Chicahuaxtla Triqui

[IJAL Texts Online, vol. 2, number 1, May 2017]
In the Hole of White Dirt1
told by Felipe Santiago Rojas

A. Raymond Elliot
University of Texas at Arlington
The text documented here recounts a popular Triqui legend written and recited by Felipe Santiago Rojas, a native speaker of TRS. The legend was originally told to him by his father, José Venancio Santiago who was born and raised in San Andrés Chicahuaxtla. The text was recorded in an area called La Cañada Tejocote located on the outskirts of San Andrés Chicahuaxtla in July, 2011 at the home of Felipe Santiago Rojas. The legend is titled, “In the Hole of White Dirt” and features the “plumed serpent”—a mythological creature that is half-serpent and half-bird. Neil Baldwin (1998) states that the plumed serpent is one of the most pervasive symbols in all of Mexican history and has existed from primordial times to the present. He adds that the serpent symbolizes the passing of time while the bird represents the four elements—earth, wind, fire and water. The plumed serpent thus symbolizes creation.
According to this Triqui legend, the Hole of White Dirt used to be a lake where the plumed serpent once lived. The legend describes the area as rainy with gushing brooks, pine trees, green foliage and pristine waters. During the day, the plumed serpent would come out to rest in order to soak up the heat of the sun’s rays. The villagers, however, avoided walking near the lake for fear that the plumed serpent would swallow them. As time passed, the plumed serpent became annoyed with the overpopulation of the village and mankind’s destruction of the environment. Consequently, the plumed serpent abandoned the lake to seek out a better place to live. Once the plumed serpent left, the rains no longer returned so the lake dried up leaving in its wake what is now known as the Hole of White Dirt.
The text was recorded with Audacity 1.3.9 using a Zoom H4n portable digital recorder connected to a MacBook Pro computer at a sampling rate of 44.1 KHz and a quantization of 16 bits—CD quality.

1)
Ruhuâ ruˈman hioˈó gatsìi
ruwa4 ruʔmã3 joʔo5 ɡatsi13
ruwaː4 ruʔmãː3 jo̰ʔ̰o̰ː5 ɡat͡siː13
in hole dirt white
‘In the Hole of White Dirt’
2)
speaker
Ruhuâ ruˈman hioˈó gatsìi,
ruwa4 ruʔmã3 joʔo53 ɡatsi13
ruwaː4 ʐuʔmãː3 joʔoː53 ɡat͡siː13
in hole white dirt
‘There is a hole of white dirt’
3)
speaker
guinun dahue asij nâ
ɡinũ3 dawe2 asi2h na4
ɡi–nũː3 d̪aweː2 asi2h naː4
PST–be lake for long.ago
‘where a lake used to be long long ago’
4)
speaker
gataj nuguanˈ gananï̂n nej yîˈ,
ɡata3h nuɡwã2ʔ ɡananɯ̃4 ne3h ʒiʔ4,
ɡa–t̪a32h nuwã2ʔ ɡa–nãnɯ̃ː4 ne3h ʒi4ʔ
PST–say word PST–tell PL elder
‘our ancestors told us’
5)
speaker
ni gananï̂n nej sôˈ si kïj hiaˈanj an gahuin nï̀nˈ gachraˈ kïj yinûnˈ,
ni2 ɡananɯ̃4 ne3h so4ʔ si3–kɯ3h j̃ã2ʔã22 ɡawĩ3 nɯ̃1ʔ ɡa2tʂa3ʔ kɯ3h ʒinũ4ʔ,
niː2 ɡa–nanɯ̃ː4 ne3h so4ʔ siː3–kɯ3h j̃ã2ʔã2hã2 ɡa–wĩː3 nɯ̃1ʔ ɡa2t͡ʂa3ʔ 3h ʒinũ4–ʔ
and PST–tell PL he POSS:mountain god PST–be everywhere mountain town:INCL
‘and they told us that in all of God’s mountain and in our region,’
6)
speaker
ni ûta guimân chrun ruguchrïïn ni ûta ganachi nita nnee.
ni2 u4ta3 ɡimã4 tʂũ3 ruɡutʂɯ̃3 ni2 u4ta3 ɡanatʃi3 nita3 nːe32
niː2 u4t̪aː3 ɡi–mãː4 t͡ʂũː3 ruɡut͡ʂɯ̃ː3 niː2 u4t̪aː3 ɡa–nat͡ʃiː3 nit̪aː3 nːeː32
and many PST–be tree pine and many PST–flow fountain water
‘there were many pine trees and many water springs’
7)
speaker
Ni daranˈ diû gamanˈ gumàan,
ni2 darã3ʔ diu4 ɡamã3ʔ ɡumã13,
niː2 d̪’rã3ʔ d̪iuː4 ɡ–amã3ʔ ɡumãː13
and all time PST–rain rain
‘and it was always raining’
8)
speaker
ni ruhuâ dahue nânj guinun Yukuá to hiaˈa,
niː2 ruwa43 dawe24h ɡinũ3 ʒukwa5 to2 jaʔa3,
niː2 ruwaː43 d̪aweː2 4h ɡi3–nũː3 ʒukwaː5t̪oː2jaʔaː3
and in lake that PST–be snake plumed
‘and in the lake lived a feathered serpent’
9)
speaker
ni nga gahuin guïn neˈ güi ni gahui yôˈ ruhuâ dahue nânj güendâ ganahuin ni yôˈ nân,
ni2 ɡa3 ɡawĩ3 ɡɯ̃2 ne32ʔ ɡwi3 ni2 ɡawi3 ʒo4ʔ ruwa4 dawe24h ɡwenda4 ɡa2na23 ni2 ʒo4ʔ nã4,
niː2 ŋɡaː3 ɣa3–wĩː3 ɡɯ̃ː2 ne2ʔ wiː3 niː2 ɡ–awiː3 ʒo4ʔ ruwaː4 d̪aweː2 4h ɡwen̪d̪aː4 ɡa2–na2wĩː3 niː2 ʒo4ʔ nãː4
and when PST–be warm toward sun and PST–come.out he.animal into lake that for FUT–become and he.animal heat.of.sun
‘who would come out in the warmth of the day so he could soak up the heat of the sun’
10)
speaker
nitaj si gachîn nìchrùnˈ nej güiì hian nun dahue nânj,
nita3h si3 ɡatʃi4 ni1tʂrũ1ʔ ne3h ɡwi31 j̃ã32 dawe24h,
nit̪a3h siː3 ɡ–at͡ʃĩː4 ni1t͡ʂrũ1ʔ ne3h ɡwiː31 j̃ãː3 nũː2 d̪aweː2 4h,
there.be.no PST–pass near the people where be.in lake that
‘but nobody could walk near the lake’
11)
speaker
dadinˈ nga gachin nìchrùnˈ ninj ni gayamânj gue yukuá to hiaˈa
dadĩ3ʔ ŋɡa3 ɡatʃĩ3 ni1tʂũ1ʔ nĩ3h ni2 ɡaʒamã4h ɡe2 ʒukwa5 to2 jaʔa3
d̪ad̪ĩ3ʔ ŋɡaː3 ɡ–at͡ʃĩː4 ni1t͡ʂũ1ʔ 3h niː2 ɡa–ʒamã4h ɡeː2 ʒukwaː5 t̪oː2 jaʔaː3
because when PST–pass near they and PST–swallow surprise snake plumed
‘because when they came near, the plumed serpent would surprisingly swallow them’
12)
speaker
dânj ninj gataj nej sachij i nga gananï̂n nej sôˈ,
4h nĩ3h ɡata3h ne3h satʃi3hi ŋɡa3 ɡananɯ̃4 ne3h so4ʔ,
d̪ã4h 3h ɡ–at̪a3h ne3h sat͡ʃi3hi ŋɡaː3 ɡa–nanɯ̃ː4 ne3h so4ʔ
that.one they PST–say PL ancestor when PST–pass PL he
‘when they passed by, our ancestors told us’
13)
speaker
rayiˈî dânj ni ûta ganˈ gachîn nej sôˈ,
raʒi3ʔi44h ni2 u4ta3 ɡã2ʔ ɡatʃĩ4 ne3h so4ʔ,
raʒi3ʔiː4 4h niː2 u4t̪aː3 ɡã2ʔ ɡ–at͡ʃĩː4 ne3h so4ʔ,
therefore that and very far PST–pass PL he
‘For that reason, people would stay far away from the lake’
14)
speaker
sani nga guiyinanj güiì ni gaˈman ruhuâ yôˈ dadinˈ gudurëˈ nï̀nˈ nej güiì hian nun yôˈ, ni gahui yôˈ ni gaˈanj yôˈ aˈngô neeˈ hioˈóo,
sani2 ŋɡa3 ɡiʒinã3h ɡwi31 ni2 ɡaʔmã3ʔ ruwa4 ʒo4ʔ dadĩ3ʔ ɡudurə3ʔ nɯ̃1ʔ ne3h ɡwi3132 ʒo4ʔ, ni2 ɡawi3 ʒo4ʔ ni2 ɡaʔã3h ʒo4ʔ aʔŋɡo4 ne32ʔ joʔo53,
saniː2 ŋɡaː3 ɡi–ʒinã3h ɡwiː31 niː2 ɡ–aʔmã3ʔ ruwaː4 ʒo4ʔ d̪ad̪ĩ3ʔ ɡu–d̪urə3ʔ nɯ̃1ʔ ne3h wiː31 j̃ãː3 nũː2 ʒo4ʔ, niː2 ɡ–awiː3 ʒo4ʔ niː2 ɡ–aʔã3h ʒo4ʔ aʔŋɡoː4 ne32 joʔ̬oː53,
but when PST–multiply people and PST–heat.up inside–anger he.animal because PST–destroy completely PL people where be.in he.animal and PST–leave he.animal and PST–go he.animal another toward land
‘But when the population kept growing, the plumed serpent became so angry because they were destroying everything so he decided to abandon that lake to go live in another land’
15)
speaker
huê danj ni ganakò dahue guinun ruhuâ ruˈman nânj dadinˈ nitaj si gamanˈ niko gaˈ gataj nej sachij i nanj anj.
we4_dã3h ni2 ɡanako1 dawe2 ɡinũ3 ruwa4 ruʔmã34h dadĩ32ʔ nita3h si3 ɡamã3ʔ niko3 ɡa2ʔ ɡata3h ne3h satʃi3hi nã23h
weː4d̪ã3h niː2 ɡa–nakoː1 d̪aweː2 ɡi–nũː32 ʐuwaː4 ʐuʔmãː32 4h d̪ad̪ĩ32ʔ nit̪a3h siː3 si ɡ–amã3ʔ nikoː3 ɡa2ʔ ɡ–at̪a3h ne3h sat͡ʃi3h 23h
therefore and PST–dry.up lake PST–be inside hole this because there.be.nothing PST–rain much now PST–say PL ancestor PART ( . )
‘and after that, the lake dried up because the rain never returned, our elders told us’

Notes
  1. Partial funding for this research was provided by the McDowell Center for Critical Languages and Area Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington. I would like to thank Dr. David Beck, co-editor of the International Journal of American Linguistics and the anonymous reviewer of this manuscript for his or her insightful recommendations and suggestions. I am indebted to Mr. Felipe Santiago Rojas for serving as our consultant and enabling us to document this historically important Triqui legend. A special thank you to Christian DiCanio for sharing his Itunyoso Triqui online database with me and to Hilaria Cruz for her help in formatting the ELAN template. The following undergraduate and graduate students participated in this research: Ramiro Valenzuela, Paul Jacob Kinzler, Aaron Lansford and Humberto Rodríguez. I would be remiss without thanking the leaders of San Andrés Chicahuaxtla for welcoming us into their village and for making us feel right at home. Ûta guruhuâa nej e rè’. A PDF version of these materials can be found here. [back]