Yakama Elder Recording Traditional Legends in Sahaptin Language

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown December 10th, 2014 Last Updated on: December 10th, 2014

Virginia Beavert is 93 years old, but that's not slowing her down one bit. It wasn't until her her 80s, that she started working on her doctorate in linguistics at the University of Oregon. She now has plans to record a 2 disc CD recording of traditional legends that she has learned from elders of Sahaptin language speaking cultures living in eastern Washington state. But of course she can't do it alone. She needs a little bit of help from us.

“I have recorded some of these legends, in both English and also in the Sahaptin language. I have already produced one 2 disc CD recording of some of these legends, and now I wish to produce a second recording (Volume 2) from additional recordings that I made in the Jack Straw Productions recording studio in Seattle. I also plan to write liner notes for the recording, and they will also be bi-lingual – written in both English and Sahaptin. These legend recordings have proven to be very useful tools for teaching the Sahaptin language to others. They also express many important things about my culture – our traditions, our values, our history. To complete this project I will have help from the staff at Northwest Heritage Resources, a public folklore non-profit in Washington state, who originally wrote the grants to support making my studio recordings at Jack Straw Productions. They helped me with the production work for my first published recording. I will also have the help of the wonderful linguists I have been working with, who will assist with editing the liner notes for the recording.”

For more information on the how to donate and get a copies of the CD, please visit her Kickstarter page at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1797906135/legends-of-the-sahaptin-speaking-people-volume-2

For more information on Virginia, check out her interview on Oregon Public Broadcasting:


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About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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