"EARTH DIVER" CREATION STORY OF THE LENAPE
Interpreted in Munsee and English
By Evan Pritchard
From Resonance Communications
(One day, a long time ago)
Kitchi kwee-nee-pay-oo dal-low-ee-ga-man aa-kee
(a great, deep water overwhelmed the earth)
M'bee a-hoo hwee-sheh-ye
(The water, it was very deep)
(There was no dry ground)
Ees au-wa-sisk men-no(n)-ksuk
(But the animal people were unhappy)
woch bees-a-la-ma-less-n woo-undj mat-ta ka-hee.
(and they were weak and sickly from not being dry)
Neek-a-ma-wa ma-wee-en Powwow
(so they gathered in a meeting)
(to make it right)
(Woo)shee-way-oh e-lay-nee-aych- soo
(Duck spoke, saying, )
"Da-lo-way-len-da-men a-sing a-wee-keh gut-tah w-see-xaay!"
(I would like more than anything to have a place to build a nest!)
Tsquall And-han-ni elayneeaychsoo
(Bull frog spoke, saying, )
"Da-lo-way-len-dam ha-kee a-haa-la-maaxch'l."
(I would like more than anything for land to hop around on!)
"Nee match-ay-len-da-men a-sees-ku-sing wee-khe xwashk-seesh-wee-goo-um!"
(I would love a muddy place to build a muskrat-lodge!)
(Painted Turtle said)
"Mu-kweeg gee-la-nook asch-o-will look-haa-mun m'bee-sus
(Why don't we all swim to the floor of the lake)
woch a-mu-il as-sees-ku!"
(and raise up some mud?")
(Okay, Painted Turtle,)
gee aan nay-ta-mee-eh-hen!"
(you go first!)
So Turtle dives down, but turns around & surfaces before reaching
Then Duck dives down but no luck either.
Frog gives it a try with a high leaping dive, but fails to bring up
T'kwak(oo) (Woo)shee-way-oh, woch Schkwal-and-han-ni, ah-kink!
(Painted Turtle, Duck, and Bull Frog, all were unworthy!)
(It was no use!)
(Then, the humble Muskrat, said,)
E-lay, "Noo-lee-nu ka-mee-lun wee-cheen-gay."
(I would like to give you some help!)
(And the others said,)
(For sure, Muskrat,)
(Knock yourself out!")
(Poor humble Muskrat,)
(died during his water journey.)
(But there in his claws,)
(in his little fist,)
(was some mud! )
ees Schkwal And-han-ni
(Duck, and Bull Frog)
Neesk-toon-hey-oh t'kwak(oo) a-kee-kun.
(spread mud on Painted Turtle's back.)
Gut-tah min-sees aa-loo-mee-ken.
(A little island began to grow.)
(As the great waters retreated to the icecaps of the north)
Min-si Tul-pe-ho-ken aa-loo-mee-ken,
(Turtle Island grew well, growing wider and wider)
nee-gay paa-nay-oo Ktchi-ha-kee a-poo wee-goo-um!
(until now it is the great land in this certain place where we live!)
En-end-hak-keen-dayo Le-nah-pe gee-shay-lay.
(This is the Lenape Creation Story!)