We Still Live Here: Âs Nutayuneân (2010)


  • Posted: 12/10/2013
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Synopsis >

We Still Live Here: s Nutayune n -- Celebrated every Thanksgiving as the Indians who saved the Pilgrims from starvation, then largely forgotten, the Wampanoag of Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard are bringing their long-dormant language back to life. Spurred on by their intrepid linguist Jessie Little Doe Baird, recent winner of a MacArthur genius award, they are saying loud and clear, and in their Native tongue, s Nutayune n, We Still Live Here. Longer Synopsis WE STILL LIVE HERE: s Nutayune n tells the amazing story of the return of the Wampanoag language, a language that was silenced for more than a century. The Wampanoag s ancestors ensured the survival of the first English settlers in America, and lived to regret it. A century ago, their language virtually disappeared. Spurred on by an indomitable Wampanoag woman named Jessie Littledoe Baird, who just won a MacArthur genius award for her unprecedented work, the Wampanoag are bringing their language and their culture back to life. Like many Native American stories, this one begins with a vision. Years ago, Jessie began having recurring dreams: familiar-looking people from another time speaking in an incomprehensible language. These visions sent her on an odyssey that would uncover hundreds of documents written in Wampanoag, lead her to a Masters in Linguistics at MIT with Noam Chomsky, and result in her accomplishing something that had never been done before in an American Indian community bringing a language with no Native speakers alive again. The film interweaves contemporary verit scenes of cultural revival among the Wampanoag on Cape Cod and Martha s Vineyard with dark events in New England history that nearly obliterated their culture. Ruth Lingford s powerful animation provides darkly beautiful images as Wampanoags recount these horrific events. The film ends on a hopeful note, with an image of Jessie s youngest daughter, the first Native speaker of Wampanoag in a century.

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