Upcoming Events
Wichita Language
neʔe:h
chicken
More Wichita Words
October 2017
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Wichita Language Class

Wichita Song Classes on Monday Evenings

The Wichita Cultural Education Program hosts Wichita song classes for enrolled and descendant Wichita males of all ages each Monday from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Instruction provided by Mr. Jimmy Reeder.

Classes are in the portable building at the Wichita Tribal Complex, which is located one mile north of Anadarko on U.S. Highway 281 and then one-half mile west on Wichita Lane.

For more information, contact Gary McAdams at 405-247-2425 ext. 169 or by email at gary.mcadams@wichitatribe.com.

Tribe to Form Language Revitalization Committee

The Language/Cultural Program received a grant from the Cultural Resources Fund for the implementation of a Language Revitalization Project. A key component of the project is the formation of the Wichita Language Revitalization Committee (WLRC). The main charge of the WLRC is to analyze, plan and implement strategies and programs for increasing language learning opportunities and language use in the daily lives of tribal families, the tribal work place, cultural and social activities and in the interactions of tribal members.

The WLRC will meet at least once per month during the grant period and will be asked to lead by example by incorporating language learning and language use in their meetings. To the extent possible, prospective committee members should be willing to play prominent roles in language revitalization activities and events. The Wichita Executive Committee (WEC) will appoint seven members and two alternates. The selections will be based on individual knowledge, skills and abilities and be representative of various age groups. The WEC is looking for people with computer skills, graphic design, event planning, teaching experience, writing skills, and, of course, language knowledge. Committee membership is open to enrolled tribal members and Wichita descendants.

Interested persons should send a letter of interest to Gary McAdams at PO Box 729, Anadarko, OK 73005 or email to gary.mcadams@wichitatribe.com as soon as possible. The committee will begin work in late October or early November. The letter should explain why you are interested, amount of language proficiency and any other skills and abilities you think would be an asset to the committee.      

 

WCEP Focuses on Prayer, Song and Spoken Language for ONAYLF

 

Hill Sisters

Two of the WCEP winners at the 2018 Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair. From left: Hayden Hill, first place winner in Grades 3-5 Individual Spoken Prayer; and Brianna Hill, first place winner in Grades 3-5 Individual Traditional Song. 

 

Class Instructor

Gary McAdams

 

  • Click here to see and hear sample words in the Wichita language.

 

 

ABOUT THE WICHITA LANGUAGE

 

There are many ways in which Wichita is a very special language, compared with other languages from around the world. The sound system is extraordinarily simple; almost no other language has so few different sounds. But the way in which words change their pronunciation in different sentences is exceptionally complex, and the internal structure of individual words (what they are made of, and how those pieces fit together) is more complex than that of any other language.

Group Photo ONAYLF 

This group photo represents four categories where WCEP won trophies at the 2018 Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair. The following categories are: First Place--Grades 6-8 Small Group Traditional Song (Leyla and Elizabeth Saldana); First Place--Grades 9-12 Individual Spoken Language (Charlie McAdams); First Place--Grade 9-12 Large Group Traditional Song (Kitikiti'sh Little Sisters); Second Place--Grades 9-12 Individual Modern Song (Makennah McAdams); and Third Place--Small Group Traditional Song--Wichita Young Man Society. 

 

Wichita is closely related historically to Pawnee, Arikara, and Kitsai. That means that some time in the past-- probably on the order of 800 to 1200 years ago-- the ancestors of these four tribe lived together and spoke one language, which then developed differently among the different groups after they were no longer living together. Some time even earlier than that, the ancestors of these groups and those of the Caddo also formed one group. Linguists have given the name Caddoan Family to this set of languages, but there is no sense in which any of the modern languages is older than any other-- they all go back to a single group, much as all the branches of a tree go back to the trunk, with no main branch being the source of any other branch, but rather all deriving from the trunk.

 

(The above description description was written by Dr. David Rood in the Introduction to Wichita Language Lessons, 1993.)