Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Prayer While Away

This is an ancient Apache prayer. Some call it "The Friendship Prayer." It was taught to me while I was a boy, my cousin and I say it to each other all the time. When he is married at the beach in a couple of weeks we will say this again.

The translations are rough. I'm sorry, but rough is about all you will be able to get with Apache. The thought processes and meanings are hard to explain. When I'm on the rez and working mostly in that language I have to make a conscious effort to purge my mind of English thoughts. They just get in the way.

This was taught to me by the great haattallii, biyi'siziini oyih (soul flyer) or, as he is better known, Silas.

si'zi' bìyì' éd yùd hiljij di' di' isza'ni' tc'ìndíi
(I dance inside a circle of men and women they say)

ìs' à'nà yáii éhd yùd á lzà tc'ìndíi
(long life inside a circle is made they say)

bìyì' éd yùd híljìj 'ìs' à' nà yái tc'ìndíi
(inside our circle dances long life they say)

yèxáidèlà gò dèyà keh'èh gòjó zeeh tsálit' tc'ìndíi
(having been prepared, he walks, friends, they say)

Á bìtct'ìd bìt'á ná ná ni sì tsòz
(underneath the blanket rests mother earth)

nùgùstst'án biìká' dé'ìi tc'òdàsdjà í
(on top of the earth our people are gathered about)

bìyá tì'jòoní bìnàltsé kè'es jòoní' bìdlùk jòoní
(their talk, good, their thoughts, good, their laughter beautiful)

bínàltzé' 'it'à'dá' jò dídòbé' óltà'gò'
(their wealth is of all kinds, good, uncountable)

yèxáidèlà gò dèyà tc'ìndíi
(having been prepared, he walks, they say)

djùnà' ái bè bì' ò' gùnòyè ì' yèh
(sun beside them, before them, forms mirage)

bi'ò gùnòyè gò' deyàh tc'ìndìi
(mirage forms before them as they walk they say)

a'iìs' à' nàyáii ke'èh gòjógò' yèxáidèlà gò dèyàh tc'ìndíi
(long life, good, is their, having been prepared, he walks, they say)

Hishash aaii diji jooni tek'eh naas aannii.
(walk in beauty my friends)

ilch'eh gont'eehi beeh noh whiich'iil
(peace be with you all)

ya'll take care. play nice.

big brass blog


Blogger Lisa said...

Thank you for sharing this. I found it quite moving, even though I do not know the full implications, I am sure.

How apropos for me to read the directive to play nice (not that I don't.)

5:41 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

i still have it on my computer. it is special and i will always consider it so.

how is silas? i miss stories about him.

10:42 AM  
Blogger seventh sister said...

Beautiful. I wold love to hear is spoken. Safe and happy journey.

4:46 PM  
Blogger BadTux said...

Play nice.

But what if others don't? Can I whack them upside the head with a rotten herring then? Hmm?

- Badtux the Tongue-in-cheek Penguin

8:56 PM  
Anonymous prof fate said...

What seventh sister said. There's some beautiful imagery there, even if English gives us only a distorted echo of the original.

Have a blast in the Springs. I wish I'd had more than a week to explore the desert and mountains there -- so very different from the greener, gentler landscapes where I've spent most my life that it might as well have been another planet.

Just out of curiosity, did they replace the old tramway up the mountain to San Jacinto State Park with those rotating, 100-passenger gondolas, as they said they were going to do when I rode it back in 2000?

2:14 PM  
Blogger somewaterytart said...

play nice.

With just a little scratching, okay?

5:53 PM  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...


6:25 PM  
Anonymous blackdog said...

Wait 'till you get back and read the Mule's latest at B/S. You may be as pleasantly surprised as I.

9:46 PM  

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