Tuesday, November 22, 2016

CHA'-MO MAMAMAISEN




(A story from the 1930s. The names have been changed to protect the guilty and the innocent.)

Many times in the old days, when a man and woman had a child out of wedlock, the secret was often safely guarded. Many children went to their graves never knowing who their biological father was. But, once in a while, there were clues. One of them was the following. When your family always included another family in enjoying good things from the farm or sea, and there was no obvious reason why this should be, one could always wonder if there was some prior romance involved. In those days, one could only wonder, because you were quickly shut down if you dared to ask.

Un tungo' si bihu-ho as Jose? Annai sottetero ha' trabia si bihu-ho, 
(You know my grandfather Jose? When my grandfather was still single,)

guaha patgon-ña påtgon sanhiyong ginen as Ana.
(he had a child out of wedlock with Ana.)

Lao hame ni famagu'on, tåya' håfa in tingo' pot este.
(But we kids didn't know anything about this.)

Despues, umassagua si Jose yan si bihå-ho as Dolores. Si Ana, tåya' na umassagua.
(Later, Jose married my grandmother Dolores. Ana never married.)

Lao kada mamuno' gå'ga' gi lanchon-måme, 
(But whenever he killed an animal in our ranch,)

siempre ha tågo' yo' si bihu-ho para in na'e si Tan Ana pietnan kåtne pat håfa.
(my grandfather would surely tell me to give Tan Ana a leg of meat or something.)

Ha na' manman yo' sa' tåya' na man a'bisita ham yan si Tan Ana, solo an guaha 
(It surprised me because we never visited Tan Ana, only when)

ma puno' gå'ga' ya ma tågo' uno gi famagu'on para u nå'e si Tan Ana.
(an animal was killed and one of the kids was sent to give Tan Ana.)

Pues hu faisen si bihu-ho, "Håfa tåta na ta nånå'e håfa hit na komo pumarientes hit?"
(So I asked my grandfather, "Why, grandpa, do we give whatever as if we were relatives?")

Ilek-ña, "Ti guailaye un kuentos pat un famaisen. Cho'gue ha' håfa ma tåtågo' hao.
(He said, "It isn't necessary for you to talk or ask. Just do what you're told to do.

Imbilikera!"
(Nosey!")


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