Sounds of 2008: Abenaki Song

12/19/08 5:50PM

(Host) We're reflecting on the events of the past year through our series "Sounds of 2008.''

In January, we heard from some members of Vermont's Western Abenaki culture who don't want to lose their language.

Experts say the survival of the language is threatened because so few speak it. Members of the tribe have tried a few approaches to make sure the words of their ancestors survive.

A Western Abenaki Language Guide has been developed to help preserve the tribe's distinctive sounds.

And Performers Marge Bruchac and her husband, Justin Kennick and composer Jesse Bruchac do their part to keep the Abenaki tongue alive through song.

(Host) The song is called KWA-tom.

Its recurring line is TOE-nee-ah-lo-SAHN, which means "Where are you going?"

According to Marge Bruchac it represents "a way of thinking" about where Abenaki families and communities are going. The answer to the title question is, "I'm going home."

Click here to tell us your favorite sounds of 2008 and to listen to the entire series. Click the link below to go to the original story.

Abenaki Song a metaphor for cultural recovery


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