Blackfish Seals

as told by Tom Charles

transcribed from the Klallam Language by Harmony Arakawa

nc'áxʷ yaʔ                                                                        One time

kʷi stáyis cə ʔásxʷ                                                         the seals went upriver

ʔaʔ cə nəxʷyéy'əč  ʔiyá ʔaʔ x̣ʷáyəŋ.                            to the bay at Bentinck Island

níɬ č̕ suʔtáyis cə ʔásxʷ ʔiʔ                                            the seals went up in the bay and

tsnə́səŋ ʔaʔ cə                                                               they were attacked by

qɬúm... q̕aʔyəɬúməčən, ŋə́n' q'ɬúməčən                    blackfish, plenty of blackfish

ʔiʔ níɬ suʔ… x̣ʷčatəŋ cəw̕níɬ ʔaʔyásxʷ.                      and so they killed the seals.

húʔ č̕ sƛ̕éʔs ti shiyáʔs                                                   When they wanted to go

sqaʔwíyəŋ ʔaʔ cə nəxʷyéy̕əč,                                       outside of the bay,

ʔiʔ sqiʔám̕, ʔáw̕.                                                              they couldn’t, no.

mán̕ č̕ ʔuʔ ŋən̕ q'ɬuməčən.                                           There were a lot of blackfish.

níɬ č̕ suʔq̕ʷčútəŋs cə ʔaʔiyaʔs kʷi ŋut.                        Then those there were slaughtered to eat.

ʔiʔ xʷənʔáŋ č̕ kʷaʔčaʔ                                                    And it was like that  

ʔiʔ ʔuʔtxʷəncəqʷcə ƛ'ɬaɬc cə stúyəkʷəns                    the ocean red with the blood of

cə ʔásxʷ.  mán̕ č̕ yaʔ ʔuʔ ŋən̕  ʔásxʷ                           the seals. There were many seals

q'ʷúynəŋ ʔaʔ cə q'ɬúməčən.                                           that were killed by the blackfish.

ʔáwənə nəsx̣čít, nəsx̣čít                                                  I didn’t know

kʷaʔ ʔuʔəstúʔŋəts yaʔ čtə                                             what was happing

šxʷxʷənəŋs ʔaʔ cə                                                          because it was said by the

ʔuʔ nəsyaʔcústəŋ yaʔ ʔaʔ nə́c'uʔ kʷi ʔəsʔáyəxʷ.      the one of my elders that told me.

níɬ suʔhúys x̣čtín̕ ʔaʔ cə.                                                That’s all I know about that.

Tom Charles Sr., a native speaker of Klallam from the Becher Bay Reserve across the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Vancouver Island in Canada, moved to Elwha to participate in the language revitalization program.

Harmony Arakawa is a teacher for the Klallam Language Program.