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Aboriginal Languages and Hunting Terms

The following contribution to our language section comes from educator Susan Paskvan, Native Language Coordinator in the Yukon-Koyukuk School District in Alaska who has kindly provided some words and phrases of Denaakk'e (Koyukon Athabascan). Below are some terms about moose behaviors and hunting and preparation of moose.

Click here to see a picture of a caribou and mouseover to see Denaakk'e labels of the anatomy.

Click here to see a picture of a the anatomy of the caribou and mouseover to see Denaakk'e labels of the parts.

Click here to see a picture of moose meat in a smokehouse and the Denaakk'e labels of the types of meat.

k’eyeedze’big older bull moose
dedaayeesmall bull moose
deyozeecow moose
meggoy edeneebarren cow moose
detseegecalf moose
Simple Phrases
Go ees deneege.This is a moose.
Genee neenł’aanh?What do you see?
Deneege netl-’aanh.I see a moose.
Gen gonee?What is this (animal)?
Go ees deneege.This is a moose.
Go ees dedaayee.This is a bull moose.
Go ees deyozee.This is a cow moose.
Go ees detseege.This is a calf.
Deneege nekoghee’?Is the moose big?
Deneege negudzaa hee’?Is the moose small?
Oho’, deneege nekoh.Yes, the moose is big. (It is big)
Nedeenh, deneege negudze.No, the moose is small.
Deneege negudze.The moose is small. (It is small.)
sedeenkaa koonbring your gun too.
Sentences About Hunting
Haa taaghegeneyh.I am getting ready.
Hoghaalneelneegee?Are you ready?
Oho’, hoghaalgenee.Yes, I am ready.
En kk’onesdoyh.I am going out hunting. See note below.
En kk’o’eedoyh.He is going out hunting.
En kk’oheededaał.They are out hunting. (Verb-plural travel)
Deneege okko enkk’o’ts’eededaał.We are hunting for moose.
Deneege okko enkk’o’eedekkaah.He is hunting for moose in a boat.
Tlede sodʉhtl de henk’ezełkooł.We are making camp and putting the tent up.
Haa’! Deneege eetl’ekk.Listen! I hear a moose.
Haa’, deneege oolaaltl’onh.Listen, I hear a moose.
Deneege okko dednee.He is calling a moose
Deneege ghebaał netl-‘aanh.I see a moose swimming
Deneege eheldlaanh.They got a moose.
Eetaa’e deneege eldlaanh.My dad shoots the moose.
Deneege ne’eł'ʉhtl.He is butchering a moose.
Deneege neheł’ʉhtl.They are butchering a moose.
Eetaa’ yeł eenaa’e yeł deneege nelaan neheł’ʉhtl.Mom and dad are butchering a moose meat.
K’eheelaalaa.They didn't get anything.
Deneege eheelaalaa.They didn't get a moose.
Deneege nek’ots’e taadleghełThe moose ran away from you.
Deneege teghoołghaal yu.Don't scare the moose away.
Deneege nelaan aahaa soup nełtsee.Make moose soup.
Eenaa’e deneege toleł ełts’ee.Mom is making moose soup.
Nelaanh ggunh laaghe saanh kkuno dots’eldlo.We hang the meat in the smokehouse to dry.
bekkaakk’aaIts deep track in the snow or mud
k’etle’ełkk’aaeating the first meat around the fire
Eetaa’e yeł eenaa’e yeł deneege nelaan neheł’ʉhtlMom and Dad are butchering moose meat.
Eenaa’e yeł setsoo yeł deneege nelaan gho kk’oheedeneyh.Mom and Grandma are working on the moose meat.
Deneege toleł yeł daalggune yeł tsaay esenoonh ts’uh kk’aat.I like to eat moose soup, crackers and tea.

Note: When speakers of Denaakk'e, and other Aboriginal speakers, say they are going hunting, they actually refer to hunting in indirect ways to show their respect for the animals so they can keep their luck. They will say instead - I'm going for a ride, or I'm going to look around. In the Denaakk'e beliefs, which go back to k'edonts'ednee times (a very long time ago), the animals can understand people, so it's important not to refer to hunting directly.

Sentences About Moose Behavior
Deneege dot’aanh?What is the moose doing?
Deneege nooyee nedelet.The moose lives in the woods
Deneege tledone nedelet.The moose lives, habitates in the woods, along the river.
Deneege letaanh.The moose is laying down.
Deneege lehaanh.The moose is standing.
Deneege taah lehaanh.The moose is standing in the water.
Deneege k’etsaan’ te letaanh.The moose is laying in the grass.
Deneege dednee.The moose is calling.
Deyozee dednee.The cow moose is calling.
Deneege ghelghełt.The moose is running.
Deneege ees k’eełughe ghelggʉyhtl.The moose runs fast.
Mooeege tleetaatldaatl.The moose (plural) ran away.