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)
Ruhuâ ruˈman hioˈó gatsìi,
ruwa⁴ ruʔmã³ joʔo⁵³ ɡatsi¹³
ruwaː⁴
ʐuʔmãː³
joʔoː⁵³
ɡat͡siː¹³
in
hole
white
dirt
‘There is a hole of white dirt’
3)
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)
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)
ni gananï̂n nej sôˈ si kïj hiaˈanj an gahuin nï̀nˈ gachraˈ kïj yinûnˈ,
ni² ɡananɯ̃⁴ ne³h so⁴ʔ si³–kɯ³h j̃ã²ʔã²hã² ɡawĩ³ nɯ̃¹ʔ ɡa²tʂa³ʔ kɯ³h ʒinũ⁴ʔ,
niː²
ɡa–nanɯ̃ː⁴
ne³h
so⁴ʔ
siː³–kɯ³h
j̃ã²ʔã²ʰã²
ɡa–wĩː³
nɯ̃¹ʔ ɡa²t͡ʂa³ʔ
kɯ³h
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)
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)
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)
ni ruhuâ dahue nânj guinun Yukuá to hiaˈa,
niː² ruwa⁴³ dawe² nã⁴h ɡinũ³ ʒukwa⁵ to² jaʔa³,
niː²
ruwaː⁴³
d̪aweː²
nã⁴h
ɡi³–nũː³
ʒukwaː⁵t̪oː²jaʔaː³
and
in
lake
that
pst–be
snake plumed
‘and in the lake lived a feathered serpent’
9)
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 dawe² nã⁴h ɡwenda⁴ ɡa²na²wĩ³ ni² ʒo⁴ʔ nã⁴,
niː²
ŋɡaː³
ɣa³–wĩː³
ɡɯ̃ː²
ne²ʔ
wiː³
niː²
ɡ–awiː³
ʒo⁴ʔ
ruwaː⁴
d̪aweː²
nã⁴h
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)
nitaj si gachîn nìchrùnˈ nej güiì hian nun dahue nânj,
nita³h si³ ɡatʃi⁴ ni¹tʂrũ¹ʔ ne³h ɡwi³¹ j̃ã³ nũ² dawe² nã⁴h,
nit̪a³h siː³
ɡ–at͡ʃĩː⁴
ni¹t͡ʂrũ¹ʔ
ne³h
ɡwiː³¹
j̃ãː³
nũː²
d̪aweː²
nã⁴h,
there.be.no
pst–pass
near
the
people
where
be.in
lake
that
‘but nobody could walk near the lake’
11)
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
nĩ³h
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)
dânj ninj gataj nej sachij i nga gananï̂n nej sôˈ,
dã⁴h nĩ³h ɡata³h ne³h satʃi³hi ŋɡa³ ɡananɯ̃⁴ ne³h so⁴ʔ,
d̪ã⁴h
nĩ³h
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)
rayiˈî dânj ni ûta ganˈ gachîn nej sôˈ,
raʒi³ʔi⁴ dã⁴h ni² u⁴ta³ ɡã²ʔ ɡatʃĩ⁴ ne³h so⁴ʔ,
raʒi³ʔiː⁴
dã⁴h
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)
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 ɡwi³¹ jã³ nũ² ʒo⁴ʔ, ni² ɡawi³ ʒo⁴ʔ ni² ɡaʔã³h ʒo⁴ʔ aʔŋɡo⁴ ne³²ʔ joʔo⁵³,
saniː²
ŋɡaː³
ɡi–ʒinã³h
ᵍwiː³¹
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)
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 ruʔmã³ nã⁴h dadĩ³²ʔ nita³h si³ ɡamã³ʔ niko³ ɡa²ʔ ɡata³h ne³h satʃi³hi nã²hã³h
weː⁴d̪ã³h
niː²
ɡa–nakoː¹
d̪aweː²
ɡi–nũː³²
ʐuwaː⁴
ʐuʔmãː³²
nã⁴h
d̪ad̪ĩ³²ʔ
nit̪a³h siː³ si
ɡ–amã³ʔ
nikoː³
ɡa²ʔ
ɡ–at̪a³h
ne³h
sat͡ʃi³h
nã²hã³h
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]