Friday, May 7, 2010

Hoopa and the Hupa culture and language

Tomorrow, Saturday May 8th, I play at the Hoopa Public library in Hoopa, CA. I'll be doing a program of songs for families, and I want very much to include a few words in the Hupa language.

Googling this subject brings up some fascinating information, including the sweetest collection of songs in Hupa by Alice Pratt, recorded and posted on a Humboldt University site. Wikepedia gives some links and background info.

Hupa...of Na-Dene stock is a language in which nearly all of the nouns are derived from verbs. Now, for us language nerds, such details are so interesting. And for this native Californian, the study of a new language is always rich with opportunities to expand our world view!

From Danny Ammon, who teaches Hupa at Hoopa High School, this is thank you in Hupa: ts'ehdiya When I find out the correct pronunciation, I'll provide that in a future blog!


  1. The public library in Hoopa, CA is a rural mountain town-on-the-Trinity River delight! The show this morning was well-received by young and old alike. We sang, signed, laughed, and had a wonderful time at their annual event celebrating music, books, family and community! Librarian, Kristin Freeman, and her staff made everyone feel welcome and delighted to be there!

    Check out the link!

  2. Thanks Lisa for the nice words. We loved having you here! Clara, mom with little Abby and Liam saw me today in Willow Creek when I was getting my freight and she remarked that the program was one of the best she and William have ever attended with their children. Thank you for bringing happy notes to the lives of our patrons.

  3. I so appreciate hearing that wonderful feedback from the Hoopa branch librarian, Kristin. Thank you!

    As promised, here is the pronunciation for "thank you" in the Hupa language: "ts-DEE-uh".

    The "ts" is pronounced as written, with the tongue forward, and right behind the top teeth, against the hard palate. As in the English word, "it's".