Monday, July 19, 2010

Eyak Exhortation


I am in need of help, cherubs. I have scouted the murky edges of the internet. I have researched, shoveled through countless empty results on Google, and have not found a guide to studying Eyak.

Thus far, I have received a few gems, but not the gold I was hoping for. Here are said not-gold gems:

Eyak Language Restoration Group*
Eyak Language Project
Review: More Than Words...**

According to Redzone, there is a set of materials for those who wish to learn Eyak. However, I can't get any information on them. I can't find where to study this language anywhere. Do you have any suggestions? I'm running out of options, I think. Please help, cherubs. This is incredibly important.

Everyone should learn an endangered language. There are one hundred forty-one languages with fewer than five speakers- last time that I checked. But a language goes extinct in this world every two weeks. About eighty of these languages are based in Australia, where Aboriginal languages are facing a massive decline. Eyak's last native speaker passed on in 2008, sadly, though I'm not sure how many speakers remain. Evidently, in Alaska there are workshops and the tribe is trying to revive its culture: there are roughly one hundred seventy-two members in the tribe, which is native to Alaska (the village is today called Cordova, on the Copper River- this is where much of the workshops are located, apparently- plane tickets anyone?). In 1995, the first potlatch in over eighty years was held- that's the most recent potlatch that I've heard of. The Eyak tribe is, as of 2001 (my information is a little dated...), the smallest tribe in Alaska.

Please help find resources on this culture and on this language! Or please learn this language yourself. Or study an endangered culture and language from another part of the globe.

I'll continue gathering information and do a series of posts on this topic, starting with Eyak. Please do read, cherubs. It means everything.


*Thanks, Facebook
**A documentary about the fight to preserve Eyak

1 comment:

  1. What can I say-- you have always rooted for the underdog.