Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas, Firecrackers, Tea Kettles, and Gifts!

As you can see, my big green friend is getting into the holiday spirit!  But what you may not know is that he also sings “I’m a little teapot”, because in Cherokee the same word is used for both a tea kettle and an alligator.  If you ever saw the old hobnail-style cast iron tea kettles that sat in a fire, you can easily see the resemblance to an alligator puffing and snorting, its breath fogging up on a cold morning.  The word written beneath him is “tsulasdi,” the word for both tea kettle and alligator.  (in some areas, tsulasgi is used)

The word above him his “danistayohihv”, which a literally means “they go shooting.” Why would Christmas be celebrated with that phrase?  Because in the old days, the big family Christmas dinner required the man to go hunting on Christmas morning.  Christmas morning was filled with the festive sounds of children shredding and crackling gift wrapping paper, and the sounds of hunters in the woods.  Another sound of the holiday is the sound of firecrackers, especially here in the South.  Imagine long strings of firecrackers and think of the similarity to long strings of flashing Christmas tree lights... which used to crackle and pop when worn out.  See the similarity?  So the expression they go shooting refers to hunters, firecrackers, and Christmas tree lights.

Ulihelisdi Danistayohihv!
Be Happy, They Go Shooting

Still time to save $140 on a full year of Speak Cherokee. At $20 per month, you’d pay $240 for 12 months. Until the end of December, you can have a full 12 months access to the interactive course material for $100!

Still time for Christmas delivery of a Cherokee Calendar Calculation and Analysis (20 – 25 pages). Normally $97, our holiday special is $77. Order by Saturday December 17, and I’ll guarantee digital online delivery in PDF form by Dec 23.

Until next time,
Wishing you all the best,
Brian Wilkes