The Sagehen Dance

by James Shoulderblade

     Hea'a   naeshthn'eaa'e hehpeto tanhe'xove namme 
     Perhaps more than 60 years        ago          my grandfather 

nhtatshe'htseha thtoo'e     tsxho'setsse mo'htvenva'hasho.
took me out      on the prairie where sagehens were dancing.

Nhthvoo'shaenoto       tsohkhethom'hetsse. Naa tsstavomono
He went to show them to me how they were dancing.   And when I saw them,

kahkse tsstho'evonhttse. Tshv'hoomono 
close   we crawled up to them. When I looked at them 

hnma'oneeo'o.      Naa        o'xe     homa 'hkepo'o'ta. 
they were in a circle. And on the opposite side  there was a space open.

Thhe o'xe            homa tsnese 
There   on the opposite side (of) those standing, 

hne'hkhxovo'hotse na'stse, 'hkeamstsemho hetsnoono. 
one would run across,             he would drag      his wings.

They made a lot of noise with their feathers.

Nhhe tshpo'o'tatse staohken'e.   Nhhe o'xe
There   in the open    he would stand.  There   on the side

tsnese        nonm't'e hne'hkhxovo'hotseo'o. 
those standing, one by one  they would run across.  

E'hkeamstsemovo hetsnoonevho.  
They would drag    their wings.

E'hkenenma'o'em'senhehxovo'hotseo'o.   Naa 
They did that until they finished crisscrossing.  And 

hnhm'hntsesstse e'hho 'hkevhe'nohtseo'o. 
when it came up,      the sun, they would disperse.

E'hksno'eohtseo'o vno''e.    Nhnheevomoo'o 
They went into       the sagebrush. That's the way I saw them

tsxho'svse mo'htvenva'hoseo'o.
when the sagehens danced.  

     Naa tssthe'kahto n'hkhethom'heohe.
     And when I was little I danced like that.

N'hkenhethom'heohe.   N'hkeva'hosvhom'heohe,
I used to dance like that. I danced the prairie chicken dance,

the sagehen dance.  

N'hkemaenhetaa'e vo'staneo'o, "Taxa'e mo'htvenva'hso!"  People would say to me,           "Let's see the sagehen!"  

N'hkeassthom'heohe.  Nnhehne'ena 
I would start dancing.    That's the way I know 

tsohkheho'svse mo'htvenva'hoseo'o.  
how the sagehens dance.  

	That's it.
NOTE: This text was tape recorded by Mr. Shoulderblade ca. 1979.

This text was first published in Nvho'htsme / We are going back home: Cheyenne history and stories told by James Shoulderblade and others, edited by Wayne Leman. Memoir 4. Winnipeg: Algonquian and Iroquoian Linguistics. Copyright 1987. Used by permission.

Return to the Cheyenne stories main page.

Return to the main page of the Cheyenne Language Web Site.