Natchez love poem
Tem oyop kun elalvt eshales
Tv rtakv sokonehv
Vn tem mvetvkes yvstek etoxo
The words "mirror" and "poem" haven't correspondence in natchez
So Hutke Fields has used periphrasis for this translation.
Your spirit is there on the water
My best talk
But it is hurriedly done/finished
It is my love, last
→ French poem ←
Natchez love poem, it mean in the language of the Natchez, a Native American people who originally inhabited the region of the city of Natchez (Mississippi).
Natchez was also spoken by the Taensa, who lived across from them, in a very similar form. It is also believed that the Colapissa (south of Mississippi and east of Louisiana) also spoke a very similar form of this language.
Natchez was considered by some to belong to the Muskogean family, for others it would be similar to the Algonquian family or to that of the Gulf languages. Today, there seems to be a consensus that this language is isolated.
The word natchez comes from the main village of this tribe (Naches, and with the other ways of spelling it: Natches, Nahchee, Nvce, Natsches, Naktche), a word which precisely means Large village.
If some sources call them Theloel (Thecoel), the Cherokee called them Ani’-Na’tsl and among themselves they are called W’NvhX’Ce (the fast warriors).
There were two distinct forms of the language, one of the two forms was the one used by the elite, and the other form that of the workers; we always addressed the elite with more form. Another distinction, but rather in the tone, differentiated the way of speaking for men or women.
Among the Natchez, the oral tradition was of great importance, so much so that only certain people were designated to learn it. Their ancestral practices could have such power, that they had to be reserved to some people!
The shaman, as with many other Amerindian peoples, occupied a very important place.
If the language was spoken in the 17th century and until the beginning of the 18th century, it is considered extinct since 1965 ... the last speaker died that year, but precious recordings have been preserved.
Today the language is put forward by the Natchez nation, even if for actually, only a few dozen out of around 10,000 Natchez people speak it.
The former Natchez territory stretched from what is now North Carolina to eastern Oklahoma, and from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.
During the Mississippi exploration, the French meet the Natchez near St.Catherine’s Creek (1682), and the relations with them are first very good.
Clashes will begin between the two communities over misunderstandings, these clashes will be followed by peaceful cohabitations.
But when the French would to expropriate them from their lands, the Natchez will enter a revolt that will end with their destruction (early 18th century).
Those who survived the French were able to escape from that part of the Mississippi they occupied (Natchez town) only by joining the neighboring tribes (Cherokees, Creeks, Chicachas), along the Hiwassee River in present-day North Carolina. Later they will migrate with the Cherokees to Oklahoma.
These wars against the French and others of their neighbors, will have divided their population in less than a century by twenty, leaving perhaps only 300 to represent their people in the middle of the 18th century.
The Natchez who were at the same time farmers, traders, craftsmen and artists, belong to the famous Mississippian culture by its constructions of mounds.
Their social order was theocratic with a leader (Great Sun) who was on both levels (religious and political), and composed of classes, the lowest being that of workers. In times of war the warlord often had the generic name of Tattooed Serpent.
In the book Atala from Chateaubriand: "We are the remains of the Natchez. After the massacre of our nation by the French, to avenge their compatriots, those of our brothers who escaped from the conquerors found refuge with our neighbors, the Chikassas."
In René: "He perished a short while later, along with Chactas and Père Souël, in that massacre of both the French and the Natchez Indians which took place in Louisiana."
As in his novels Atala and René, in his book "Les Natchez" Chateaubriand plunges us in the middle of the Natchez nation, telling the story of their revolt against the French (1727).
This work of youth (1796) will be published in 1826. Delacroix will be inspired by this book and will paint his famous painting of the same name (1835). It's to say if France and this nation are mixed in a common history, first peaceful, then dramatic and finally artistic.