Moon Phases – Shannon Dumba

Thanks to Shannon Dumba, an enthusiastic student of Cree (and my fellow “Rhythm Ratt”) for sharing her how she’s learned the moon’s phases in Cree. She illustrated them with this beautiful collage, she used them in writing an original poem in Cree (for which she’s provided audio), and she even sang them to the tune of “Moon River” to help support her learning. And she’s shared all of it in time for this Friday’s new moon. That’s some impressive dedication from an adult learner, but it also shows some of the variety that teachers – and learners – can use to help reinforce a collection of material like this!
Bravo, Shannon! Thanks for helping us all learn!

tipiskāwi-pīsimThe Moon
ispīhk kā-kāmwātēyimoyān When I see darkness
tipiskāwi-pīsim nikiskisomik the moon reminds me
miyonākwan kiyām ē-tipiskākthere is beauty in the night
ispīhk kā-mōciki-ayāyānWhen I am merry
tipiskāwi-pīsim kīmwēw ‘nikamo’the moon whispers ‘sing’
ispīhk kā-wanisiniyānWhen I get lost
tipiskāwi-pīsim nikiskisomikthe moon reminds me
ē-pimācihoyān I am on a journey
ispīhk kā-mōcikāyāyānWhen I feel free [in high spirits]
tipiskāwi-pīsim kīmwēw ‘nīmihito’ the moon whispers ‘dance’
ispīhk nitēh kā-pīkonikātēkWhen my heart is torn in two
tipiskāwi-pīsim nikiskisomikthe moon reminds me
niwāhkōhtēn askiy ēkwa niwāhkōmāwak acāhkosakI am the earth and the stars
ispīhk kā-sakiniskēnak nīcimosWhen I am in love
tipiskāwi-pīsim kīmwēw ‘ocēm’the moon whispers ‘kiss’
ispīhk kā-mēscipayimisoyānWhen I feel less than
tipiskāwi-pīsim nikiskisomikthe moon reminds me
ē-misiwēsiyān. I am whole
ispīhk kā-nēstosiyānWhen I am tired
tipiskāwi-pīsim kīmwēw ‘aywēpi.’the moon whispers ‘rest.’
Conventional English TermCree Term (standard spelling)Cree Term (syllabics)Literal Translation from Cree
Moon Phaseswāskāpayiw ēkwa ākwā-acinākohisow tipiskāwi-pīsim ᐚᐢᑳᐸᔨᐤ ᐁᑿ ᐋᒁ ᐊᒋᓈᑯᐦᐃᓱᐤ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ the cycle of the moon's changing appearance
new moonoskakocin tipiskāwi-pīsimᐅᐢᑲᑯᒋᐣ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ it hangs new
waxing crescent moonati-wāwiyēsiw tipiskāwi-pīsimᐊᑎ ᐚᐏᔦᓯᐤ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ she begins to be round
waxing quarter moonāpihtaw-akocin tipiskāwi-pīsimᐋᐱᐦᑕᐘᑯᒋᐣ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ she hangs half suspended
waxing gibbous moonkēkāc wāwiyēsiw tipiskāwi-pīsimᑫᑳᐨ ᐚᐏᔦᓯᐤ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ she is almost round
full moonwāwiyēsiw tipiskāwi-pīsimᐚᐏᔦᓯᐤ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ she is round
waning gibbous moonkēkāc mēscipayiw tipiskāwi-pīsimᑫᑳᐨ ᒣᐢᒋᐸᔨᐤ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ she is almost worn out, gone
waning quarter moonati-mēstakocin tipiskāwi-pīsimᐊᑎ ᒣᐢᑕᑯᒋᐣ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ it is hanging used or burnt up
waning crescent moonati-mēscipayiw tipiskāwi-pīsimᐊᑎ ᒣᐢᒋᐸᔨᐤ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ she is on the way to being gone
waning crescent moonpōni-wāwiyēsiw tipiskāwi-pīsimᐴᓂ ᐚᐏᔦᓯᐤ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ she stops being round
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