Remy Wes sent this image of a page of printed syllabics into the FaceBook Group nêhiyawêwin (Cree) Word of the Day, asking for a translation. It turned into a big team effort, with help from lots of directions. Ultimately, it was Solomon Ratt who completed transliteration into roman spelling, and provided a translation. The new transcription and translation appear below.
It’s important to note in looking at this text that it is written in “plain” (not “pointed”) syllabics. Plain syllabics works well for fluent speaker/readers as a kind of shorthand. They don’t need the aspiration or length marks to understand what is meant. But the rest of us sure do! Thanks to Sol for filling in the gaps for those of us who are learning. The amount of work that goes into this is not trivial. And now we need Remy to find Page 9!
Looking for a syllabic chart to help work through this puzzle on your own? Look no farther than yesterday’s CLN Post: Syllabics and SRO: Two sides of the same coin.
|kihcihtwâ-mitê||ᑭᐦᒋᐦᑤ ᒥᑌ||Warrior Heart|
|pwak-cipwêyan âpêhtaw||ᑅᐠ ᒋᐻᔭᐣ ᐋᐯᐦᑕᐤ||????mid-week>>>|
|piwâcakinasîs 24 ê-akimiht 1972||ᐱᐚᒐᑭᓇᓰᐢ 24 ᐁᐊᑭᒥᐦᐟ 1972||24 December, 1972|
|asa asa niciwâ piyisk âtawiya nitakosinin wîsahkâcâhkk ê-kî- papâmi-wîcêwak kinwêsk. apisis âcimowin kika-miyitin. mêkwâc ôta kâ-ayâyâhk namôya awiyak kêhcinâc ahkosiw..||ᐊᓴ ᐊᓴ ᓂᒋᐚ ᐱᔨᐢᐠ ᐋᑕᐏᔭ ᓂᑕᑯᓯᓂᐣ ᐑᓴᐦᑳᒑᕽᐠ ᐁ ᑮ ᐸᐹᒥ ᐑᒉᐘᐠ ᑭᓊᐢᐠ᙮ ᐊᐱᓯᐢ ᐋᒋᒧᐏᐣ ᑭᑲ ᒥᔨᑎᐣ᙮ ᒣᒁᐨ ᐆᑕ ᑳ ᐊᔮᔮᕽ ᓇᒨᔭ ᐊᐏᔭᐠ ᑫᐦᒋᓈᐨ ᐊᐦᑯᓯᐤ||asa, asa, my cousin, at last I eventually arrive. I went about with Wîsahkêcâhk for a long time. I will give you a little bit of the story. While we are here, no one is sick.|
|kahkiyaw sôskwâc nimiywâyânân mîna mistai nimiyo-takwâkinisinân||ᑲᐦᑭᔭᐤ ᓲᐢᒁᐨ ᓂᒥᔼᔮᓈᐣ ᒦᓇ ᒥᐢᑕᐃ ᓂᒥᔪ ᑕᒁᑭᓂᓯᓈᐣ ᓇᒨᔭ ᐏᐦᑳᐨ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑭᓯᓈᐤ ᒦᓇ ᓇᒨᔭ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑰᓂᐘᐣ||All of us, for sure, are well. We had a wonderful autumn.|
|namôya wihkâc ohci kisinâw mîna namôya ohci kôniwan namôya ayiwâk nêwo misisicân ohci kôniwan.||ᓇᒨᔭ ᐊᔨᐚᐠ ᓀᐓ ᒥᓯᓯᒑᐣ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑰᓂᐘᐣ᙮||It was never cold and there was no snow, not even four 'feet' of snow.|
|êkwêyâc êkwa mistahi mah-mispon mîna kah-kisinâw. miywâsin ôta nôcihcikêwin||ᐁᑵᔮᐨ ᐁᑿ ᒥᐢᑕᐦᐃ ᒪᐦ ᒥᐢᐳᐣ ᒦᓇ ᑲᐦ ᑭᓯᓈᐤ᙮ ᒥᔼᓯᐣ ᐆᑕ ᓅᒋᐦᒋᑫᐏᐣ||It is finally now that we have lots of snow and it is cold. There is good trapping here as it is never (too) cold.|
|êkâ wihkâc ê-kisinâk. mâka namôya tâpwê ayâw ahtay âta mistahi miywakisow ahtay itwâniwiw .. nîsta nikî-nitawi-nôcihcikêsin.. 32 kîsikâw nikî-ayân. mitoni ê-pêyakoyân ê-mostohtêyân ê-nôcihcikêsiyân. namôya kahkiyaw nikî-kanakwân nimêskanâm mâka kêyâpic nipimâtisin. 151 wacaskwak ninipahâwak, 3 mêstacâkanak, 2 pisiwak, 1 amisk, 1 ocêk, 1 sâkwêsiw, 10 sihkosak.||ᐁᑳ ᐏᐦᑳᐨ ᐁ ᑭᓯᓈᐠ᙮ ᒫᑲ ᓇᒨᔭ ᑖᐻ ᐊᔮᐤ ᐊᐦᑕᕀ ᐋᑕ ᒥᐢᑕᐦᐃ ᒥᔺᑭᓱᐤ ᐊᐦᑕᕀ ᐃᑤᓂᐏᐤ᙮ ᓃᐢᑕ ᓂᑮ ᓂᑕᐏ ᓅᒋᐦᒋᑫᓯᐣ᙮᙮ 32 ᑮᓯᑳᐤ ᓂᑮ ᐊᔮᐣ᙮ ᒥᑐᓂ ᐁ ᐯᔭᑯᔮᐣ ᐁ ᒧᐢᑐᐦᑌᔮᐣ ᐁ ᓅᒋᐦᒋᑫᓯᔮᐣ᙮ ᓇᒨᔭ ᑲᐦᑭᔭᐤ ᓂᑮ ᑲᓇᒁᐣ ᓂᒣᐢᑲᓈᒼ ᒫᑲ ᑫᔮᐱᐨ ᓂᐱᒫᑎᓯᐣ᙮ 151 ᐘᒐᐢᑿᐠ ᓂᓂᐸᐦᐋᐘᐠ, 3 ᒣᐢᑕᒑᑲᓇᐠ, 2 ᐱᓯᐘᐠ, 1 ᐊᒥᐢᐠ, 1 ᐅᒉᐠ, 1 ᓵᑵᓯᐤ, 10 ᓯᐦᑯᓴᐠ᙮||But there isn't much fur although there it is told that there is a good price for fur. I too, went trapping, travelling by food, on my own. I was unable to take up all the traps from my trail but I am still alive. I killed 151 muskrats, 3 coyotes, 2 lynx, 1 beaver, 1 fisher, 1 mink, and 10 ermine.|
|2. mêkwâc ôma kâ-masinahiwêyân nipêhtên pêyak nâpêw âkâ ê-pimâtisit ôta ohci kisêyiniw 86 pakahkam kî-itahtopiponêw pwa?k smik ahkosiwikamikohk ê-ayât êkâ kâ-pimâtisit. wiseowata kî-isiyihkâsow. nîso piko otawâsimisa..||2᙮ ᒣᒁᐨ ᐆᒪ ᑳ ᒪᓯᓇᐦᐃᐍᔮᐣ ᓂᐯᐦᑌᐣ ᐯᔭᐠ ᓈᐯᐤ ᐋᑳ ᐁ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐟ ᐆᑕ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑭᓭᔨᓂᐤ 86 ᐸᑲᐦᑲᒼ ᑮ ᐃᑕᐦᑐᐱᐳᓀᐤ ᑅ?ᐠ ᐢᒥᐠ ᐊᐦᑯᓯᐏᑲᒥᑯᕽ ᐁ ᐊᔮᐟ ᐁᑳ ᑳ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐟ᙮ ᐏᓭᐅᐘᑕ ᑮ ᐃᓯᔨᐦᑳᓱᐤ᙮ ᓃᓱ ᐱᑯ ᐅᑕᐚᓯᒥᓴ᙮||As I am writing I hear that one man has passed away, an old man from here. I think he was 86 years old...///...he was in the hospital when he passed on. 'wisowata' was his name. He only had two children.|
|3. mîna pêyakwâw kitisâpahtênaw nîpê-ayamihâwin... mihcêt mîna ka- namâtonaw kihtwâm nîpê-ayamihâki. êkwa wîsahkêcâhk nika-âcimâw ê-kî-âcimostawit tânisi ê-kî-tôtahk mîna tânisi ê-kî-ispayik..||3᙮ ᒦᓇ ᐯᔭᒁᐤ ᑭᑎᓵᐸᐦᑌᓇᐤ ᓃᐯ ᐊᔭᒥᐦᐋᐏᐣ᙮᙮᙮ ᒥᐦᒉᐟ ᒦᓇ ᑲ ᓇᒫᑐᓇᐤ ᑭᐦᑤᒼ ᓃᐯ ᐊᔭᒥᐦᐋᑭ᙮ ᐁᑿ ᐑᓴᐦᑫᒑᕽ ᓂᑲ ᐋᒋᒫᐤ ᐁ ᑮ ᐋᒋᒧᐢᑕᐏᐟ ᑖᓂᓯ ᐁ ᑮ ᑑᑕᕽ ᒦᓇ ᑖᓂᓯ ᐁ ᑮ ᐃᐢᐸᔨᐠ᙮||Once again we have come upon a wake...we will go to many wakes ourselves. Now I will tell you a story about wîsahkêcâhk, that which he told me, about what he did and how things came to be.|
|4. kêtahtawê âsa mâmitonêyihtam kihci-mohkomâninâhk êisi-nitawi- kakwê-atoskêt êkotê ayisk kâkî-ohci- ohpikit êsa kî-itwêw, êkwa sipwêhtêw ê-âpihtâwi-kîsikâyik aywêpiw, ê-pôni-mîcisot pihtwâw. mâmitonêyihtam êsa kita-kîskisamawât mist-asiniya êkota ê-apiyit “âhpô nika-nîsohkamâk ta-miyopayiyân ôma kâ-wî-nitawi-atoskêyâ,” itêyihtam. miyêw êsa cistêmâsa.||4᙮ ᑫᑕᐦᑕᐍ ᐋᓴ ᒫᒥᑐᓀᔨᐦᑕᒼ ᑭᐦᒋ ᒧᐦᑯᒫᓂᓈᕽ ᐁᐃᓯ ᓂᑕᐏ ᑲᑵ ᐊᑐᐢᑫᐟ ᐁᑯᑌ ᐊᔨᐢᐠ ᑳᑮ ᐅᐦᒋ ᐅᐦᐱᑭᐟ ᐁᓴ ᑮ ᐃᑘᐤ, ᐁᑿ ᓯᐻᐦᑌᐤ ᐁ ᐋᐱᐦᑖᐏ ᑮᓯᑳᔨᐠ ᐊᔰᐱᐤ, ᐁ ᐴᓂ ᒦᒋᓱᐟ ᐱᐦᑤᐤ᙮ ᒫᒥᑐᓀᔨᐦᑕᒼ ᐁᓴ ᑭᑕ ᑮᐢᑭᓴᒪᐚᐟ ᒥᐢᐟ ᐊᓯᓂᔭ ᐁᑯᑕ ᐁ ᐊᐱᔨᐟ “ᐋᐦᐴ ᓂᑲ ᓃᓱᐦᑲᒫᐠ ᑕ ᒥᔪᐸᔨᔮᐣ ᐆᒪ ᑳ ᐑ ᓂᑕᐏ ᐊᑐᐢᑫᔮ,” ᐃᑌᔨᐦᑕᒼ᙮ ᒥᔦᐤ ᐁᓴ ᒋᐢᑌᒫᓴ᙮||All of a sudden he thought he would go work in the United States for that is where he came from, where he grew up." He had said that. So he left. At noon he rest and when he had finished eating he smoked. He thought he should cut some tobacco for the Bif Rock who was there. "Maybe he will help me to have good fortune where I am going to work," he thought. He gives him tobacco.|
|“nimosôm ta-pihtwâyan ta-nîsohkamawiyan ta-sôniyahkêyân,” itêw êsa. êkosi sipwêhtêw.||“ᓂᒧᓲᒼ ᑕ ᐱᐦᑤᔭᐣ ᑕ ᓃᓱᐦᑲᒪᐏᔭᐣ ᑕ ᓲᓂᔭᐦᑫᔮᐣ,” ᐃᑌᐤ ᐁᓴ᙮ ᐁᑯᓯ ᓯᐻᐦᑌᐤ᙮||Grandfather, for you to smoke, so you can help me make money, he said to him. He leaves then.|
|ê-otâkosiniyik kapêsiw. mâka esa nihtâ-pihtwâw wîsahkêcâk.||ᐁ ᐅᑖᑯᓯᓂᔨᐠ ᑲᐯᓯᐤ᙮ ᒫᑲ ᐁᓴ ᓂᐦᑖ ᐱᐦᑤᐤ ᐑᓴᐦᑫᒑᐠ᙮||In the evening he makes camp. But apparently he is known to be a smoker, wîsahkêcâhk.|
|kapê-tipisk pah-pihtwâw. kâ-kîkisêpâk âsay namôya mistahi ayâwêw cistêmâsa.||ᑲᐯ ᑎᐱᐢᐠ ᐸᐦ ᐱᐦᑤᐤ᙮ ᑳ ᑮᑭᓭᐹᐠ ᐋᓴᕀ ᓇᒨᔭ ᒥᐢᑕᐦᐃ ᐊᔮᐍᐤ ᒋᐢᑌᒫᓴ᙮||He smokes all night. In the morning he has very little tobacco.|
|mâmitonêyihtam “tâpwê mistahi nimohcowin asiniy kâ-miyak ciscêmâsa,” itêyihtam.||ᒫᒥᑐᓀᔨᐦᑕᒼ “ ᑖᐻ ᒥᐢᑕᐦᐃ ᓂᒧᐦᒍᐏᐣ ᐊᓯᓂᕀ ᑳ ᒥᔭᐠ ᒋᐢᒉᒫᓴ,” ᐃᑌᔨᐦᑕᒼ᙮||He contemplates a bit. "I am very foolish to have given my tobacco to the rock," he thinks.|
|“nika-nâtâw cistêmâw.” kâwi kîwêw ê-nâtât cistêmâwa. otinêw mist-asiniya kâ-kî-pihtwâhât.||“ᓂᑲ ᓈᑖᐤ ᒋᐢᑌᒫᐤ᙮” ᑳᐏ ᑮᐍᐤ ᐁ ᓈᑖᐟ ᒋᐢᑌᒫᐘ᙮ ᐅᑎᓀᐤ ᒥᐢᐟ ᐊᓯᓂᔭ ᑳ ᑮ ᐱᐦᑤᐦᐋᐟ᙮||I will go get the tobacco. He goes back home to fetch the tobacco. He picks up the big rock to whom he had given the tobacco.|
|“nimosôm nipê-nâtâw ciscêmâs kâkî-miyitân. misawâc kika-kaskihtân kîkway takî-nîsohkamawiyan âhpô namôya kika-kaskihtân||“ᓂᒧᓲᒼ ᓂᐯ ᓈᑖᐤ ᒋᐢᒉᒫᐢ ᑳᑮ ᒥᔨᑖᐣ᙮ ᒥᓴᐚᐨ ᑭᑲ ᑲᐢᑭᐦᑖᐣ ᑮᑿᕀ ᑕᑮ ᓃᓱᐦᑲᒪᐏᔭᐣ ᐋᐦᐴ ᓇᒨᔭ ᑭᑲ ᑲᐢᑭᐦᑖᐣ||Grandfather, I have come for the tobacco I had given you. In any case you can succeed in helping me, or mayhap you can't succeed in helping me.|
|takî-.......||ᑕᑮ||AND THAT'S ALL....the story is cut off at the last line.|
kihcihtwâ-mitêh = “sacred heart”