Play annotation Xuyh, Roots. Told by Edna Deacon at the home of Alta Jerue, Shageluk, AK, October 2002.
Recorded by Alice Taff and Donna Miller MacAlpine. Transcribed and translated by Donna Miller MacAlpine, Edna Deacon, and Alice Taff. (words added for clarification), {false start}, [note], (DM = Donna Miller MacAlpine)
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Play annotation Si'ezre' Edna.
My name is Edna.
Play annotation {xedh xedh} Xidhitlandi Łegg Jitno'.
The place where I was born (was) Shageluk.
Play annotation Singonh vi'ezre' Anna Wilson.
My mother was called Anna Wilson.
Play annotation Sito' vi'ezre' Peter Matthews.
My father was called Peter Matthews.
Play annotation Soda vi'ezre' Isabelle.
My older sister was called Isabelle.
Play annotation And sighaye, Edward, Riley, Morris,
And my older brothers, Edward, Riley, Morris,
Play annotation and sichidlqay yi McMohan, John, and there were
and my younger brothers McMohan, John, and there were
Play annotation other two, tr'ixineganh ye chilqay xun ezre' qul.
other two, babies, boys with no names.
Play annotation And my half sister is Lucy.
Play annotation (DM) Is there a word in deg xiq'i for half-sister?
Play annotation Ngidiq,
Up there (pointing from Anvik towards Shageluk),
Play annotation sixinitlyonh, singonh and sito'.
they raised me, my mother and my father.
Play annotation Sito' getiy, a,
My father really,
Play annotation dinanoł di'ne tux,
when he tells us,
Play annotation yuxudz nitr'iho'oł ts'i xiyan'.
everything we have to obey.
Play annotation Dina ts'i viyi xitaldhiyh, dixo'in,
At us he gets mad, therefore,
Play annotation vitr'inałjit.
we are scared of him.
Play annotation Nixsiyał xingo,
While I was growing up,
Play annotation "Yuxudz ingit'anh," siłne tux.
"You have things to do," he tells me.
Play annotation "Yuxudz ist'anh ts'i xiyan'.
"Always be making something.
Play annotation Digił'anh iłt'e," siłne.
Make something always," he always tells me.
Play annotation Idał digitatl'an',
The first time I start making things,
Play annotation xuyh xuxithdatl, singonh and sito'.
roots they're going for, my mother and father.
Play annotation Sidedig,
Me too,
Play annotation gidenist'ith xuyh,
I cut down roots,
Play annotation ghitseg gguy.
willow roots.
Play annotation Sito', "Gidił'anh," siłne {ngo xa} {xan xen}
My father, "Make something," he tells me.
Play annotation "Go dadz ingit'a iy,
"Do this way,
Play annotation dingił'anh ts'i, ngo xiq'at," siłne.
work at it, is what I want," he tells me.
Play annotation "Xuyh tingił
"Root basket (like a pail with a handle and a lid)
Play annotation ithe dingił'anh ts'i xixindli'anh ts'i a," siłne q'idughitux.
why don't you learn to make it," he says to me sometimes.
Play annotation Ts'i yitots'i, xuyh,
So, roots,
Play annotation gitr'ighił'an'.
we gathered some.
Play annotation Dina yix xutthegh xiłdik niggontr'ididatl ts'i.
Our house, down the bank from it, we came there (landed).
Play annotation Diq'on tr'idliyo.
Up the bank we carried them (the roots).
Play annotation Yitdi venhdidi xiłdik,
Right then the next day,
Play annotation singonh, "Viq'angitr'itiłch'ił," yiłne.
my mother, "We are going to start peeling," she says.
Play annotation Vits'e isne.
I'm helping her.
Play annotation "Go dadz dingił'anh iy," siłne.
"Like this do it," she tells me.
Play annotation Tr'ixeneg ts'i,
Carefully,
Play annotation niya'," siłne.
scrape it," she says to me.
Play annotation Yuxudz itl'anh.
All this I'm doing.
Play annotation Ixiłdik,
Then,
Play annotation "Sriłt'ingiłch'ił iy," siłne.
"Split it in half," he tells me.
Play annotation Gee, ndadz go {dil} digili'anh ts'in'?
Gee, how I'm going to do this?
Play annotation "Go dadz iy?" vidisne.
"Like this?" I ask him.
Play annotation "E," siłne.
"Yes," he tells me.
Play annotation "Gil ngenatl'eł yuxudz gidelax," vidisne.
"I'll watch you while you're doing it," I tell him.
Play annotation Yitots'i giłiggi {srił tiy, a srił}
And so one (root)
Play annotation sriłtr'iyaghiłch'ił.
he split it in half.
Play annotation "Dadz in a," siłne.
"Like this," he says to me (holding the 2 split pieces).
Play annotation Sidedig yuxudz digitatluq.
Me too I start to copy him.
Play annotation Uxiyił,
Suddenly,
Play annotation siye',
mine,
Play annotation yiggiy sriłtixinedr xiyił,
that one, right at the middle,
Play annotation "Xuyh, sriłts'ingiłch'ił iy," siłne.
"The root, you split it in half," he says to me.
Play annotation Yuxudz ditatl'andi
When I start to copy him,
Play annotation siye' yuxudz xiq'ay xits'i,
mine not even half way,
Play annotation It just didn't split all the way, so
Play annotation vits'i siye xidolningh,
I got so mad at mine,
Play annotation itlyił ts'i yuxudz ngiyixi ngin nighitldatl.
I just grabbed it and threw it on the floor.
Play annotation Viq'idz yigitlik.
On it I jump up and down.
Play annotation "Dodo dadz ingit'a ditl'anh ts'i," disne.
"No more I work at this kind," I tell him.
Play annotation Ngi'egh yitots'i tinigitsit ts'in'.
Outdoors I stormed.
Play annotation Yi xo'ot, ngi'egh getiy nedhodz ghisdo'.
Outside there, a long time I sat.
Play annotation Xidigał xidonisiyo.
Finally I walk back inside.
Play annotation "Xiday iy ngigixuyh?" siłne a sito'.
"Where are your roots?" he asked me my father.
Play annotation Yixoyix dhidlo. Dred ni'itlcheth.
Right there they are. Slowly I pick them up.
Play annotation "Gogidet iy," vidisne.
"Here they are," I tell him.
Play annotation "Dadz an a dili'anh," siłne, "tr'ixeneg ts'in'."
"This is the way to do it," he tells me, "carefully."
Play annotation {dr} "Dadz an a xiyitiłch'ił," siłne. {yi}
"This is the way they split it," he tells me.
Play annotation "Dałts'in', getiy
"One side, (if it gets) too
Play annotation xi'ughitux gits'an tr'idilay," yiłne.
thin, you turn it around," he says.
Play annotation {Tse} "Che {varne} varzne nditux," siłne'.
Try it again," he tells me.
Play annotation Yuxudz itluq yitots'i.
So I did that.
Play annotation Ixiłdik sriłtth'ighitlch'ił tr'ixeneg ts'in'.
So then I start splitting it carefully.
Play annotation "Che yuxudz dengilax iy ngo getiy
Do that way again (if it is getting) too
Play annotation diyiq iy," siłne.
wide," he tells me.
Play annotation Yuxudz itl'anh ts'i xidigał,
I'm doing all these little things to it (and) finally,
Play annotation digitatl'an'.
I start doing it.
Play annotation I was about 3 years old when I started that.
Play annotation Sit'o taught me when I was about 3 years old.
Play annotation How to split roots.
Play annotation And a lot of those old people tell me,
Play annotation I learn fast from my father cause my father was an expert.
Play annotation I didn't know it that time.
Play annotation Because he had to split his own roots for fish traps, too.
Play annotation I make baskets, he show me how to start it.
Play annotation But I get so mad with it. I just stomp on the floor. I grab my poor little basket where I started,
Play annotation try to make the round one on the middle, and I,
Play annotation that inside roots just come right off and I'll just drop it to the floor and just stomp on it.
Play annotation I'm not gonna, gonna make no basket I say.
Play annotation But as the days go by I'll go and pick it up again and my father would tell me, "I'll help you."
Play annotation So he would help me and I watch him,
Play annotation in how to cut the roots down. He'll show me.
Play annotation He'll hold my little hands with... "I'll hold the knife he said. You put your roots right, right here on your hand like this and..."
Play annotation He'll cut it a little bit, yeah. "You gotta hold just right so you don't cut your thumb," he tell me.
Play annotation That's how I learned. But it took lots of patience.
Play annotation But I had hard time.
Play annotation I get mad at it and I'll throw it on the floor and stomp all over it and I wouldn't, I'd say I wouldn't try to make baskets.
Play annotation But I did learn.
Play annotation (DM) Maybe you could tell us now, like now how you go and get the roots and everything.
Play annotation When and how and where and the what!
Play annotation Deg xiq'i.
The local language.
Play annotation (ED) Deg xiq'i?
(In our) local language?
Play annotation Go idał xuyh xitr'ididał tux,
Right now, roots, when we are going for them,
Play annotation yiq'i yeg ne q'idz,
around there on the islands,
Play annotation ne q'idz niq'itr'idił.
on the island we land.
Play annotation "Go deg an a xuyh dil'anh," xividisne.
"Around here roots are collected," I say to them.
Play annotation Sraqaye dinayił dixit'anh,
The children (who) with us come along,
Play annotation "Ndagh a xuyh dili'anh ts'i. Ngo xuyh qul a ts'i," xi'ne.
"Where are the roots? Here (there are) no roots," they say.
Play annotation Yiggiy yeg yuxudz q'ugixinditoyh.
Those things (roots) they're looking all around for them.
Play annotation "Ndagh a xuyh? Ngo xuyh qul a," sixi'ne.
Where are the roots? There's no roots", they tell me.
Play annotation "On," xividisne. Come and
"Come," I tell them.
Play annotation Xivinotthi yitots'i.
I'm leading them.
Play annotation Tritl tux isoyh.
Among the willows I walk.
Play annotation "Deg 'n at xuyh ditl'anh," xividisne.
"Right around here the roots I get," I tell them.
Play annotation "Ngo xuyh qul a," sixi'ne yitongo.
"Well, (there are) no roots," they tell me meanwhile.
Play annotation Deg xiq'i yitots'i xivixo xinisayh,
In my language then I'm talking about them,
Play annotation "Sraqay tlagg ye," xividisne.
"No-good kids," I'm saying about them.
Play annotation Sixidhiłtth'onh qul.
They don't understand me.
Play annotation "Xantr'ixuxuneg.
"You don't know a thing.
Play annotation Dughiyix xuyh xelanh dan go," xividisne.
Down here there's roots right here," I say.
Play annotation Sixinił'anh.
They're looking at me.
Play annotation Ghisoł xingo dadz disneyh.
While I'm walking, I bend down.
Play annotation Dadz disneyh ts'i.
Like this I bend down.
Play annotation "Gogidet iy.
"Here they are.
Play annotation Gon yiłtuxneyh," xividisne.
This one (root) pull on it," I tell them.
Play annotation Sixinitlggadz!
They're looking at me hard!
Play annotation Tr'ixighonitldix itl'e.
I guess I surprise them.
Play annotation "Go deg, a,
"Around here,
Play annotation {xenon didligho} xinondidliyoy, gho xiyił xuyh xelanh," xividisne.
the willows that stand up, attached to them there are roots," I tell them.
Play annotation "Axa xinuxł'anh," xividisne.
"Look around there," I tell them.
Play annotation "Vizro dadz ingit'a
It looks like this (showing them roots before I pull them).
Play annotation tritl ghun'," xughi disne.
willows, near them," about it I tell them.
Play annotation "Iy dinuxłqoyh ts'i.
"Chop it off.
Play annotation Yadz tuxla," xividisne,
Pull it out," I told them.
Play annotation "viyił uxłiggok angthe ts'i łats q'idz."
"with it run out there on top of the mud. [The kids are pulling up the long roots and following them down towards the river.]
Play annotation Yadz ingdizrusr uxixitux.
So (the roots) are pulled up that way. [The roots are so shallow that they pull up with no struggle.]
Play annotation Ne q'idz getiy, a, q'idughitux xezrenh.
On the islands really, ah, sometimes they (the roots) are (really) good.
Play annotation Xezrenh tux xełedz łats viq'idz qul.
When it's good, it's nice (because) there's no mud on top.
Play annotation Ixitux ghizro vixidughit'an'.
When it's like that you could easily see them.
Play annotation Vith togh xiyił, {and a}
Under the bank,
Play annotation xuyh ditr'ił'anh, giyanditelay,
roots we get, inside roots, [Warp roots that the split weft roots are woven over.]
Play annotation xuyh tth'oq xonet, xuyh tingił {yo}.
(for) root trays, root baskets.
Play annotation Xonet giyanditel ditr'iłt'anh,
Inside roots we gather,
Play annotation xuyh a, vith t'ogh xit'o inathchit iy.
roots under the bank that are hanging down.
Play annotation Oh, the roots what I get is from on the sandbar. We get it even in the spring, summer or fall.
Play annotation And you just can see it on the sandbar. One time I brought school kids out on the sandbar. And I tell them, "Come, there's roots back there."
Play annotation "Where? There's no roots here," they told me. I tell them, "Sure. There's roots right here." I dug in the mud like this and I tell them, "Here. Pull this." And it just start coming off, long roots. And it just was to the one tree over there.
Play annotation Gee, they were so surprised. That's how I got roots from the sandbar. Some years the gravel on the sandbar is just ah maybe about 2 or 3 inches. That's very good to get, to find that kind of place so you wouldn't have to work hard to pull roots out.
Play annotation But this last few years it was so lots of water we had to shovel and shovel. We had to take shovel along. We get big bundles, big round bundles and they're just long. I'll, I'll take about maybe 3 bundles home and then when I get home I start cutting them in pieces. I separate them, from the fat and the skinny ones. I pile it up and then I put it up in my cache.
Play annotation And from there I start cleaning them. I start scraping them, and splitting it and cutting it down into shape for ah, making, ah, trays and baskets with lids.
Play annotation And the skinny ones I {y} save it for weaving, for birch bark baskets, edges.
Play annotation But it's lots of work.
Play annotation I take my grandchildren out and show them how to get roots but I never show them how to split it yet.
Play annotation I show, I teach 3 of my grand boys how to make birch bark basket.
Play annotation And they make it. They sell it for you know their own, to buy clothes for their own self.