Ch’atthaii Ineegahahdak

Told by: 
Macarthur Tritt Sr.

Niidai’ gwanaa dink’ihkhit dai’, ten twelve years old gwanaa dai’, 

dink’ihkhit dai’, 

ch’atthąįį łyaa tr’eheł’ee. 

Geedai’ geegiihkhii. 

Nats’ą’ nin neerahahdak izhik łizhyaa gwiinzii gwik’eegwiraahtii. 

Niidai’ gwanaa dink’ihkhit dai’. 

Shandah digwiizhik. 

Zhik gwa’an tr’injaa gilik dai’, 

niidai’ gwanaa łizhyaa shii gaa gaashandaii kwaa.

“Zhyaa oo’ok ts’aii neehiindik, dzaa gaanigwiin’aii kwaa,” diirahnyaa.

Aii tr’injaa gilik dai’, łizhyaa one month łaa goorah’in kwaa. 

Oonjit teet’ih, goorahaah’yaa gwits’i’ oonjit oondit gwa’an gwant’ii. 

Aii tr’injaa gwant’ii giłdii. 

Dinjii gahah’yaa gwits’i’.

Aiit’ee łizhyaa Dinjii Zhuh k’yaa, jyahts’ą’ niidai’.

Dinjii. . .Diikhwan chan dinjii tr’iheelyaa gwats’ą’ gwaadhal reh.

Tr’injaa, łizhyaa izhik hee, 

łizhyaa Dinjii Zhuh k’yaa łyaa jyaadigii’in, niidai’. 

It’ee duuyee gwa’an neegwiraan’in, one month łaa. 

Gaa izhik geegwahaldak nihthan. 

Juunch’yaa gwa’an łizhyaa niidai’, dinjii traditionally,

dinjii tr’eheelyaa gwits’i’, 

izhik geh’an gwits’i’ t’igii’in. 

Dinjii gahah’yaa gwits’i’. 

Jyahts’ą’ t’ee niidai’ shandah jyaadigwiizhik.

Izhik ganaldaii izhik, jyaadihnyaa dihnyaa.

Zhik gwa’an ch’atthąįį oo’ee neerahchik dai’,

zhik gwa’an tr’injaa naii, nilii taa gahaa’al gwits’i’ łyaa gwik’eeraahtii o’.

Nilii taa, nilii t’ohju’ tr’eełk’ee1

Vadzaih dinjik haa tr’aahk’ee dai’, dzaa diizheh nihdeerahchak dai’, 

aii nilii aii łizhyaa, yaha’ sha’at gaa gaandaii.

Nilii taa gahaa’al izhik łizhyaa, yaha’ shitseii2 khit jyaagovaihnyaa, 

"Zhit nilii taa oh’al kwaa," goovaihnyaa. 

Zhik gwa’an nilii nihdeerahchak dai’,

yeezhee gwa’an veekaii tsal daa’il aii chan, izhik chan reh. 

Izhik gwak’aa gahee’al gwits’i’, datthak zhyaa gwik’eeraahtii ji’ gweheezyaa.

’Cause yeenaa datthak dink’iidhat dai’.

Izhik juunch’yaa gwa’an tthak gwits’i’ gwik’eeraahtii.

Shahan łizhyaa juunch’yaa gwa’an gwaah’ik dai’, datthak gwiinzii ch’ąhjii. 

Yaha’ sha’at gaa jyaadii’in. 

Aiintł’ee it’ee reh. 

Nihdeerahchak; gehndih rih neegiidal. 

nilii tr’ahaavir; nilii tr’ahaach’yaa datthak--

eegiihkhii dihnyaa, vadzaih, dinjik haa.

Izhik juunch’yaa gwa’an aiit’ee yeenaa łizhyaa traditional way t’oonch’yaa.

Juunch’yaa gwa’an dai’, łizhyaa gwireheeł’ee ji’ gweheezyaa. 

Izhik nakhwaagwahaldak eenjit t’ihnyaa. 

Jyaagwahtsii rih hihjyaa.

It’ee.


Fresh kill, usually young Gwich’in women can’t eat fresh kill.

Shitseii is a kinship term used by women to refer to their grandchildren. Men usually use shichuii.

Treating Large Game Animals with Respect
Translated by: 
Crystal Frank, Kenneth Frank, and Craig Mishler

Back when I was growing up, when I was ten or twelve years old,

when I was growing up,

we really respected large game animals. 

I spoke about this a little while ago.

We’re very careful about how we take care of the animals.

This is how it happened back when I was growing up. 

I was there in person. 

When a girl became a woman,

back in those days even I didn’t know.

They would tell us, “Go for a walk somewhere, don’t bother around here.” 

When they became a woman, we would really not see them for a whole month.

They would keep her secluded back behind a curtain, so nobody would see her there.

So they have the woman hidden away. 

So that the young woman won’t see men.

This was really the Gwich’in way in those days.

Men. . . We too were entering manhood at that time.

Women, right there, 

in those days they really did it the Gwich’in way.

Now we won’t see them in public any more for about one month. 

But I want to tell you about this practice.

When it was like that long ago, traditionally men, 

in order to become really good hunters,

that’s why they would do things this way.

So that the young women would not see men.

This is the way it happened while I was present.

I remember that, I’m saying that, that’s just what I’m saying.

When we bring back large game animals, 

those young women there, they watch them so they don’t step over the meat.

Over the meat, I’m talking about fresh kill, caribou and moose. 

Whenever we would shoot a caribou or moose, and whenever we bring it into our house,

even my wife knows about (respecting) the meat.

Stepping over the meat there, I always tell my grandkids this,

I tell them, “Don’t step over that meat.”

In that area when we bring meat in, 

even as the little drops of blood drip down on the floor, that too. 

So that they won’t walk over it, it would be good for them to watch what they’re doing.

Because this is how it was the whole time when I was growing up.

We were all watching out for what each other is doing around there.

When my mother saw something like that around there, she wiped it up good.

Even my wife does that too.

Only after that.

We bring the meat inside; they walk around it--

all that meat that we need to boil; all of that meat that we need to fry.

That’s how it was around here in the traditional way back then.

When it’s like that around here, it would really be good if we respected it.

What I’m saying is that I wanted to share all of this with you.

That's all I will say for now.

That’s it.

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