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Cherokee: Song of the Mother Bears

Cherokee

ONE day a hunter in the woods heard singing in a cave. He came near and peeped in. It was a mother bear singing to her cubs and telling them what to do when the hunters came after them.

Mother Bear said,

When you hear the hunter coming down the creek, then

Tsagi,   tsagi,   hwilahi,

Tsagi,   tsagi,   hwilahi,

Upstream, upstream, you must go.

Upstream, upstream, you must go.

 

But if you hear them coming down stream,

Ge-i,   ge-i,   hwilahi,

Ge-i,   ge-i,   hwilahi,

Downstream, downstream, you must go.

Downstream, downstream, you must go.

 

Another hunter out in the woods one day thought he heard a woman singing to a baby. He followed the sound up a creek until he came to a cave under the bushes. Inside there was a mother bear rocking her cub in her paws and singing to it,

Let me carry you on my back,

Let me carry you on my back,

Let me carry you on my back,

Let me carry you on my back,

On the sunny side go to sleep.

On the sunny side go to sleep.

This was after some of the people had become bears. The hunter knew they were of the Ani Tsagulin tribe.

 

FINIS

 

Source:  J. M. [1]

Culture:  Cherokee

Language Group:  Cherokee (Tsalagi Gawonihisdi) is an Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee people. It is the only Southern Iroquoian language and differs significantly from the other Iroquoian languages.

 

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