Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Three More Variants Located

More exciting news!  While attending the Dene Languages Conference in Calgary this month, I made a short announcement about my research and book and learned about three more storytellers who actively tell the tale of the Blind Man and the Loon.  One lives in Tetlin, Alaska (where it was recently collected in the Upper Tanana language by linguist Olga Lovick), a second is told in Dene Sųłiné (Chipewyan) in Cold Lake, Alberta, and the third is told by a woman in Dakelh (Carrier) or Sekani in Fort St. James, B.C.  Perhaps these texts or audio recordings will emerge soon, so they may be shared.  The recent Dakelh or Sekani variant shows that the tale has been circulating in the Fort St. James area for at least 121 years!  It was first collected there at Stuart Lake by Father A.G. Morice in 1892.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chehtsi' (Water Bugs)

May 9, 2013
Kenneth and Caroline Frank say that the name of the water bugs given to the blind man by his wife, chehtsi’, is a common metaphor used for someone who is always slow.  In the BM&L story the wife goes down to the lake to fetch him a cup of water and is gone for a very long time.  Kenneth and Caroline think that the metaphor for someone who is “slow” may have entered the Gwich’in language through this story.  See in the book, Maggie Gilbert’s text, lines 137-155, p. 75 and p. 81.