Video by Morgaine Lee – Simon Fraser University, David Lam Centre

“The Voice of the Forest”

Chikappo rekuhawe (rekawe) [A small bird’s warble]

Hupko suiesuie [Swaying bamboo grass]

Nitai hawehe [The voice of the forest]

Maua newa hamshi notan [The wind and leaves playing]

Macha unsu kupu ainu [People living in the town]

Tokotchyaketa rimse anrō [Let us dance by the lakeshore]

Huttarechui arāhunnahui  [Who is that bumping the tops of the fir trees at this late hour?]

According to oral tradition, this song and dance represent the shaking of the fir trees by the wind. It is said that the women would bend and stretch back and forth while dancing, letting their long hair touch the ground. But today, few women have long hair, and soon only vestiges of the old days will remain.

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