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Ellen’s Stories

Ellen Savage

Deg Xigidhoy: Local Traditional Stories

Ggagg K’idz Xiqay
Bird Village
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Todzing
Loon
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Toqa’
Red Necked Grebe
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Didlang T’ighith yił
Spruce and Cottonwood
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Dlen Xidhoyh
Mouse Story
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Engithidong xunik: Historical events

Noy Xidhoyh
War Story
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Noy xugidighedhitinh
The one who escaped from war
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Ellen viyetr xunik: Ellen’s life stories

Nasiyonh
Growing Up
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Singonh sinughił didighene’
Mother’s teachings
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Sito’ tr’eyh itltsenh
My Father made a canoe
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Ngan’ Dit’anh
Earthquake
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Xintthe q’unt’ux xiy naghitl’an xiy
The first time I saw an airplane
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Xintthe siyił genitht’uq
The first time I flew in an airplane
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Sughidonh ndadz xo’in viyił ntasiyo
How I went with my husband

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Biography

Ellen Hunter Savage was born in September of 1919 at 7-mile above Shageluk when her mother was berry picking. She and her sister Violet were raised in Shageluk by their parents, Jane and Nikolai Hunter who lived a traditional subsistence lifestyle.  They always spoke the Deg Xinag language although Ellen did go to school in Shageluk and learned English because her mother said she would need to know it.

When Ellen was 16 she married Pius Savage and moved to his home village of Holy Cross.  They had 15 children and raised them there and at fishcamp in the summers. In 1970 the family moved to Anchorage.

Ellen continued to use her own language after moving to the city.  She told stories, taught traditional songs and created new ones. She also worked with several language programs to help preserve her Native language which was an important part of her culture and very precious to her.  In addition to working on the Deg Xinag Learner’s Dictionary she recorded many hours of stories, both traditional and personal for the Anvik Historical Society.

Ellen passed away in Anchorage, AK, on October 11, 2004.

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National Science FoundationThis material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 065178. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

 
 

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