by Elaine Strangeowl
1. Tsé’tóhe hetane Ma’háahnotóá’a éohkêhestohe.
This man, Big Buffalo, he was called.
He is already gone (=dead).
3. Óevemanâhéno éhéstahe.
Scabby Place (Birney), he was from.
He used to sing.
5. Tâhpenono éohkevé’šenémenénoto.
Flutes he sang with them.
6. Naa tséhéstovánéménêse tséhmé’etanó’tóvôse hevóohestoto
And the reason why he sang: when he remembered his relatives
naa máto héva tsééšêhováneehétsese tótseha héva vo’êstane
or someone dead long ago, like, a person,
tséhmé’etanó’tóvôse héva hetane naa máto héva kâsovááhe
when he remembered him, maybe a man, or a young man
he would sing by means of (his) flute.
7. Naa máto héva hee’haho taasevé’otsétsesêstse
And also maybe (for) his son whenever he went on a journey
he would sing on a hill.
8. Móhkenémeotâhohevóhe hee’haho héva taasevé’otsetsêse
He would sing for his son, like, when he went on a journey,
naa máto héva tséhnoo’ôhtséhaa’êse hevóohestoto tséhmé’etanó’tóvôse
or when they left him, his relatives, when he remembered them
é’ôhkêhoó’henonesêstse hoéhose tâhpenonëva.
he would be heard singing on a hill with a flute.
9. E’ôhkepopêhévenonésesto kâsováaheho naa héva ma’háhkêseho hetaneo’o
They would sing well, the young men and, like, the old men, men,
of various ages.
10. Éne’éšêhoó’henone tâhpenonëva é’ôhkêhésesto.
He was heard singing with a flute, they said.
11. Naa vo’êstane tséemé’etanó’tovóvosêstse héva tséméhotovovose
And someone when they remembered (people), like, those they loved,
hee’háhévóho hevóohestovevóho é’ôhkeéenêhešenémenésesto hoéhose
their sons, their relatives, they thusly sang on a hill,
naa máto héva tsééšêhováneehetsêstse hevóohestovevóho.
or those who had died, their relatives.
He was lonesome.
He was heard singing.
That is what was said.
15. Hápó’e móhne’ôhkenêhešenémenêhevóhe tâhpenonëva.
Likewise they sang in that way with a flute.
16. É’ôhkepopêhévenonésesto hetaneo’o naa kâsováaheho nésta évaveto.
They sang well, men, and young men, previously long ago.
(4) Note: The verb stem -némene refers to making any kind of music. Perhaps it originally referred just to singing. In this text it is not clear when it refers just to making music with a flute or to singing, as well, if it ever includes the latter here.
(7) Note: It seems reasonable that the verb stem -vé’otse initially referred to going on a warpath, as some people still translate it, but was extended to refer to going on a journey, especially a long journey. When Elaine translated this text to English she only translated this verb with the meaning of going on a journey or a long journey.
This text was first published in the book Cheyenne Texts: An Introduction to Cheyenne Literature, copyright 1980, used here by permission.
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