Tag Archive | language

“EULOGY”


“Black Elk,” watercolor painting by kayti sweetland rasmussen “Eulogy” by Sherman Alexie My mother was a dictionary, She was one of the last fluent speakers of our tribal language. She knew dozens of words that no one else knew. When she died, we buried all those words with her. My mother was a dictionary. She […]

THE MOTHER TONGUE


Our expectations exceed the return in so many ways. For instance, when you step into my house, I expect you to speak English. Sometimes that doesn’t happen, but when I venture into YOUR house, I don’t speak your language either. This leads to confusion on both parts. Ours is still an English-speaking country, though I […]

THERE’S A WORD FOR THAT


“Bird Of Paradise” original watercolor painting by kayti sweetland rasmussen Did you ever stop to think how arbitrary the naming of things can be? For instance: has anyone ever really seen a bird of paradise? In the rich history of the English language a word has been invented for just about everything including things we […]

DOWN TO THE SEA IN SHIPS


“PORTUGUESE FISHERMAN” Antonio Rodrigues by KSR What brings us our endless fascination with the sea? Perhaps it is that we can never be quite sure what lies underneath that watery surface. Men have plowed the seas for countless millennia in all kinds of weather and in all kinds of boats. Vikings sailed to England, France […]

NAVAJO CODE TALKERS


“How The Navajos Got The Blanket” watercolor painting by Kayti Sweetland Rasmussen _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The reservation is a private world, a world of beauty, of great silences, of contemplation. They are a people steeped in myth and mystery. In that beauty and silence one’s whole world and way of looking at the world would be changed. […]

THINKING AND READING


I’m in awe of the people who translate from one language to another. Granted that some things which are interesting in one language lose much nuance of story in the hands of the translator. But still we feel the essence of the story. The California School of the Deaf is in our community, and we […]

RICH TRADITIONS OF STORYTELLING


Stories, either written or oral, are the base of our civilization Stories are limitless, and connect people from all walks of life. Cultures who had no written language had storytellers. At a lecture by F. Scott Momaday, a Kiowa Indian, he stated that at some time in everyone’s life, he must know from where he […]