know her grandfather, just
Silas awsikóo.
Silas she knows.
Ḵaajis.aak yóo x̱aasáagu aa.
The one (daughter) that I call Ḵaajis.aak.
I have different song books of Ravens and Cohoes, too.
[Raven clans in the region, “Coho” being Lʼuknax̱.ádi]
Yá aadé yateeyi yé Lingít; yaa dujigéi áwé, wé shéexʼ.
This is the way that Lingít people are; they value and keep them to themselves, those songs.
Chʼa g̱óot naach
A different clan, (they say,)
{áy} "Sheʼs giving our songs away."
«Haa x̱ʼasheexʼí ḵaa jeedé yaa akanajél.»
“She's giving our songs to people.”
I know lots of different tribal songs.
Before Hoonah burned, I went to a lot of parties. I understand Tlingit fluently.
Kʼidéin ax̱ daa ÿaa ḵushusigéi.
I understand it well.
When we go to party and my mom said,
«Yáaxʼ yéi kg̱eenóok.»
“You're going to sit here.”
Donʼt want me to sit with the friends.
«Aadé kg̱isa.áax̱.
“You're going to listen to there. [Towards where theyʼre speaking. “to listen” is always done in a direction in Tlingit.]
Aatx̱ áwé yakg̱eedláaḵ.
From there you'll aquire it.
L át yisa.aax̱í ḵwá,
If you don't listen to it, though,
keitl yáx̱ áwé ikg̱watée chʼa koogéiyi át gag̱eeshxéex.
you'll be like a dog, youʼll run around carelessly.
Chʼa daa sá áx̱ x̱ʼakg̱isagóo.»
You'll just blurt out whatever.”
"Youʼre gonna be like a dog. You wonʼt even care, youʼll just mix up everything. Youʼre gonna be in trouble all the time," she said.
She sang our tribal songs to us, my father,
woonaa, ax̱ éesh.
he died, my father.
Six years x̱walitín ax̱ tláa yáaxʼ,
I took care of my mother for six years here,
after papa died. She used to sing songs to me.
If Iʼm watching TV, "Turn it off! TVʼs not gonna sing for you when I die."
«Ax̱ x̱ʼéit sa.áx̱.»
“Listen to me.”
I used to like Jeffersonʼs program. Boy, I used to just laugh my head off.
[”The Jeffersons”]
{pop} Mom bawled me out, "Heʼs not gonna sing for you when I die."
Lingít x̱ʼéináx̱ gé yéi yaawaḵaa?
Did she say it in Tlingit?
{hél} «Hél hú kéi at gug̱ashee x̱at nanáani, i jeeyís. Áa daaḵ gug̱aháan.»
“Heʼs not going to sing for you when I die. Heʼs going to take a step back.”
I caught
I jeeyís akg̱walʼeix̱.
Heʼs going to dance for you.
Yeah, at shí gux̱la.áax̱ i jeeyís.
Yeah, heʼs going to play a song for you.
Battle cry of Tlingits.
Hoooo, hooooo, hooʼ, hooʼ, hooʼ, i yahaa, hooʼ i yahaa, wéiiiii.
[Chookaneidí Battle Cry]
Itʼs battle cry.
I éesh hás aayí.
Your fathersʼ one.
When they know theyʼre gonna die, they do it.
Die like a man.
Chookaneidí tlél kawdag̱aax̱ch chush shayeedé.
The Chookaneidí donʼt cry for their own lives.
{tlél yéi tlél gí}
Yaa ganáa ax̱ éesh,
When my father was dying,
du een sh káa x̱ʼax̱wdigáxʼ.
I prayed with him.
Haa x̱ánt áwé s ḵooteench.
They would always come by us (to visit).
Wáa x̱sax̱áni sáwé, we just had,
How much I love him, we just had,
tléixʼ bedroom yee yéi haa yatee,
we are all staying in one bedroom,
ax̱ síkʼ tsú yéi kwligéikʼ.
my little daughter was this small, too.
Ó, daat yáx̱ sá awsix̱án du léelkʼw.
Oh, how much she loved her grandfather.
akwshitán du téeli tóot tle yan sh ustáaych.
she used to like to lie down with her shoes on.
Áwé Ḵaajees.aak yóo x̱aasáakw. Ax̱ léelkʼw saayí du jeet x̱waatée wé shaatkʼátskʼu.
So, I call her Ḵaajees.aak. I gave her my grandmotherʼs name, that little girl.
Áwé {aan} newspaper ásíwégé aawatʼei.
So, it seems it was a newspaper that she found.
Ax̱ x̱ʼusyeedé anateech.
She would bring it underneath my feet.
{yax̱} «A káa yan kalyásʼ, léelkʼw.
“Step on it, grandma.
{hél} Hél gux̱latlʼeex.»
It won't get dirty.”
At that time,
chʼa wáa sá ax̱ x̱ʼéig̱aa yatee.
she is really obedient to me.
«Yéi áwé, chx̱ánkʼ.
“That's the way, grandchild.
That's good.”
Aag̱áa áwé,
So then,
ax̱ een akaawaneek,
he told me,
«Dei yee dakádin áyá yaa nx̱agút, síkʼ.
“I am leaving you now, little daughter.
Dei gwál hóochʼ een yís áyá yei yee kḵwasatéen.»
Now this might be the last time I'll see you all.”
Dei yáade yaa s {ḵu} ḵunatín.
They're already starting to travel here.
Yáat, has du hídi át la.áayin.
Here, their house used to sit there.
Aag̱áa áwé yéi x̱at yawsiḵaa,
At that time, he said to me,
«Ax̱ tuwáa sigóo
“I would like
yá ax̱ x̱oonxʼí jeeyís
for these relatives of mine
hél ax̱ tuwáa ushgú shayeedé kax̱dag̱aax̱í.
I don't want to be crying for (my own) life.
Ax̱ téix̱ʼ áyá yaa x̱at yanadláḵ.»
My heart is defeating me.” [My heart is failing.]
The last time, hóochʼ een yís. Hél x̱wasateen
The last time, for the last time. I didnʼt see him
after that.
Ách áwé
That is why
yá haa Chookaneidí,
these Chookaneidí of ours,
they have that battle cry. When theyʼre gonna die, instead of crying for their life, they do the battle cry. They call it,
at shuwul.aax̱.
[This word means something like “to foretell something with sound”]
I would hear it.
Yóotʼaa Johnny Hinchman {x̱at woo}
That one, Johnny Hinchman,
x̱at woo.éexʼ yáade.
he invited me here.
Aadé ḵuwtuwateen dei ax̱ síkʼ een.
We went there then, with my little daughter.
Áwé yéi x̱at yawsiḵaa, «Ax̱ tuwáa sigóo
Then he said to me, “I would like
ax̱ húnx̱u shát,
my elder brother's wife,
ax̱ tuwáa sigóo yá {hél} hél party-x̱ eegoot.
I like it you don't go partying.
X̱áach áwé ikḵwa.éexʼ.
I am going to invite you myself.
Wé ANB Hall-de wu{tu}tuwa.aat. {shax̱}
We went to the ANB Hall.
Yéi kwligéikʼ Sherry.
Sherry was this small.
Wé du x̱ʼayáa ayawtooneiyích áwé tle
Because we respected his words,
one hundred dollars a jeet ootéeych.
one hundred dollars he gave to her.
Ax̱ waḵshiyeet ootéeych ax̱ séekʼ,
She shows it to me, my little daughter,
«Xʼoon dáanaa sáyá, Atléi?»
“How much money is this, Mom?”
«Kʼidéin yan tí. Hél chʼa koogéiyi át eesháadiḵ.»
“Store it carefully. Donʼt just bring it around carelessly.”
Ásíwégé {akaaw} akoolkʼwáatʼch.
It seems that she would fold it.
Tle sh doonaadé andateech.
Then she would put it under her clothing.
Áwé ltín,
So look,
daaxʼoon hándit yéi ajeewaḵéi ax̱ séekʼ,
four hundred dollars is how much he paid her, my little daughter,
{du x̱ʼayá} du x̱ʼayáx̱ wuteeyí.
she behaved according to his instructions.
Johnny Hinchman.
Oh, daat káxʼ sá?
Oh, for what?
Huh? Daat káxʼ sáwé?
What was it for?
{am aadóo aadóo ji} Gwál du tláa wunaawú áwé.
Maybe that was when his mother passed.
Ah, ax̱ séekʼ in yáat ax̱ tláa ḵa ax̱ éesh hás x̱ánt ḵuwtuwatín.
Uh, with my little daughter, here by my mother and my father we traveled.
About one month yáa yéi haa wootee, tléixʼ dís x̱ʼáanáx̱.
About one month we were here, the span of one month.
Aag̱áa áwé haa woo.éexʼ.
Then at that time he invited us.
Neilt ḵutootéeni áwé du éesh jeet yéi awsinei.
When we arrived at home, she gave it to her father.
Rusty jeet yéi awsinei.
She gave it to Rusty.
«{mom} Ax̱ tláach yéi x̱at daayaḵá
“My mother told me
yee x̱ooní áyá,
this is you folksʼ relative,
áyá dáanaa ax̱ jeet yéi awsinee.»
he gave me the money.”
Yax̱ ayakawlikʼwátʼ
She folded it all up,
dáanaa áwé du éesh waḵshiyeexʼ yéi adaané.
the money right in front of her fatherʼs face sheʼs doing it.
The first time ah, tle shuxʼáanáx̱
The first time uh, then the first time
party-t x̱wagoodí áwé.
I attended a party that was.
Ax̱ sáni hás {hél}
My paternal uncles
hél ax̱ tuwáa ushgú
I didnʼt want
x̱at wu.éexʼi,
when he invited me,
chʼas hél du x̱ʼa{a}kayáanáx̱ yax̱wagoot.
I didnʼt just pass up his invitation.
Ax̱ tláa yéi x̱at yawsiḵaa,
My mother said to me,
«Kʼidéin áwé keeshxeet, síkʼ.
“You write well, little daughter.
Daa sá iya.áx̱ kanashxítx̱.»
Write everything you have heard.”
Take records of it. Itʼs how Iʼve been helping.
Ḵóot x̱wadishée aan.
I helped people with it.
Lots of people are modern. They donʼt care for it, they donʼt go. "Ah, let them do it." They donʼt wanna go
to the parties. But when they lost relatives, they woke up and found out itʼs important. My mom said,
«Yóo kg̱eegútkw síkʼ yi.aax̱í aadóo sá wunaaỹí ḵóox̱ gag̱idashée.
“You will go there, little daughter, when you hear that whoever has died, you will help the people.
I jeexʼ x̱at wunaayí tléináx̱ áwé ax̱ x̱áni yéi kg̱eenóok.
If I pass away in your arms, you'll be the only one sitting beside me.
Yéi iyagax̱dusḵáa, ‹Tlél daa sá du tuwáa ushgú wé Lily.
They'll say to you, ʼShe doesnʼt want anything, that Lily.
Hél du x̱ánx̱ yee.aadíḵ.›»
Donʼt go by her.ʼ “
She says, "She never helped with anything, donʼt bother with her. Thatʼs the way our people are," she said.
«Aadóo sá wunaayí,
“Whenever someone passes,
even help little bit."
Ax̱ tláa yéi x̱at daayaḵáa neejín,
My mother always used to say to me,
«Yóonax̱.áa ikawuháayi áwé, síkʼ,
“When you're on the other side, little daughter,
aag̱áa áwé
that's when
i eedé gax̱dushée dei i náḵ-.» Thatʼs what my mother used to say.
people will help you now.”
She said, "Weʼre not like Juneau, when somebody dies, they take the body to mortuary, let it go. Let somebody else worry about it. Us, we take care of it ourselves.
We have no mortuary."
Wéi, nanáa ax̱ tláa,
So, when my mother died,
wáa sáyá, ax̱ shátx̱ áhé,
for some reason, my older sister,
ḵúnáx̱ {yan} yankáxʼ haa éeshch wusix̱án,
really our father truly loved her,
Áwé ltín {ax̱}
So you see
ax̱ tláa nanáa,
when my mother died,
ḵushtuyáx̱ jinkaat dáanaa, tleiḵáa dáanaa áa daak x̱watéeych,
regardless if I brought out (only) ten dollars, twenty dollars (to contribute)
chʼa g̱óot ḵáa wunaawú.
when somebody else dies.
Ax̱ tláa yéi x̱at yawsiḵaa,
My mother said this to me,
«Chʼa ayáx̱ áwé ḵeeyanóok, síkʼ.
“You are acting just right, little daughter.
Yóonax̱.áa ikawuhaayí, i eedé gax̱dushée.
When you end up on the other side, you will be helped.
Dei yee náḵ yaa nx̱agút.
I'm walking away from you all now.
A yayeedé áyá sh keeda.áaḵw.»
That's what you're practicing for.”
Áwé ltín nanáa,
So you see when she died,
Uh, eleven thousand yéi ??? (kaawagei) du daat át.
eleven thousand it amounted to, what was donated for her [lit. “the things around her”]
{tlél gíwé} aag̱áawé tsá wé,
and then
Canada-dáx̱ ax̱ tláakʼw,
my maternal aunt from Canada,
ax̱ tláa du shátx̱,
my mother's older sister,
haat has ḵoowatín.
they arrived.
{hél tsu haa} Hél tsu haax̱ has ḵooteenín.
They never used to come here.
Ax̱ tláa nanáa haat has ḵoowatín.
When my mother died, they came.
Juneau-t has ḵoowatín.
They travelled to Juneau.
Áwé ltín,
So you see,
ldakát yéide haat ḵuyawdiháa; Hoonah, Haines, Wrangell.
people came here from all kinds of places; Hoonah, Haines, Wrangell.
Ixkéedáx̱ tsú kei aa ḵoowatín nanáa.
Some people came up from down south (lower 48 states) too, when she died.
{hél} Ax̱ yáa ḵut woonee.
I was amazed.
Hél tsu one cents {yéi k} a yináa kawuhaa,
Not one cent, either, went toward it,
{du yana} du nanáawu.
her death.
four thousand dollars
four thousand dollars
a wanyáa kaawaháa.
it (the amount they put up) had surpassed.
Wé ax̱ sáni jeet wutuwatée, Joe.
We gave it to my paternal uncle, Joe.
Am, hóochʼi aayí du x̱úx̱, ax̱ tláa.
Um, her last husband, my mother.
Du jeet wutuwatée. I forgot all about Joe.
We gave it to him.
Yeah, four thousand dollars, ax̱ shátx̱ich. {yéi aw}
Yeah, four thousand dollars, my older sister.
Haa tláa awlitín.
He took care of our mother.
«Du jeet tí.»
“Give it to him.” [Her older sister said.]
Du jeet wutuwatée.
We gave it to him.
Yéi áwé x̱wsikóo da chʼa aadóo sá wunaawú {tle} tle,
That is how I know it, then whenever anybody dies,
áx̱ x̱agóot.
I go there.
Áwé yeedát ḵúnáx̱ ax̱ toowú yanéekw, du dakádin ḵuwtuwatín.
Well right now, I am very sad, we travelled away from her.
Ah, Irene Lampe, ḵúnáx̱ ax̱ een wooch isx̱ánin. My {fa} my husband said weʼre
Uh, Irene Lampe, we really loved each other.
gonna fly in tonight for her funeral.
Oh, yá xáanaa.
Oh, this evening.
Hóochʼi aayí ax̱ aat áwé.
She was the last of my paternal aunts.
Ó, ahah.
Oh, uhuh.
We grew up together with Irene Lampe.
Gee, she was good with her Tlingit stuff.
Oh, Iʼll say.
{wéi, áa kax̱wli} I translated.
Tle hóochʼi aayí yéi awsineeyi aa.
The last one that she did. [Tlingit Conversation 23]
Yeisú yan wutusinée, héitʼaa een.
We just got through fixing it (the translation) with that one (indicating Ljáaḵkʼ Alice Taff).
Aadé sh kalneek yé,
The way she is telling,
«Chʼa tlákw,
tlákw yagiyee áwé
{x̱at} x̱at dux̱ísht.
I get spanked.
ḵa after school yei x̱anúkch,
and after school I sit,
every day. Tlákw yakyee.
every day. Every day.
Wáang̱aneens every other day,
Sometimes every other day,
a x̱ʼáaxʼ x̱at yawduwajée, Lingít yoo x̱ʼatángi.»
I got punished because of it, the Tlingit language.”
Chʼa x̱áach tsu {x̱ws}
Just myself, too,
The way our people were,
aadé at téeyi yé,
the way that things are, (at that time)
because of death, it was important for us to keep the culture.
Jiyinaag̱í ḵwá, naná tléináx̱ i káa yéi kg̱washx̱éen.
If you let it go, though, death will fall solely on you.
Tlél jeenáḵx̱iḵ yá chʼáagu ádi.
Don't ever let the old ways go.
Thatʼs the culture, donʼt let it go.
And it was going away from us when we started this Huna Totem.
[Local Corporation formed under the terms of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act ]
Through Huna Totem we start having Tlingit classes.
Came back ok.
Yeah, yá yées a(dátxʼi)
Yeah, these young children,
Some of the kids say, "Why do I have to do this? Theyʼre dead already, they donʼt know. Donʼt have to force us."
I said, "The reason why is,
wa.é tsú ikwg̱anáa.
you too, you will die.
Nobody lived forvever. Youʼre gonna die, too.
Thatʼs why."
Itʼs too hard on a person to {lose} lose family. Youʼre all alone. Your relatives come and help. They pick you up.
Ḵúnáx̱ wooch éex̱ dushee.
People really help each other.
Yéi áwé x̱wsikóo, ax̱ tláach,
That's how I know it, my mother,
ax̱ een kaawaneek,
she told me,
«Ḵushtuyáx̱ áwé wáa sá yaa ikanashéini, síkʼ,
“Regardless of however you are suffering, little daughter,
ḵaa daax̱ nagoot.»
always help people.” (lit. “always walk around people”).
Yakʼéi wooch, I really went forward when my son got murdered in Juneau.
Itʼs good together,
I named him after my uncle, John J. Fawcett. Irving.
It was three in the morning, phone was ringing, Jake said, "Phoneʼs ringing!"
I ran out of bed and answered. Police. "This is Juneau Police. Are you Mrs. White?"
I said, "Yes."
"We have bad news for you, Lily. Your son was just murdered."
"Which one?" I had two boys in Juneau.
"This one is Irving White."
Named him after my uncle, John J. Fawcett.
I almost died. I screamed, "Jake! Get up! Our boy is gone."
He came running out.
Up to this day, cops in Juneau, law, never did nothing to find out who killed him.
I remember that.
The mortician told my older son that came from Vietnam,
he said, "This is the strongest boy I know."
He said, "He was stabbed in the head,
reached his brain. He was stabbed in the back, reached his heart. And he walked for help.
He came into the bar, Vickie said. They were there.
He walked to that bartender, said, "Get an ambulance, Iʼve been stabbed up."
He went into the bathroom and he died. He came back out, he fell on the floor and died on the floor.
Vickie said, "Hey! Thatʼs brother Irving!" They jumped up. Harriet Roberts was in there, too. Her fatherʼs namesake.
The mortician said, "Nobody that got stabbed in the brain will walk. This is a strong boy."
He walked for help. Of today we donʼt know who did it to our son.
Hél akawuneek.
He didn't tell.
Oh my.
He just came out of the army. He was in the service.
Two of my boys went same time. Jake Jr. went to Vietnam.
Heʼs got that, what do they call that disease the boys come home with?
Agent Orange? He came home with it. Irv, Dóoni.
Yagéiyi, He was in the Navy.
Yagéiyi adátxʼi áa woonaa, Vietnam.
Many children died there, Vietnam.
I taught him the battle cry, "When you know youʼre gonna die, you do this battle cry."
Chookaneidí. Dóoni.
(Heʼs) Chookaneidí clan. Dóoni.
He said, "It wonʼt make me live long, why should I do it?"
I said, "Donʼt talk like that, youʼre Chookaneidí.
Weʼre brave people. We came out of Glacier Bay alive, our people.
Weʼre in existence today.
We couldʼve been all gone {by} by that glacier."
Ákwé yeeyshee dziyáak?
Is that what you folks sang earlier?
Wé battle cry.
That battle cry.
Ákwé yeeyshee?
Is that what you folks sang?
Yeah. Oh, uhuh. Man that composed the song was named Ḵaanax̱duwóosʼ.
Oh, {oh I} x̱wa.aax̱ín.
Oh, I heard that.
Yeah. Ah, ax̱ éeshch shée neejín. Mhm.
Uh, my father always used to sing it.
Wáang̱aneens a káa yaa kagasheejín. Yeah.
Sometimes he used to break into song on it.
There was Kaagwaantaan tribe there, Chookaneidí, Wooshkeetaan came from interior.
Canada side. After the recede, thatʼs when they went Glacier Bay finally.
Ax̱ yáa ḵut woonee.
I'm amazed.
Yagéiyi át áwé yisikóo.
You know a lot of things.
Yagéiyi át áwé ysikóo dei.
You know a lot now.
Grew up in it, listening to it at the parties. They tell the stories.
My mom said, "You didnʼt come here to visit. You listen to whatʼs going on over there. Youʼre gonna learn from it.
Otherwise, when weʼre all gone, you guys wonʼt know what to do."
Right now Iʼm tring to have practice with Chookaneidí.
They donʼt know the songs, they donʼt know the history.
Trying to have practice with them to teach them songs.
Yáa shuxʼáanáx̱ one hour x̱ʼáanáx̱ kéi keeyashee yá
Here at the beginning you sang for one hour these
yee x̱ʼasheeyí.
your peopleʼs songs.
Yáatʼaa tsú a káa yéi wootee.
This one was on there also.
X̱áach ḵwá ax̱ tuwáa sigóo yá
I would like it myself, though, this
ldakát ḵáach wuskoowú ax̱ éesh x̱ʼasheeyí.
for everyone to know my father's song.
Hél ax̱ tuwáa ushgú chʼa koogéiyi dusheeyí.
I don't want it to be sung carelessly.
Yeah. {i tu} Ax̱ tuwáa sigóo tsu kéi kayisheeyí.
I want you to sing it again.
Yáatʼaa káa yéi kg̱watée.
It will be (recorded) on this one.
My dadʼs song is going to be on this one.
She request me to sing it again.
Ax̱ káak X̱ʼaadóo x̱ʼasheeyí áyá.
This is my maternal uncle X̱ʼaadóo-ʼs song.
Xóots hittaanx̱ wusitee.
He was of the Bear House People.
Du shát daatx̱ x̱á akawlishee.
He composed it about his wife, you see.
Hei aya
(vocables) [Silas Dalton's song to his wife as he was dying, sad to leave her. Presented here by Lily White, Silas's neice, and Margeret Dutson, Silas's daughter.]
Aa heinee aya
heinee aya
Aa heinee aya
heinee aya
aa haa hoohe aa haa hoohe
a heinee aya
aa hoohe
heinee aya
aa haa nee aya
haa nee aya
Hóochʼi sagoowú
A final good time
hoo ei du een yéi daa.eené
with him you are making
Yanyeidí Yátx'i,
Children of Yanyeidí.
i léelkʼw hás aaníde
toward your grandfathers' land,
x̱aan iyataan á
youʼre going with me
aa heinee aya
aa nee aya
Hóochʼi sagoowú,
A final good time
du een yéi daa.eené
with him you're having it
hei yoo oo
Yanyeidí Yátxʼi.
Children of Yanyeidí.
I léelkʼw hás aaníde
Toward your grandfather's land
x̱aan iyataan á
you're going with me
X̱ách yeedát
But here now,
Lax̱éitlx̱ wusitee
It has become good fortune
yei haa hoo hei yee
aa heinee aya
aa nee aya
Yáa dachóon.
Straight ahead.
aa heinee aya
aa heinee aya
aa heinee aya
aa heinee aya
aa haa hoo hei yee
aa heinee aya
aa nee aya
Dei chʼa lidzée,
However, it's difficult,
yáa yaa nanáan á
she is here dying
Yanyeidí Yátxʼi,
Children of Yanyeidí.
dei i náḵ x̱áawé
I am now leaving you
dei yaa nx̱agút
I'm walking away now
eesháan ax̱ Yéili.
poor, my Raven.
aa nee aya
aa haa hoo hei
aa heinee aya
a haa hoo hei
aa heinee aya
aa nee aa ch'u yéi.
Dei chʼa lidzée,
However, it's difficult,
yáa yaa nanáan á
she is here dying
Yanyeidí Yátxʼi,
Children of Yanyeidí.
dei i náḵ x̱áawé
I am now leaving you
dei yaa nx̱agút
I'm walking away now
eesháan ax̱ Yéili.
poor, my Raven.
aa nee aya
a haa hoo hei
aa heinee aya
a haa hoo hei
aa heinee aya
haa nee aya. Hóoch á.
The end.
aa heinee aya
Aa aa ya wei.
{hél} Hél gé wáa sá utí wéitʼaa káa yéi wuteeyí? Yeah.
Is it OK if it is on that thing (recording)?
Itʼs for you, Marge, itʼs ok. Nobody sings it anymore; itʼs almost lost.
Oh, ax̱ jeet iyateeyi aa.
Oh, the one you have given me.
Thatʼs your sheet, ok.
Áwé ltín, yan shuwjix̱ín. Hóochʼ.
Oh, look, it has come to an end. Itʼs over.