Tuesday, April 10, 2018


In today's society, where English predominates, we say "heads or tails" when flipping coins to make a decision.

But our mañaina were greatly influenced by Spanish. In Spanish, coins in the distant past usually had the head of a reigning monarch or some other government official on one side. On the reverse side, there was often a cross.

In Spanish, the head side was called cara, meaning "face." The other side, with the cross, was called cruz, meaning "cross."

So, in the past, when our people tossed coins, they'd ask "kåra pat krus?" "Face or cross?"

One lady told me the following story from her childhood :

Annai på'go sumotterita yo', guaha låhe, besinon-måme,
(When I just became a teenager, there was a boy, our neighbor,)

ni ha duduse yo' kada biråda.
(who flirted with me every moment.)

Un dia, ha faisen yo', "Kao siña hao hu chiko?"
(One day, he asked me, "Can I kiss you?")

Naturåt na ti konfotme yo', ya hu sangåne na mungnga yo'.
(Naturally I wasn't willing, and I told him I didn't want to.)

Pues ilek-ña, "Maila' ya ta yotte sensiyo! Yanggen kåra, siña hu chiko hao.
(Then he said, "Let's toss a coin! If it's heads, I can kiss you.)

Yanggen krus, ti bai chiko hao."
(If it's tails, I won't kiss you.")

Ilek-ho, "Maolek." Pues ha yotte i sensiyo ya humuyong kåra.
(I said, "Good." Then he tossed the coin and it came out heads.)

Hu estira i kanai-ho ya ilek-ho, "Chiko i kanai-ho."
(I stretched out my hand and said, "Kiss my hand.")

Lalålo' i taotao ya ilek-ña, "I fasu-mo para bai chiko!"
(The guy got mad and said, "It's your cheek I'm going to kiss!")

Ilek-ho, "Ilek-ta na yanggen kåra, siña un chiko yo'
(I said, "We said if it's heads you can kiss me)

"lao tåya' na ilek-ta måno guato!"
("but we never said where!")

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