Tudùwaat / Polly Fraser
September 12, 1931- July 4, 2011
Tudùwaat (Polly Fraser) was born into the wolf clan on September 12, 1931 to Alice Johnson and Chief Johnny Fraser. Her father was brought up with strong Tlingit teachings thereby giving her the Tlingit name, “Tudùwaat“. Tudùwat was born in a small trapping cabin, at “Pentax Post” just south of Squirell creek on the Dezadeash River. Tudùwaat was the youngest of five children. Her elderly brothers, Dick and William would tend to her every need. Tudùwaat had two other sisters, both named Marie whom died at infancy. Tudùwaatʼs first school was her fatherʼs school. Chief Johnny Fraser was a leader of the, Crow Clan and carried the name, Tiìnah Tsʼatìi which means ʼCopper holderʼ. Tudùwaat was a fluent speaker of Dákwanjè. In 1989 Tudùwaat received her teaching certificate from the Yukon Native Language Centre and taught at the Whitehorse Elementary School from 1986-1998. Words cannot express her contribution to the preservation and revitalization of Dákwanjè. Tudùwat never gave up using Dákwanjè. Language and culture were driving forces for Tudùwaat, it was not just a practice to her, it was a part of everyday life.
Listen to Tudùwaat share a story
*transcript of story below 🙂
*3 line transcription: 1st line in Dákwanje, 2nd line is direct translation, 3rd line is common english paraphrase*
Kwadą̂y du hach’u hazhan. Dak’àan dats’ān ye lhu ka hakêyi tambäy yū ayet haye.
long-ago did-it man his-own-wife with fish for both-sit-there close-to-shore there that time
A long time ago a man and his wife would sit by the shore fishing
Mats’ān nech’u ga dedan ńtl’e neya däw lhu ka dech’ar ak’ą tl’e,
his-wife sleeps he-himself night he-sits-there for fish for hook now night
dedan nech’u mats’ān ayetäw ádäw lhaka hech’u lhàch’i nech’u ule ch’i
he-himself sleeps his-wife there he-sits that’s when then one sleeps one-at-a-time sleeps
The man’s wife sleeps at night while he sits and fishes, when he sleeps his wife fishes, one at a time they sleep
lhàch’i k’e lhu ka ádäw ayū.
one then fish for she-sits there
Ayet hazhe dak’àan adäw ahäw ńtl’e dak’àan dats’an kenye shana!
that then man he-sits while night man to-him come-to-him young-person
hak’e hanäw “dan ch’en ńch’en ’you know’”
That’s when he said person ‘what-you-doing ‘
While the man sits at night catching one fish at a time, a young person comes to him, and that’s when the young man says, ‘what are you doing?’
Hak’e hanäw ayet dak’àan k’e ayet gali k’e ye nch’enäw?
That’s when he said that man then that husband then what-you-doing
That’s when the young man said, ‘what are you doing?’
Galį or dak’àan ayetäw ade lhu ka, “lhu ka ich’į dazhąw ídäw! Lhu ích’ar k’e.”
old-man man there he-sit fish for fish for i-have here I-sit fish I-hook then
Hak’e, “Ayet t’äw ich’e kwayinji’u.” Hak’e ’I know how, you know’
that by-that I-have we-two-live then
The old man says, “I sit here to fish so that we two can live.”
“Ttth’e ńch’įą? tth’e ńch’įą? Nenāl ūsi ni, you know.”
sinew do-you-have sinew do-you-have? I will show you I will make it
Then he says “I know how, you know, do you have sinew, do you have sinew? I will show you how to make it.”
“Aghāy tth’e ích’į.”
yes sinew I-have
“Yes I have sinew.”
“Nda da męl ulhe ni ayet lhu ye daghäy.”
well-come-w/-me snare will-do it that fish with catch/kill
“Come with me, I’ll show you how to make a snare to catch fish.”
’You know’ Ntäy ye chų man kų ts’àn ayetäw ayet,
taking-him-to brush-camp to there that
chemęl daghą asi lhu úye gha katl’u k’e ayi tthe hu ha shäwthan chemęl yeghą asu.
fishnet for-him he-made fish with-that him he-tie-it-on then down-the-bottom rock then-finally very-good fishnet for-him he-made
He took him to the brush camp and there the man made a net for him, he made floaters and tied rocks for the bottom, he made a good net for him.
Hak’e yaläw “Juk dazhan chedítl’u nghą
then he-did go this I-will-set for-you
Then, go I will set it for you.
ayetäw utlʼäy lhu k’edínlel aju aju ntl’e nedíndal ahu ak’ą,
there lots fish going-to-net no not night you-sit-up finally now
akų natsi da chemęl chemęl úye ch’e, you know.”
now-you-make-like-this ok? fishnet fishnet they-call-it it-is
There you will net lots of fish, no more sitting up at night, now you know how to make it, it’s called a fishnet.
Hak’e yeghą chintl’u ayet jųts’e’i ch’ets’etl’u jų het’ą k’e ntl’e ch’u
That’s-when for-him he-set-net that which-way-you-do-it how-you-set-net when-it’s-tomorrow early-morning
That’s when he showed him which way to set the net
maghą nan zha ultäy lhu maku dadal ultäy lhu k’edínyel̨ nenu k’e aghāy dakuchʼe
he-go-to you check-it lots fish in-it going-to-be-there many fish your-going-to-net he-told-him yes it-is
Early tomorrow morning when you check the net there will be lots of fish. Yes it’s a fishnet, he told him, ‘youʼre going to net many fish’,
hak’e hanäw “Meyenjia mą įch’enäw?” Hak’e hanäw, dak’àan k’e “Aju mą ńch’en?”
That’s-when he-said do-you-know who I-am That’s-when he-said man no who you-are
That’s when he said, “do you know who I am?” That’s when the man said, ‘no, who are you?’
“I am, kusi ích’e anu kusi íchʼe kwaka, ích’e a’an
spider I-am ? spider I am thatʼs-why I-am out-there
jąw kʼanída achemęl niʼenäw ayet tsʼu gada atl’u yenitthʼäy
where I-walk-around my-net you-see that tree up-on he-tied-it
“Awww nan ch’i na yenu gunischiss!”
he-told-him holy! you it-is-you was he-told-him thank-you
Yeʼen nachʼetlʼäw ayet.
“I am spider, I saw you from my spider web on that tree.” He said. Holy so it is you! Thank you! Then he went back.