Long time ago, the Dena’ina did not have songs and stories. Then came the time that Crow sang for them. Till then, as they worked together and traveled, di ya du hu kept them in time . . . .
Peter Kalifornsky (1911-1993) was a member of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe, a Dena’ina Athabaskan who lived in Kenai, Alaska. He was the last speaker of his language—a dialect of Dena’ina—and the first to bring it into written literature. Among his ancient tales was Ggugguyni Sukt’a, Crow Story, which tells how Crow (the Raven) gave songs and their first story to the Campfire People.
From the First Beginning, When the Animals Were Talking, The Animal Stories is the first of four volumes. It includes Peter Kalifornsky’s animal stories in their American translation matched with his conversations with Katherine McNamara, so that the tales and their “back stories” speak to each other. This multi-touch edition allows the reader to follow Kalifornsky’s stories and his thoughts about them, simultaneously.
Cover image: “Trickster” ©Guy L. Monty. Used with permission and thanks.
A multi-touch book for the iPad 3+ and Mac OS X.9, available on iBooks