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"EARTH DIVER" CREATION STORY OF THE LENAPE
Interpreted in Munsee and English
By Evan Pritchard

From Resonance Communications

Gu-tahk-a-maeo laa-wa-tay
(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)

Mat-ta Ka-hee-ha-kee
(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)

tpoos-ga-oo-wee-aych-ton.
(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!)

Xwashk-sheesh e-lay,
(Muskrat said,)

"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!)

T'kwak(oo) eelay,
(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?")

Neek-a-ma-wa e-lay,
(They said,)

"DAHO, T'kwak'l,
(Okay, Painted Turtle,)

gee aan nay-ta-mee-eh-hen!"
(you go first!)


So Turtle dives down, but turns around & surfaces before reaching the bottom.
Then Duck dives down but no luck either.
Frog gives it a try with a high leaping dive, but fails to bring up any mud.


T'kwak(oo) (Woo)shee-way-oh, woch Schkwal-and-han-ni, ah-kink!
(Painted Turtle, Duck, and Bull Frog, all were unworthy!)

Mo-hwa wool-lay!
(It was no use!)

Met-ta-len-sit Xwashk-sheesh,
(Then, the humble Muskrat, said,)

E-lay, "Noo-lee-nu ka-mee-lun wee-cheen-gay."
(I would like to give you some help!)

Woch nee-ka-ma-wa e-lay
(And the others said,)

"Kel-la-wak, Xwashk-sheesh,"
(For sure, Muskrat,)

"Pak-hee gee-oh!"
(Knock yourself out!")

Met-ta-len-sit Xwashk-sheesh,
(Poor humble Muskrat,)

ahn-gel-lunk ox-mpee-wah-la-dax.
(died during his water journey.)

Ees ox-teo wick-aschk,
(But there in his claws,)

ox-teo pto-ko-lin-chees,
(in his little fist,)

a-sees-kwol!
(was some mud! )

(Woo)shee-way-oh, 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.)

Ktchi-m'pee a-lum-shee-moo lo-wa-nay-oo
mook-a-mee-kep-al.
(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!)

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