The Cherokee Heritage Documentation Center posted a video of a traditional Cherokee lullaby called ᎤᏍᏗ ᏲᎾ (pronounced as “usdi yona”). It means “little bear”. “Usdi” also means “baby”.
According to the site, it was men who used to sing lullabies to children. You can hear men singing this in an old recording that’s played at the beginning of the video.
In the video below, you can hear Dora Dunn teaching Ryan Mackay how to sing the song in Cherokee. The whole video is in the Cherokee language, but you can easily understand her pronouncing the lullaby. Then they sing it too…
Here’s the pronunciation as it sounded to me in the video…
Gi ah kay la da
If anyone can provide the lyrics in Cherokee and/or a translation, that would be wonderful! You can either add it to the comments below or email me.
Image: “A Cherokee Mother carrying her baby Indian-style on the Cherokee Indian Reservation” from Indigenous peoples Women Mothers Infants Portraits from the Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077).
This article was posted on Friday, January 26th, 2018 at 7:17 pm and is filed under Cherokee, Cherokee, Countries & Cultures, Lullabies, Mama Lisa, Native American Lullabies, Questions, Readers Questions, YouTube. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
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