Stories for Future Generations / Qulirat Qanemcit-llu Kinguvarcimalriit

The Oratory of Yup'ik Elder Paul John

Paul John
Translated by Sophie Shield
Edited by Ann Fienup-Riordan

  • $38.00s paperback (9780295983509) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2003
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies; Literature
  • Bibliographic information: 856 pp., 24 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Published with: Calista Elders Council, Bethel
  • Contents

Before it was written, this book was spoken. For ten winter days in 1977, the orator Paul John-widely respected as a dean of Yup'ik elders, and recognized for his tireless advocacy of Yup'ik language and traditions-held an audience of Yup'ik students rapt at Nelson Island High School, in southwest Alaska. Hour after hour he spoke to the young people, sharing life experiences and Yup'ik narratives, never repeating a tale. Now, more than a quarter-century after Paul John's extraordinary performance, Sophie Shield's translations and Ann Fienup-Riordan's editing have brought his words back to life, and to a new audience. This book records one elder's attempt to create a moral universe for future generations through stories about the special knowledge of the Yup'ik people.

Tales both authentically Yup'ik and marked by Paul John's own unique innovations are presented in a bilingual edition, with Yup'ik and English text presented in facing pages. As Paul John says, "In this whole world, whoever we are, if people speak using their own language, they will be presenting their identity and it will be their strength."
Paul John was among the last to receive a traditional Yup'ik education, spending his childhood in the communal men's house, where he heard constant recitations of Yup'ik tales and personal experiences. In 2002 he received the Alaska Governor's Award as Distinguished Humanities Educator. Sophie Shield is an accomplished translator and educator working for the Bilingual Department of the Lower Kuskokwan School District in Bethel, Alaska. Ann Fienup-Riordan is an anthropologist and author of numerous books on the peoples of Alaska, including The Living Tradition of Yup'ik Masks, Agayuliyararput: Our Way of Making Prayer, and Freeze Frame: Alaska Eskimos in the Movies.
Kangrilnguum ayuquciq man'a tekilluku
- Paul John's life up to this time
Taun qanemiciq ayaagturatullrulliniuq arulaiyuunani
- That story went on and on without stopping

A'ka Tamaani Yuullrat
- Life in the Past

Cingumailriit kingumta yuitnek
- To encourage future generations
Allamek-gguqella yuituq
- They say the world is populated by on one else [but relatives]

Yuut Ungungssit-llu
- Humans and Animals

Tan'gaurluq nakacuut ayautellrat
- The boy who was taken away by bladders
Yuuk malruk atertellrek
- Two who drifted away
Yuilqumun ayalleq nunameggnek
- The one who left her village and went to the wilderness
Enret aulukellrata iqukegtarii
- A good ending for taking care of bones
Nunakun ciutelget
- Those who have ears through the ground
Tan'gaurluum Qayassiigmi Uitallra
- The boy who had an experience on Qayaassiq

Tamaani Cat Paivngallratni
- Back When Extraordinary Beings Were Present

- The old bear
- Those who are good at blocking doors
- The ones who grow

Kiirraraarmeng Yuullret
- Those Who Lived Alone

- The man and the ciissiq
- One with a grandfather

Angutet Arnat-llu
- Men and Women

Angutem Anrutaanek arcaqakinrilnguq
- The one who didn't think much of a man's stomach
Arnaq anagkenglleq
- The woman who won
- Aavacin
Uqilalria arnaq
- A woman who was a fast runner
Malrugnek nulialek
- The one with two wives
Aipaqellrianun alerquun
- Advice to couples

Angayuqat Irniarit-llu
- Parents and Children

Aanaka-llii ner'aqa-llii
- I have eaten my mother
Umyuamek catevkarillerkaq
- The way the mind can be hurt
Angelria angun
- The big man
Qetunraq qamiqurrlainaq
- Son who was nothing by a head

- Becoming a Yup'ik Person

Elpecenek uptuci
- You are getting yourselves ready
Niicugninqegcaarturaasqelluki qanrucetullruit
- They told them to listen thoroughly and attentively
Nasaurluut waten elpeciucetun ayuqucirkaatnek qanaataqluki
- He would give advice to young girls like you about proper behavior and conduct
Tan'gaurliq kangingaqami taugaam taqtuli
- Boy who had to find out for himself
Alerquutet iinrutun ayuqut
- Advice is like medicine
- One with a beard
Qanruyutelten maligtengnaqu'urluki ernikina ernerpak
- Try to follow what was said to you all day
Kass'at yuullrat qacignarqenrituq
- White people do not live easy lives

Anngaat Uyuraat-llu
- Older Brothers and Younger Siblings

Anngaan nayagani-llu
- The older brother and his younger sister
Anngaq uyuraq-llu
- The older brother and the younger brother
- Those to who were brothers
Anngaq nayagani-llu
- An older brother and his younger sister

- Shamans

- Tumaralria
Tumaralria Kangangaq-llu
- Tumaralria and Kangangaq
- Kukugyarpak
Aatama atallranek
- My father's deceased father
- Angalkut
Angalkunek qanemcit
- Stories of angalkut

- Some That Are Slightly Funny

- Some that are slightly funny
Tengssuucet akaar paqnanarqellruut
- Airplanes were interesting a long time ago

Cam Ayagniqarraallra
- Origins

Nunivaam yung'eqarraallra
- How Nunivak first got its people
Yupiit atunem anguyakutellrat
- Yupiit going to war against each other

- Great Hunters

- The bad nukalpiaq
Nukalpiaq alegyunglleq imarpigmek
- A nukalpiaq who became confident [he could travel and hunt] on the ocean
Tamaani yuut ucurnarqellratni
- In those days when people did things to be pround of
Asgirpagkaq Uqumyaar-llu
- Adgirpagkaq and Uqumyaar
- One who was always slow to respond
Yuut atertellri
- People who drifted away
Atertaulleq yuk
- The person who drifted away
Tan'gaurluq tengyugngalria
- The boy who could fly

Ellminek Ikayuryqraq Yuilqumi
- Yup'ik Survival Tools

- Glittering particles used as compasses
Anuqem tungai ellaliuryaraq-llu
- Weather directions and forecasting
- Checking the weather
Ellarrlugmi cayaraq
- What to do during a storm
Ayuqucin pascirluku yuugi
- Start living with something to back you up

Yugtun igautellrit Kass'atun-llu mumigtellrit
- Yup'ik transcription and translation

"Fienup-Riordan is renowned for her intelligent anthropological essays and for her close involvement with Yup'ik communities..[This] volume is remarkable because it presents not only an incredible variety of narratives, but also documents the wealth of oral narratives that one individual might possess. The book is a marvelous contribution to the study of Eskimo literature and oratory."