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Handbook of the Delaware Indian Language: The Oral Tradition of a Native People

2 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1889037233
ISBN-10: 1889037230
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Wennawoods Pub (August 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1889037230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1889037233
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,744,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Raymond Whritenour on April 15, 2004
There are some serious problems with this book.First of all, the so-called WALAM OLUM is a proven hoax, which is full of artificial "Delaware" words made-up by C.S. Rafinesque. Therefore, the references to it (pages 5,6,7 and 27), and the reproduction of its text and translation (pages 41-52) honestly have no place in a book on the REAL Delaware language. Second, Daniel G. Brinton's translation of Johannes Roth's Delaware version of Matthew 22:1-14 is terribly inadequate. There are numerous errors in the translation, and even the Delaware text is often transcribed wrong. For example: In verse 1, he renders "nuwuntschi" as "he-began." It actually means "therefore." The word, "neli" ["nelih" in Roth], was crossed out by Roth, so it shouldn't even be part of the text. In verse 2, the word, "na," does not mean "him," but "that-one;" and, "Witachpungewiwulatpoagan" is not "marriage," but "marriage feast." In verse 3, "wentschitsch" means "so-that-will," not "the-bidden," as Brinton writes. And, "schingipawak" means "they-are-unwilling-to-come," not "they-are-unwilling." In verse 4, "Mauwilo" means "Go-and-tell-them," not "those;" and "penna," for which Brinton offers no translation, means "Behold!" In the same verse, "nihillalachkik" means "those-whom-I-own," not "they-are-killed;" and "Wisuhengpannik" is "they-who-were-fattened," not "they-fattened-them." Brinton also leaves out three words, in this verse, which are found in Roth's work. Mistakes like this occur in every verse.Read more ›
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The author/editor states he has a degree in linguistics, but not Lenape. So, what are his qualifications to butcher our language? As an enrolled Lenape, Munsee woman, Six Nations, I take personal offense to the many mistakes. It is bad enough we have so many masquerading as Lenape and stealing our culture, now we have to deal with misinformation from "scholars" who feed these charlatans drivel so they can go out and "educate" the uninformed public. This book does not have the support of legitimate, recognized Delaware Nation. Thank the Creator!
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I am the author, or should I say editor, of this book and wanted to include a review for this book other than the one already on this page. We have a small, family-run business, Wennawoods Publishing, and we specialize in reprinting material that is relevant to the history of the early eastern American frontier. That being said, I pulled 18th century sources(and a few 19th century) as the material for this book and have presented it to the reader as a collation of what is out there. I am not a native speaker of Lenape, but have my degree in Linguistics, specializing in Indo-European languages(especially German). Most of the material that I collected for this book was recorded by German-speaking missionaries, thus giving me an insight into the 'historic' Lenape language. If you're looking for an overly-technical approach to a modern, living dialect of the language, this book is not for you...perhaps the other reviewer can help you in that department. If you'd like a nice, little collection of some of the material that is out there concerning the historic Delaware Indian language of the 18th century, then you might want to consider purchasing this book.
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