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Published through the Recovering Languages and Literacies of the Americas initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation The Omaha Language and the Omaha Way provides a comprehensive textbook for students, scholars, and laypersons to learn to speak and understand the language of the Omaha Nation. Mark Awakuni-Swetland, Vida Woodhull Stabler, Aubrey Streit Krug, Loren Frerichs, and Rory Larson have collaborated with elder speakers, including Alberta Grant Canby, Emmaline Walker Sanchez, Marcella Woodhull Cavou, and Donna Morris Parker, to write this book. The original and creative pedagogical method of teaching Omaha language through Omaha culture used in this textbook consists of a structured series of lesson plans. It is the result of a generous collaboration between the Department of Anthropology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the UmoÌ nhon Language and Culture Center at UmoÌ nhon Nation Public School in Macy, Nebraska. The method draws on the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of Awakuni-Swetland to illustrate the Omaha values of balance and integration. The contents are shaped into two parts, each of which complements the other-just as the Earth and Sky do. This textbook features an introduction by Awakuni-Swetland on the history and phonology of the Omaha language; lessons from the UmoÌ nhon Language and Culture Center at Macy, with a writing system quick sheet; situation quick sheets; lessons on games; lessons on spring, summer, fall, and winter; an Omaha language resource list; and a glossary in the standard Macy orthography of the Omaha language. The textbook also includes cultural lessons in the language by Awakuni-Swetland and lessons from the Omaha language class at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL).The Omaha Language and the Omaha Way offers a linguistic foundation for tribal members, students, scholars, and laypersons, featuring Omaha community lessons, the standard Macy orthography, and UNL orthography all under one cover.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Editors' Preface Guide for Readers Introduction by Mark Awakuni-Swetland Introduction to This Volume Origin Story of the UNL Omaha Language Class Note to Instructors and Students The Omaha People Key Concepts Bibliography Contributors Textbook Leaders Mark Awakuni-Swetland Vida Castro Woodhull (Stabler) Elders and Teachers Delores Black Marcella Woodhull Cayou Alberta Grant Canby Donna Morris Parker Patricia Phillips Arlene Walker Emmaline Walker Sanchez Rufus White Contributing Authors and Editors Loren H. Frerichs Bryan James Gordon Rory Larson Aubrey Streit Krug Illustrators Miya Kobayashi Barbara Salvatore Jacob Smith Part 1: Lessons from the Title VII UmoÌ nhon Language and Culture Center at UmoÌ nhon Nation Public School 1 Introduction to UNPS Lessons 1.1 Writing System Quick Sheet: Umonhon Iye-tÊ°e AwatÊ°egon Baxu-non, "How It Is Written in UmoÌ nhon" 1.2 Articles 1.3 Elder Verb Patterns 2 Situation Quick Sheets 2.1 A Guide to Using Situational Quick Sheets, WagthaÌ baze UÌ makÊ°a 2.2 Animal Characteristics - Wanita Ushkon 2.3 Animal Drawing - Wanita Gthixu-a/ga 2.4 Animal Names - Wanita Izhazhe Etai-ge 2.5 Birthday Celebration and Musical Chairs 2.6 Classroom Phrases - Action Verbs 2.7 Classroom Phrases - Asking and Talking 2.8 Classroom Phrases - Beginning of Class 2.9 Classroom Phrases - Ending/Leaving 2.10 Classroom Phrases - Places and Movement 2.11 Classroom Phrases - Praise and Caring 2.12 Classroom Phrases - Teaching Phrases 2.13 Clothing and Weather - Hathe-tÊ°e Onba-akÊ°a-shti 2.14 Coffee Phrases - Monkonsabe Utha 2.15 Coffee Script - Monkonsabe Utha UkikÊ°ia 2.16 Colors - Ugaxe Azhi-thonthon 2.17 Days of the Week 2.18 Doings Phrases - Uzhawa Iye 2.19 Doings Cultural Note 2.20 Door Phrases (See You Later, Greetings) 2.21 Five Senses - Wiubesni Saton 2.22 Baking a Cake - Wamonske Skithe Onguhoni-tÊ°e 2.23 Basic Prayer for Praying over Food - Onwonhon'a 2.24 Sitting Around the Table - WathatÊ°e Uthishon Ongthin 2.25 Four Directions/Points of a Compass 2.26 Four Seasons 2.27 Handgame: Greetings for Handgame - In'utÊ°in ThatÊ°i 2.28 Handgame: Setup and Instruments 2.29 Handgame: Encouragements and Gameplay 2.30 Handgame: Gameplay Phrases - In'utÊ°in Shkade-kÊ°e Utha 2.31 Handgame: Q&A 2.32 Handgame: Worksheet 2.33 Handgame: Worksheet (Umonhon Iye Wenonba) 2.34 Handgame: Flyer 2.35 Handwashing - Nonbe Kigthizha-tÊ°e 2.36 Household Objects - Indadon-shte Ti-adi-ge 2.37 Inviting and Visiting - Weku Tiupe Ethonba 2.38 In the Kitchen - Uhon Ti-adi 2.39 Money Denominations - Monzeska 2.40 Months of the Umonhon Calendar Year - Mi-kÊ°e 2.41 Numbers - Wathawa 2.42 Opposites 2.43 Outside and Play - Ashi Shkade The-Wathe 2.44 Relationship Terms - EÌ awathe 2.45 Restroom Phrases - Ti Zhinga Utha 2.46 Telephone Phrases - Monze Iutha Utha 2.47 Time: Telling Time from the Clock - MiiÌ donbe Anon-a? 2.48 Time: Yesterday Today Tomorrow - Sidadi Onbathe Gasonthin 2.49 Time of Day 2.50 Umonhon Language Pledge - Wongithe OnthipÊ°i 2.51 Wellness Center Actions and the Four Hills of Life - Niye Thinge Ti-adi Wagazhi, Pahe Duba Nita Monthin 3 UÌ shkade - Games 3.1 Games How-To 3.2 Card-Game Play Phrases - Wathibaba Ishkade Utha 3.3 Board-Game Play Phrases - Zhonbthaska Ashkade Utha 3.4 Ball-Game Play Phrases - Tabe Ishkade Utha 3.5 Go Fish - Hugasi Monthin-a/ga 3.6 Tonkawe 3.7 Monopoly Umonhon Ushkon 3.8 Grandma Says - Thikon Athigazhi 3.9 Natural Body Action/Total Physical Response 3.10 Sorry - Uthuama 3.11 Pokeno 3.12 Trouble - Piazhi Shkaxe 3.13 Jenga - Uxpathe-taakÊ°a 3.14 Twister - Zhu Thibeni 3.15 Blackjack - Gthebon Nonba KÊ°i Edi Winonxchi 3.16 Darts - Mondehi Ontha Thetha/ga 3.17 Badminton/Racquetball - Wazhinga Zhinga UtÊ°in-a/ga 3.18 Jump Rope and Tug-of-War - Hazhinga U'onsisi, Hazhinga Thidon 4 NugeÌ monshteÌ - Summer 4.1 "Taps" and Memorial Day 4.2 Summer Months 4.3 Milkweed and Berries - Waxtha Waxta Skithe Ethonba 4.4 Nature Walk Lesson Plan 4.5 Umonhon Language and Culture Center Mission Statement 4.6 High School Umonhon Iye I, II, and III Scope and Sequence 4.7 First Days of School and Basic Self-Introductions 4.8 Self-Introduction Basic Curriculum - Ebe bthin-tÊ°e uwibtha-taminkÊ°e 4.9 Clothing and Weather for Summer - Hathe, Monshte 4.10 Umonhon Flag Song 4.11 Huthuga: Wayne Tyndall-akÊ°a Huthuga Uthai-tÊ°e 4.12 Harvest Celebration - Hedewachi/Hethushka 4.13 Hedewachi/Hethushka Phrases 4.14 UmoÌ nhon Regalia, Men's and Women's 4.15 Sewing Phrases - WabaÌ tÊ°e UthaÌ 4.16 The First Umonhon Pow-Wow Princess - Mindashonthin (Gerine Woodhull Davidson) 4.17 Zoo - Wanita Ti-ata The-Wathe 4.18 Grocery-Store Trip - Pahonga Uthiwin Ti-ata Ongathai-tÊ°e 4.19 Kool-Aid - Niskithe 4.20 Banana Splits - Waxtathiguzhe masne 4.21 Funerary Sayings - Wat'e-kÊ°e Wagixe-tÊ°e-shti utha 4.22 Passing-On Beliefs 4.23 Grief in Our Umonhon Community - Utiha 5 TongaÌ xthon - Fall 5.1 Fall Months 5.2 Cheers for the Chiefs 5.3 Fall Phrases - Student Handout and Answer Key 5.4 Justin McCauley's Cougar Story - Justin-akÊ°a waniÌ ta doÌ nbai-tÊ°e ugthaÌ goÌ ntha `Justin wanted to tell about seeing an animal' 5.5 Homecoming Float 5.6 Candy Action - Zhonni ThatÊ°e-Wathe 5.7 Tribal Council Vocabulary and Phrases - Gahiye 5.8 Halloween Phrases 5.9 Halloween Silly Questions and Answers 5.10 Halloween Drawing Scene 5.11 Pin the Bone on the Skeleton (Halloween Game) 5.12 Flag Pledge 5.13 Corn Removal Student Worksheet 5.14 Corn Removal Teacher Handout 5.15 Food: "Tehexthu'a/Food o' Plenty" Coloring Activity 5.16 Thanksgiving Day Foods - WathatÊ°e Tonga Onbathe 5.17 Set the Food Out - WathatÊ°e-tÊ°e Awa-ta ItÊ°eathe-a? 5.18 Thanksgiving Color Sheet Phrases - Wagthabaze Uga 5.19 Thanksgiving Day Verbs, "I Like" and "I Don't Like" 5.20 Thanksgiving Bingo - Zizika Onbathe (Today is Turkey Day) 5.21 Thanksgiving Fill-in-the-Blanks Handout 5.22 Birds Go South 6 MaÌ gashude - Winter 6.1 Winter Months 6.2 Clothing and Weather for Winter - Hathe, Usni 6.3 Self-Introductions, Continued: Additional Phrases and Tisha Webster's Example 6.4 Basketball Phrases - Tabe Ugasnon Shkadai-tÊ°e Uwatha 6.5 Ceremonial Ball Toss - Tabe Ontha Thetha 6.6 Globe Toss Game - Awa-kÊ°e-ta Ne-a? 6.7 "Muzhon Thishton" Conjugation Activity 6.8 Walnut and Corn Mush Story - Tage Washonge Iutha 6.9 Deck the Halls - Wiuga Nakon TÊ°igthagtha 6.10 What did Ned eat? Ned indadon thatÊ°e-a? 7 MeÌ pahonga - Spring 7.1 Spring Months 7.2 First Thunder - Lawrence Cook-akÊ°a Mepahonga Uthai-tÊ°e 7.3 Rainstick Activity with Weather Terms 7.4 Spring Tree Ornaments 7.5 Easter Phrases 7.6 Dyeing Easter Eggs 7.7 Hunting Eggs - Weta Ithathe-a? 7.8 Egg Salad Sandwiches/Deviled Eggs - Weta Wamonska Ubiskabe/Weta Uzi Igahi 7.9 Mushroom Search - Tenixa Ugthezhe Ongunai-tÊ°e 7.10 Mushroom Student Worksheet and Games 7.11 Mushroom Worksheet 7.12 Fried Mushrooms - Tenixa Ugthezhe Zhezhi 7.13 How the Omahas Got the Corn - Te-akÊ°a Umonhon-ma Wahaba-tÊ°e Wa'i-biama 7.14 Put up the Tipi - Timongthe 7.15 Kickball - Tabe NontÊ°a 7.16 Earth Day/Mother Earth - Innonha Tonde 7.17 Standing Bear Speech - ManchÊ°uNazhin Iya-biama 7.18 Mother's Day Phrases 7.19 Flower Pot/Flower Planting - Waxcha Uzhi 7.20 Eating-Out Script 7.21 What will you do in the summer? Monshte-ki indadon shkaxe-taninkshe? 7.22 Graduation Phrases 8 Additional Resources 8.1 Writing System Extension - Umonhon Iye-tÊ°e AwatÊ°egon Baxu-non, "How It Is Written in UmoÌ nhon" 8.2 UmoÌ nhon Resource List 8.3 ULCC Glossary in Macy Standard Orthography: UmoÌ nhon to English 8.4 ULCC Glossary in Macy Standard Orthography: English to UmoÌ nhon Part 2: Lessons from the Omaha Language Class at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln 9 Cultural Lessons by Mark Awakuni-Swetland 9.1 What is Culture, What is Language 9.2 First Catch, First Fruits 9.3 How to Ask Someone for Help 9.4 Knife and Fire 9.5 The Spirit World 9.6 Food and the Spirits 9.7 Arriving and Leaving an UmoÌ nhon Camp Site 9.8 First Thunders 9.9 The Four Hills of Life 9.10 Generosity and Gift Giving 9.11 Carrying Dishes to a Feast 9.12 Storytelling 9.13 The Omaha Handgame: IÌ nË utÊ°iÌ n, "Strike the Stone" 10 Introduction and Phonology 10.1 Welcome 10.2 Siouan Languages 10.3 Omaha Sounds: Oral Vowels and h 10.4 Omaha Sounds: Nasals 10.5 Omaha Sounds: Stops 10.6 Omaha Sounds: Fricatives 10.7 Omaha Sounds: Affricates 10.8 Omaha Sounds: Semivowels and Ledh 10.9 Omaha Sounds: Glottals 10.10 Consonant Clusters 10.11 Vowel Length and Accent 11 Expressions and Word Order 11.1 Nouns: "Who" and "What" 11.2 Verbs: What is Someone Doing? 11.3 Adjectives: Stative Verbs 11.4 Numbers: "How Many" 11.5 Unitary Utterances 11.6 Useful Omaha Expressions 11.7 Word Order: Noun-Noun 11.8 Word Order: Noun-Stative Verb 11.9 Word Order: Noun-Active Verb 11.10 Word Order: Verb Chaining 12 Demands and Ablaut 12.1 Commands: The Particles a and ga 12.2 Commands: Ablaut 12.3 Plural Commands: i and Ablaut 12.4 Questions: a with no Ablaut 12.5 Third Person Statement of Action: Ablaut for Declaration 12.6 Negation: Ablaut Before "Not" 12.7 The Potential Particle tte 12.8 The Hearsay Particle Set bi ama 12.9 Signaling Demand in English and Omaha 13 Verb Conjugation 13.1 Affixed Pronouns: I and You Common Forms 13.2 Affixed Pronouns: I and You for Ledh Verbs 13.3 Affixed Pronouns: I and You for Verbs Beginning with Simple Stops 13.4 Affixed Pronouns: I and You for Verbs Beginning with Simple Stop g- 13.5 Affixed Pronouns: I and You for Old Glottal Stop Verbs and "say" 13.6 Affixed Pronouns: We 13.7 Person and Number of the Subject 13.8 Person and Number: Negation 13.9 Patient Affixed Pronouns 13.10 Patient Affixed Pronouns for aÌ -, iÌ , and u- Verbs 13.11 Agent to Patient Affixed Pronoun Combinations 13.12 Subject Affixed Pronoun for Stative Verbs 14 Pronouns and Positionals 14.1 Positionals: Inanimate 14.2 Positionals: Active Subject 14.3 Positionals: Animate 14.4 Articles 14.5 Future 14.6 Demonstratives: This and That 14.7 Demonstrative Pronouns 14.8 Emphatic Pronouns 14.9 Possessive Pronouns 15 Location, Motion, and Continuity 15.1 Postpositions 15.2 Positionals and Postpositions 15.3 Location Nouns and Adverbs 15.4 Verbs of Motion 15.5 Verbs of Motion with the a- Prefix 15.6 Return Verbs of Motion 15.7 Conjugating Verbs of Motion 15.8 Verb Chaining and Continuatives 15.9 Positionals as Continuatives 15.10 Declaration of Existence Using Positionals 16 Kinship and Causative Constructions 16.1 Kinship: Grandparents and Grandchildren 16.2 Kinship: Parents and Children 16.3 Kinship: Siblings 16.4 Kinship: Uncles and Aunts, Nieces and Nephews 16.5 Kinship: Spouses and Inlaws 16.6 Causatives: The Basic Construction with -the 16.7 Conjugation of the Causative 16.8 The Dative Causative: -kÊ°ithe 16.9 The Causative of Potentiality: -wathe 16.10 Causatives and Kinship 17 Instrumental Prefixes 17.1 Instrumental Prefixes: thi- "by hand" 17.2 Instrumental Prefixes: tha- "by mouth" 17.3 Instrumental Prefixes: non- "by foot" 17.4 Instrumental Prefixes: ba- "by pushing" 17.5 Instrumental Prefixes: bi- "by pressure" or "by blowing" 17.6 Instrumental Prefixes: ga- "by force" 17.7 Instrumental Prefixes: naÌ - "by fire" 17.8 Instrumental Prefixes: maÌ - "by cutting" 17.9 Instrumental Prefixes: muÌ - "by shooting" 18 Locative Prefixes and wa- 18.1 The wa- Prefix 18.2 The Instrumental iÌ - Prefix 18.3 The Locative u- Prefix 18.4 Conjugation of Locative u- Verbs 18.5 The Locative aÌ - Prefix 18.6 Conjugation of Locative aÌ - Verbs 18.7 The Transitivizing iÌ - Prefix 18.8 Conjugation of Transitivizing iÌ - Verbs 18.9 Combinations of Applicative iÌ and iÌ - with Locative u- and aÌ - Prefixes 18.10 Combination of wa- with Locative u- and aÌ -, and iÌ -, and iÌ - Verbs 19 Self Affixes and Datives 19.1 The Possessive gi- Prefix 19.2 The Suus gi- Prefix 19.3 The Reflexive kki- Prefix 19.4 The Victimized kke- Prefix and Evidential tÊ°e 19.5 Dative giÌ - and -iÌ - 19.6 Conjugation of the Dative 20 Answer Keys 21 UNL Glossary in UNL Orthography 21.1 UmoÌ nhon Orthography 21.2 UmoÌ nhon Alphabet 21.3 UNL Glossary in UNL Orthography: UmoÌ nhon to English 21.4 UNL Glossary in UNL Orthography: English to UmoÌ nhon Words of Encouragement

About the Author

Mark Awakuni-Swetland (1956-2015) was an associate professor of anthropology and ethnic studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, principal co-investigator for the Omaha and Ponca Digital Dictionary, and a coordinator for the Omaha Language Curriculum Development Project. He is the author of Dance Lodges of the Omaha People: Building from Memory (Nebraska, 2008) and the editor of the Omaha and Ponca Digital Dictionary.


"This book, whose subject matter is critically important for any member of the Omaha Nation, can help a reader move from being someone who is simply looking to say a few words in Omaha to someone who can read, write, and speak Omaha at a conversational level. I consider it a major contribution to its field."-Ryan Kasak, doctoral candidate in linguistics at Yale University -- Ryan Kasak

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