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STORYTELLING

sx̌ʷiʔab ʔə tiiɫ tuyəl’yəlab

TRADITIONAL NARRATIVES OF OUR ANCESTORS

WHAT ARE LUSHOOTSEED TRADITIONAL NARRATIVES?

Lushootseed Traditional Narratives are a foundation of our culture. These narratives give us insight into the world of our ancestors. They explain lessons, teachings and they guide us through our lives. The narratives give us our creation stories, and help to explain how things came to be in existence today.

Traditional Narratives were shared throughout Lushootseed country and told by all Tribes and families in our area. These stories are shared in Lushootseed so our children will know how to walk tall with an honorable mind; so they will not be lost in this world.

If we lose our languages, we lose our teachings. If we lose our teachings, our children are lost.

- Indigenous Proverb

We understand that not everyone shares the same teachings. However, we are following the teachings of our Elders who taught us that these stories were shared with everyone, because no one was denied the teachings of the Traditional Narratives. Furthermore, the stories that we are sharing have already been made public by books, recordings and videos. We are not revealing anything that has not already been shared. The Traditional Narratives that we are sharing on this website are used for teaching purposes and to keep our Traditional Narratives alive for future generations.


SOUTHERN LUSHOOTSEED FIRST LANGUAGE SPEAKERS

In the Puyallup Tribal Language Program, we use several different Lushootseed speaking Elders’ stories from different Tribes in Lushootseed country. These Elders were recorded sharing our Traditional Narratives so we could learn from them today. Some of these Southern Lushootseed Elders include:


TRADITIONAL NARRATIVE TEACHINGS

When we share a Lushootseed Traditional Narrative, we follow a set of teachings. Here is an example of one way that we share our sx̌ʷiʔab.

t’ilibəxʷ čəɫ – First, we open with a song.

cəlac dxʷgʷəlčšid – Then we prepare our bodies – we pay attention, we sit still, we use our 5 teachers: our eyes, ears, nose, mouth and our body.

ƛ’əlusəb – We do not share these stories when people are not paying attention.

habu – When listening to a Traditional Narrative, we say “habu” to let the storyteller know we’re paying attention and want them to continue.

ʔux̌ʷiʔabəb čəɫ ʔə kʷi sbuusaɫil, ʔə kʷi scəlacaɫil – We tell these stories 4-5 times so we can absorb the traditional teachings. This can be during one setting or over a period of time.

gʷədᶻadad – Then we process what we heard and we think about the gʷədᶻadad – traditional teachings – that we can take away from the story. The gʷədᶻadad is different for everyone. The traditional teachings can also change each time the person hears a traditional narrative. We don’t tell other people what the gʷədᶻadad is for them.


STORYTELLING NIGHT

One very important part of language revitalization is Lushootseed Traditional Storytelling. To revitalize this foundational part of our culture, the Puyallup Tribal Language Program held monthly Storytelling Nights in the Puyallup community. This event brought our Traditional Narratives to life and allowed our community to connect to our ancestral teachings.

SEPTEMBER – pədkʷəxʷic

Little Silver Salmon – skʷikʷ(ə)xʷic

By Earnest Barr – Snoqualmie, & other Elders
Lushootseed Storytelling Night - Little Silver Salmon, Pt. 1
Lushootseed Storytelling Night - Little Silver Salmon, Pt. 2

OCTOBER – pədxʷič’ib

Chipmunk & Basket Ogress – sq’ʷəcɫ yəxʷ tsiiɫ sxʷayuk’ʷ

By Jerry Kanim – Snoqualmie, & other Elders
Lushootseed Storytelling Night - Chipmunk & Basket Ogress

NOVEMBER – pədƛ’xʷayʔ

The Hunting Monster – ʔayahus

By Earnest Barr – Snoqualmie, & other Elders
Lushootseed Storytelling Night - The Hunting Monster

DECEMBER – səxʷšic’əlwaʔs

Rabbit & Brown Bear – k’ʷəčədiʔ yəxʷ ti sčatqɫəb

By Jerry Kanim – Snoqualmie, & other Elders
Lushootseed Storytelling Night - Rabbit & Brown Bear

JANUARY – sɫali

Skunk – sq’əbiyuʔ

By Earnest Barr – Snoqualmie, & other Elders
Lushootseed Storytelling Night - Skunk

FEBRUARY – swaq’waq’

Brown Bear & Rabbit Play Bonegames – ʔuləhal tiiɫ sčətxʷəd yəxʷ tiiɫ k’ʷəčədiʔ

By Jerry Kanim – Snoqualmie, & other Elders
Lushootseed Storytelling Night - Rabbit & Brown Bear Play Bonegames

ʔux̌ʷiʔabəb čəɫ

WE ARE SHARING TRADITIONAL NARRATIVES

Listen in as the Puyallup Tribal Language Program staff reads Traditional Narratives in txʷəlšucid and in English. Don’t forget to say “habu” when you’re listening! If you have young ones listening, have them draw or color what they are hearing as you share the story 4-5 times. Follow up by asking, “What gʷədᶻadad did you hear?”

WATCH THIS FIRST

Introduction to Lushootseed Storytelling


habu

Read by Chris Briden

Chipmunk & Basket Ogress – sq’ʷəcɫ yəxʷ tsiiɫ sxʷayuk’ʷ

Read by Amber Hayward

Bear & Rabbit Play Bonegames – ʔuləhal tiiɫ sčətxʷəd yəxʷ tiiɫ k’ʷəčədiʔ

Read by Chris Duenas

Changer & Blue Heron – dukʷibəɫ yəxʷ tiiɫ sbəq’ʷəʔ

Read by David Turnipseed

Sparrow – spicx̌ʷ

Read by Archie Cantrell

The Flood – tuǰač’

Read by Heather Williams

Additional Twulshootseed Storytelling links:
Twulshootseed Reading and Stories with Paige Pettibon

LUSHOOTSEED TRADITIONAL NARRATIVES AUDIO BOOKS

In order to assist in the language revitalization of the txʷəlšucid language, the Puyallup Tribal Language Program has created txʷəlšucid literacy books for the Lushootseed community. The audio and video for the literacy books and book keys with English translations are available for community use. The goal is to get txʷəlšucid books in the homes of our community members to be read with their families, for teachers to read with their children and to promote txʷəlšucid literacy.

habu

Twulshootseed Literacy - habu
habo - English translation

Chipmunk & Basket Ogress – sq’ʷəcɫ yəxʷ tsiiɫ sxʷayuk’ʷ

Twulshootseed Literacy - Chipmunk & Basket Ogress
Chipmunk & Basket Ogress - English translation

Bear & Rabbit Play Bonegames – ʔuləhal tiiɫ sčətxʷəd yəxʷ tiiɫ k’ʷəčədiʔ

Twulshootseed Literacy - Brown Bear & Rabbit Play Bonegames
Bear & Rabbit Play Bonegames - English translation

Changer & Blue Heron – dukʷibəɫ yəxʷ tiiɫ sbəq’ʷəʔ

Twulshootseed Literacy - Changer & Blue Heron
Changer & Blue Heron - English translation

Sparrow – spicx̌ʷ

Twulshootseed Literacy - Sparrow
Sparrow - English translation

The Flood – tuǰač’

Twulshootseed Literacy - The Flood
The Flood - English translation

Lady Louse – kʷsi bəsč’əd

Lady Louse - Traditional Narrative


NORTHERN LUSHOOTSEED FIRST LANGUAGE SPEAKERS

Upper Skagit Northern Lushootseed speaking Elder, Vi Hilbert dedicated her life to keeping the Lushootseed language alive for future generations. She was an honorable Lushootseed speaker and storyteller, and she preserved some of these Traditional Narratives through video and audio recordings.

Tulalip Tribal Elder, Harriette Shelton Dover, also talked about our Traditional Narratives and their importance.


x̌əč’usadad

TRADITIONAL TEACHINGS

The Tulalip Tribal Language Program has provided resources of Northern Lushootseed speaking Elders and Traditional Narrative materials for children. Their extensive site includes biographies and audio of Lushootseed First Language Speakers.

Some of these Northern Lushootseed Elders include: