by Barbara Joe and Maryann Andrews
Barbara Joe of Alakanuk and Maryann Andrews of Emmonak shared this story about ircenrraat and the old village of Anaqciq during a Calista Elders Council women’s gathering in at my house in Anchorage in April 2012, and it has been transcribed and translated by Alice Rearden. Their ancestors lived through epidemics, as we are living through them today, and we thought readers would enjoy reading what they shared with us. – Ann Fienup-Riordan
Arnaucuaq/Barbara Joe: Ircenrraat tamakut ak’allaat-gguq yullret, ak’allaq’apiit imkut yuunrillret ircenrraurtelartut-gguq alingnairulluteng.
Those ircenrraat, it has been said they were people who lived long ago, that ancient people who died become ircenrraat and are no longer scary or dangerous.
Anagcimill’ uitallemteni atakumi aquigaqamta nunallret ikani ak’allat, ak’allaq’apiit nunallret, aanairutvut-llu-gguq tamaani naskuggallerauluni angayuqaagni anerteqellragni tuani uitatullruluteng. Anagcirmiut-gguq ukut ak’allaat yuirucata ikavet nugtartellruut, nugtara’arrluteng nunalilriit, taukut ak’allaat nallunrilamegteki ircenrraurcata.
And while we were living at Anagciq, when we’d play in the evening, the ancient village was on the other side, a very old village, and my late mother said that when she was a girl and her parents were alive, they used to live there. They say when the historic village of Anagciq no longer had residents, they moved to the other side, they just moved to establish a village since they knew that the ancient village had ircenrraat.
Maaten imna aipairutemnun im’ ellirlua Qullirrarcaurtua, kiagmi-llu iqvaryaryaurtua, imna iciw’ qer’at naparyangqerrlalriit; tauna tua-i naparyaq iquyuunani.
When I married my late husband I began traveling to Qullirraq River to go berry picking in the summer, you know how fish racks have posts; that post there never collapsed.
Tauyaaq/Maryann Andrews: Wiinga-llu tangerrlallruaqa tauna imna Anagcimi naparyaq. Iquyuunani.
I, too, used to see that post there at Anagciq. It never collapsed.
Arnaucuaq/Barbara Joe: Ii-i, ayalurcuunani-llu. Tua-i-gguq aruq’apiaralliuq, imaunani taman’ muragaq, avatii taugaam.
Yes, and it never slanted to the side. They say it was extremely rotten, that log was empty, but only its outer shell was still there.
Avatii taugaam tamana. Mineksuaraam-am iqutellia.
Only its outer shell was there. Mineksuar made it collapse.
Tauyaaq/Maryann Andrews: Nakleurluq, – tang aanama imumi canritlermini tauna imna muragaq naparyaq kituinallrunritaa.
Poor thing, when my mother was in good health she never just passed by that wooden post.
Arnaucuaq/Barbara Joe: Eem, tamarmeng.
Yes, all of them [stopped at the post.
Tauyaaq/Maryann Andrews: Pitullrungatait tamarmeng yuut nallunricetain.
I think all people who knew about it [stopped there].
Tuaggun ayagaqamta ak’a aanama alulalria pinauraa elliqeryarat cukaiqaniisqelluki. Cukaiqaniaki-llu mermek tegulluni neqalleruarmek-llu. Tuall’ pinauraa, kuigem-gguq mat’um nunam ceniikun pisqelluku. Tua-i ceniikun piaqan tua-i mermek taumek-llu imumek aviukaqluni. Ak’allaullrungatuq tauna.
When we’d travel through there, my mother would tell the driver to slow down the outboard motor. And when he slowed it down, she’d take some water and a piece of dried fish. And she’d tell him to travel at the river’s bank. When he’d travel along the shore, she would give an offering of some water and [a piece of dried fish]. I think that one [post] was old.
Arnaucuaq/Barbara Joe: Ak’allaq’apiaraullruuq, ak’allaq’apiaraullruuq-gguq tauna naparyaq. Yungqetullratni taukut Anagcirmiullret taukut-gguq yullrita naparyallrat.
They said that post was extremely old. They say when that historic village of Anagciq was occupied, they say that was the post of the people who lived there.
It never collapsed.
Tauyaaq/Maryann Andrews: Aling, tua-i-llu-wam taum pikii.
My, and that person [made it fall down].
Arnaucuaq/Barbara Joe: Cunawa-gguq tua-i arumaqapigteng’ermi avatiin taugaam maktatlia. Tua-i-gguq imaunani muragaq, tua-i imaitqapiggluni, avatiin taugaam. Ayalurcuunani-llu.
Although it was completely rotten, only its outer shell kept it standing. They said that log was empty, it was completely empty, but only its outer shell [kept it standing]. And it never slanted sideways.
Tauyaaq/Maryann Andrews: Ii-i.
Arnaucuaq/Barbara Joe: Aquigaqamtall’ tamaani Anagcimi, atakumi aquigaqamta uksuarmi kenurrara’arnaurtut ikai taukut ak’allaat.
And when we’d play there at Anagciq, when we’d play in the evening in the fall, that historic village would have a light on over there.
Tauyaaq/Maryann Andrews: Ala-i!
Arnaucuaq/Barbara Joe: Kavirpak tuarr’ kenurraat. Pinauraitkut alingnarqenritniluki, alingnarqenritniluki ircenrrauniluki. Ala-i!
Their light appeared very red. They’d tell us they weren’t dangerous, that they weren’t dangerous, that they are ircenrraat. How frightful!
Anagcimek, Anagcirmiunek taukut ak’allaat. Aanairutvut-llu-gguq angayuqaagni canritellragni tuantetullruluteng.
They called it Anagciq, they called that old village Anagcirmiut. And my mother said that when her parents were in good health, they used to live there.
Ilameng ircenrraurtellerkait-llu nalluvkenaki. Ukut nunaunriata tamaanculriim ikavet nugtara’arrluteng. Man’a Qullirrarmek anelriani waten ukatmun ayuqellria.
And they knew their fellow people would become ircenrraat. When this was no longer a village, since they wanted to stay there, they just moved across from it. When going out of Qullirraq, you know it goes in this direction.
Tua-i-gguq ikavet qeraulluki. Nunallrurtut pia-i taukut nutaqsilriit; wangkutall’ tuantellruukut. Aquigaqamta kenurrara’arnaurtut taukut nunallrit. Pinauraitkut alikesqevkenaki alingnarqenritut-gguq, ircenrraat-gguq kenurrara’artut.
They say they brought the residents across from the village. The newer village is now an old village; and we lived there also. When we’d play, the old village would have lights. They’d tell us not to be afraid of them, that they aren’t scary, that the ircenrraat have their lights on.
Cucuaq/Alice Rearden: Tamaani Anagcimi ukut ak’allaat pivkenaki taugaam yaaqsinilkiini tuani allami Anagcimi elpet anglillruuten?
Did you grow up there at Anagciq, not in the old place, but not far from it in the other Anagciq?
Arnaucuaq/Barbara Joe: Yaa, wangkutall’ tuantetullruukut. Upallruukut cami. Aanairutemta-wa nunakellrulliniamiu tauna, aanairutemta aaniin atiin-llu nunakellrulliniamiu, aanairutemta upautellruaku tamaavet; atavut pillrua tamaavet upaucugluku. Ik’iki qaurtut uksuarmi ciinek avuluteng.
Yes, we used to live there, too. We moved there one day. Since that was the village where our late mother had lived, since that was the village where our late mother’s mother and father lived, our late mother moved us there; she told our father that she wanted to move with him. There were many broad whitefish in the winter along with sheefish.
Tua-i ukut Anagcirmiullernek pilarait ak’allaat nunallret. Tamana kuik ukatmun anqatallran, wani paingani. Ikegkut taugken, ukut Anagcirmiullernek ikegkut-llu Anagcirmiunek.
They call this Anagcirmiullret, the old village. It’s located where the river is about to go out at its mouth there. But the ones across there, they called this Anagcirmiullret [the historic village of Anagciq] and the one across there Anagcirmiut [the village of Anagciq].
Ii-i, yuirulluteng taukut. Cangerliim-gguq nalliini tamaani, murilkellrata-gguq kinguakun malrurqugnek cangerliqellruut. Tua-i yuiraqluteng. Tua-i nunacuaraat ukut yuiraqluteng. Kinguqlilirillratni-gguq tamaani cangerliqlermeggnek kinguqliliriluteng taukut-gguq tua-i Anagcirmiupiaraat yuirutellruut. Taukut-am yuirucan taukut-llu unegteqalriit ikavet nugtarrluteng Anagcirmiungurrluki ikegkut.
Yes, that place no longer had residents. They say during an epidemic, after [our parents] became aware, they went through two epidemics. They lost many residents. The small village would lose most of their residents. They said when they went through a second epidemic, it is said the original village of Anagciq lost many residents. When they lost many residents, the people who were the only ones alive moved across there, establishing the village of Anagciq across there.