Mary Cardinal Collins: wâpos-mêyisa, 20 March 2013

Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus), white morph, Shirleys Bay, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Photographed by D. Gordon E. Robertson

Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus), white morph, Shirleys Bay, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Photographed by D. Gordon E. Robertson

tâns âta wîya nitôtêmitik!  

kayâs mâna wâpos-tâpakwêwin iskwêw-atoskêwin. nikâwiy mîna kî-itwêw mân ôhi wâpôs-mêyisa ê-maskihkîwahk.

Long ago snaring rabbit or hare for food was a woman’s job. Rabbit droppings were considered medicinal; that’s why I’ve chosen this name for my blog contributions!
The old ladies would also use the fur for blankets and clothing.  The fur would be cut into strips and woven into blankets, then covered with cloth much like the duvets are nowadays. I remember these warm blankets. The woven fur was also made into jackets for small children.

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My droppings this week, from talking to my mom. ‘nikâwiy ê-pâhpihkiswatak’

Niya: tânisi êkwa anohc isi-kîsikaw? Miyo kîsikaw ci?
‘what is today like[weatherwise] is it a nice day?’

Nikâwiy: yâhkwâmahk êkwa anohc miyo kîsikaw
‘for a change it is nice’

I had to ask my sister what yâhkwâmahk meant in English, although I understood sometimes those expressions are hard to translate especially the connector expressions like “subsequently, although, because.” She said it means ‘for a change.’

  • A form of address that is old and I do not hear anymore is nêkâh. This is like mother/mommy. I would say this to my mom when addressing her.
  • Another form of address is nitotêmitik. Making an announcement for a welcoming speech or a speech of support at a wake. The suffix –tik indicates honorific: ‘honoured friends’. Other forms are ‘iskwêtik, otê apik’. You [honorable] women sit here. napêtik: honoured men.
  • One does not usually say nitotêmak in addressing a group. You would use this when mentioning your friends: mihcêt nitotêmak takohtêwak. ‘many of my friends arrived.’
Mary Cardinal Collins

Mary Cardinal Collins

êkosi mâka.
mîna kîhtwâm.
Mary Cardinal Collins

 

About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, a not-for-profit-in-the-making with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
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2 Responses to Mary Cardinal Collins: wâpos-mêyisa, 20 March 2013

  1. Lyle John says:

    Mistahi ninanaskomitinawaw e’ahkumeyimoyek nehiyaw pekiskwewin e’kiskinoh’hamakeyek.ni meyeyihten.Ahkumeyimok.Mistahi e’weechi’hiyekok kotuk ayiseenwak.

  2. Lyle John says:

    Akumeyimok.Ki nanaskomitinawaw nehiyaw pekiskwewina e’kiskino’makiyek.namoya o’chitaw. Mistahi eweecheehiyehkok ayisenewak

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