Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

Blackfish Seals

as told by Tom Charles
transcribed from the Klallam Language by Harmony Arakawa

nc’áxʷ yaʔ      One time
kʷi stáyis cə ʔásxʷ   the seals went upriver
ʔaʔ cə nəxʷyéy’əč  ʔiyá ʔaʔ x̣ʷáyəŋ.  to the bay at Bentinck Island
níɬ č̕ suʔtáyis cə ʔásxʷ ʔiʔ the seals went up in the bay and
tsnə́səŋ ʔaʔ cə they were attacked by
qɬúm… q̕aʔyəɬúməčən, ŋə́n’ q’ɬúməčən blackfish, plenty of blackfish
ʔiʔ níɬ suʔ… x̣ʷčatəŋ cəw̕níɬ ʔaʔyásxʷ. and so they killed the seals.
húʔ č̕ sƛ̕éʔs ti shiyáʔs When they wanted to go
sqaʔwíyəŋ ʔaʔ cə nəxʷyéy̕əč, outside of the bay, 
ʔiʔ sqiʔám̕, ʔáw̕. they couldn’t, no.
mán̕ č̕ ʔuʔ ŋən̕ q’ɬuməčən. There were a lot of blackfish.
níɬ č̕ suʔq̕ʷčútəŋs cə ʔaʔiyaʔs kʷi ŋut. Then those there were slaughtered to eat.
ʔiʔ xʷənʔáŋ č̕ kʷaʔčaʔ And it was like that
ʔiʔ ʔuʔtxʷəncəqʷcə ƛ’ɬaɬc cə stúyəkʷəns the ocean red with the blood of
cə ʔásxʷ.  mán̕ č̕ yaʔ ʔuʔ ŋən̕  ʔásxʷ the seals. There were many seals
q’ʷúynəŋ ʔaʔ cə q’ɬúməčən. that were killed by the blackfish.
ʔáwənə nəsx̣čít, nəsx̣čít I didn’t know
kʷaʔ ʔuʔəstúʔŋəts yaʔ čtə what was happening
šxʷxʷənəŋs ʔaʔ cə because it was said by the
ʔuʔ nəsyaʔcústəŋ yaʔ ʔaʔ nə́c’uʔ kʷi ʔəsʔáyəxʷ. the one of my elders that told me.
níɬ suʔhúys x̣čtín̕ ʔaʔ cə. That’s all I know about that.

 

Tom Charles Sr., a native speaker of Klallam from the Becher Bay Reserve across the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Vancouver Island in Canada, moved to Elwha to participate in the language revitalization program.

Harmony Arakawa is a teacher for the Klallam Language Program.