Story


Lenape:     Wèwtënëwèsi Achimëwakàn
English:     The Wèwtënëwès Story . . . Told by Nora Thompson Dean in 1967. [This is sometimes called the Mermaid Story.]

Lenape:     Lòmëwe xahelènawki hateyo kwìtëlìtëwakàna.
English:     Long ago there were many kinds of corrections.
Lenape:     Kwëti, "Matàch yuki skixkweyok ènta tixëmwihtit supsiyëwàk
English:     One is, "Young women should not bathe in the nude [in a large body of water],
Lenape:     wënchìch mata manëtu pèxus'hìkawiyok mpinkink."
English:     so that some spirit in the water will not come into them."
Lenape:     Nèki kìkainkahke luweyok
English:     The old people said
Lenape:     xaheli manëtuwàk tëntalawsineyo èkwpiyenk.
English:     many spirits lived there under the water.
Lenape:     Kwëti skixkwe ahchinkxe hùnt.
English:     It is said that one young woman was stubborn.
Lenape:     Enta may tixëmwit supsu.
English:     When she went to bathe she was naked.
Lenape:     Na mpiyink èntalawsit manëtu pèxus'hìkao,
English:     A spirit that lived in the water came into her,
Lenape:     tòlëmi mahkwisu tuhwèpiyëmink.
English:     and her body began to swell.
Lenape:     Xantki hmitahpu na awèn.
English:     Finally that person was born.
Lenape:     Kèku lah wàn, pahsi namès òk pahsi awèn.
English:     And here he was, half fish and half human.
Lenape:     Wishasu na skixkwe, mòy chòpònihin mënëpèkunk.
English:     The young woman was scared, so she went and threw it into the lake.
Lenape:     Nal në tënta kishikin mënëpèkunk na awèn,
English:     In the lake is where that person grew up,
Lenape:     na pahsi namës òk pahsi awèn.
English:     that half fish and half human.
Lenape:     Enta nèki mimënsak may tixëmwihtit, tòptëpèneyo.
English:     When the children would go to bathe they all drowned.
Lenape:     Wtënao èt na awèn, wënchi aptëpèneyo.
English:     That person must have pulled them, and that is why they drowned.
Lenape:     Wishas'hatuwàk wèmi nèk Lënapeyok,
English:     The Delaware were all scared
Lenape:     luweyok, "Kèku hàch xu ktëlsihëna?"
English:     and they said, "What will we do?"
Lenape:     Na kwëti hilusës luwe, "Hnilawënàch nàni awèn."
English:     Then one old man said, "We will have to kill that person."
Lenape:     Nisha nèk skinuwàk peyok,
English:     Two young men came there
Lenape:     luweyok, "Niluna ta kàski hnilawëna."
English:     and they said, "We definitely can kill him."
Lenape:     Na tòlëmskaneyo ènta natunamuk wipèko
English:     They left to go look for sunbeams
Lenape:     wënchìch kàski alëmàkusineyo wikit na xansëna kishux.
English:     on which they could begin to climb to where ours elder brother the sun lives.
Lenape:     Na tòlëmi àlëmàkusineyo wipèkunk, xantki peyok kishux wikit.
English:     They started to climb on the sunbeams and finally got to where the sun lives
Lenape:     Kanshelìntàm na kishux, luwe,
English:     The sun was surprised, he said,
Lenape:     "Kèku hàch katatàmuhëmo?"
English:     "What do you fellows want?"
Lenape:     Luweyok nèk skìnuwàk,
English:     The young men said,
Lenape:     "Punkw ta nkatatèmënèn, kèshtèk punkw."
English:     "We really want some ashes, hot ashes."
Lenape:     Luwe na kishux, "Shè lah nën, wichëm kàkayëwa."
English:     The sun said, "There they are. Help yourselves."
Lenape:     Na nèki nisha skìnuwàk tòns'hamëneyo në punkw.
English:     Then the two young men dipped up some ashes.
Lenape:     Luweyok, "Wanìshi!" Na tòlëmskaneyo wipèkunk lih.
English:     They said, "Thanks!" Then they left by way of the sunbeams.
Lenape:     Na pwètuneyo në punkw ènta nèki Lënapeyok maehëlahtit.
English:     They brought the ashes to where the Lenape were gathered.
Lenape:     Na ìka tòlanihineyo në punkw mënëpèkunk.
English:     They threw the ashes into the lake.
Lenape:     Alëmi wënte në mpi.
English:     The water began to boil.
Lenape:     Xantki na awèn, pahsi namès òk pahsi awèn
English:     Finally that person, half fish and half human
Lenape:     nèwkwësu xkwìchi mpinkink.
English:     was seen on top of the water.
Lenape:     Nèsko ankëlëk na awèn tëlao nèl awènik, "Nuchkwehihëmo!
English:     Before he died that person told them, "You have killed me for nothing!
Lenape:     Xaheli ta ni nulhala ahanhùkwi nuxwisàk òk nichanàk.
English:     I do have many grandchildren and children
Lenape:     Wèmi yu tali ènta xaheli mpi
English:     Everywhere where there is a lot of water
Lenape:     nichanàk ènta lawsihtit òk nuxwisàk.
English:     that is where my children and grandchildren live.
Lenape:     Nuchkwehihëmo ta!" Shùk amënchi hnilawo na awènik.
English:     You have killed me for nothing!" But anyway the people killed him.
Lenape:     Na kwëti hilusës luwe, "Yukwe ta kahpal, pikshawënèch."
English:     One old man said, "Take him out of the water, we will cut him up."
Lenape:     Na kòhpalaneyo na awèn, alëmi piksha.
English:     Then they took that person out of the water and began to cut him up.
Lenape:     Wèmi yuk lakeichik mwilawo kwëti pàke naka awènika.
English:     They gave to all the different tribes one piece of him.
Lenape:     Nal në wënchi yukwe mèchi hnakatàmëneyo
English:     That is why they still use it [the piece of him]
Lenape:     yuki mèxkeòhkësichik tìli këntkaneyo òk
English:     these Indians so they can dance and
Lenape:     patamaneyo, hnakatàmuk pàke naka awènika.
English:     when they pray, they use that piece.
Lenape:     Nal yushe ntëlkwën naka nkahèsa.
English:     This is what my late mother told me.