Kwi I’ivakithag Mashath, Examples of Oob No’ok (Mountain Pima)

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Huhuhugam Heritage Center


In our modern fast-paced lifestyle, we tend to forget that a:chim Akimel O’otham belong to a larger family of other O’otham. Toward the east, we have S-Auppak O’otham (Florence village People). Up north, we have Onk Akimel O’odham (Salt River People).


Toward the southwest, we have Ak-Chin O’odham (Mouth of the Wash People). Due south, we have the Tohono O’odham Nation (Desert People), including San Xavier, Gila Bend, and Hia-Ched O’odham. Across the International Border there are Pimas de México who live in several lowland villages that include Magdalena, Altar, Caborca and Pitiquito.  


Further south, in the mountain highlands, live the Oob (Mountain Pima). They live in the villages of Onavas, Yepáchi, Maycoba and Yécora. In 2013, Mr. Marshall Sunna (D-4), escorted a special Delegation of Leaders northward to our community during Mul-Chu-Tha.  During their visit, a Language Summit was held at the Huhugam Heritage Center.  The Pimas de México Delegates provided a Comparative Linguistics session, which was attended by community language teachers, Elders and then, Governor Gregory Mendoza.    


During the session, we learned a few sentence structures in Oob No’ok and realized how similar their language is to ours.  A few basic grammar examples in Oob No’ok and Akimel O’otham: “In soiga gogsi.” (My pet dog/my dog). Akimel O’otham: “Eñ shoiga gogs.” (My pet dog/my dog). The possessive marker “ga” in shoiga is the same for both languages. Example of Personal Pronoun (PP): “Hosi hemak pééso iñ-maa” (Joe one peso me-give [PP]/Joe gave me a peso). Akimel O’otham: “Husi hemako pish eñ ma:k” (Joe gave me one dollar [PP]). Akimel O’otham call US currency bills (pish). 


Grammatical spellings may be slightly different, but pronunciations and translations are the same.  Subject Pronouns (SP) may be repeated after a statement for emphasis: “Aap si keeg vapkéhél aapi” ([SP] really good cowboy [SP]/You’re a real cowboy). Akimel O’otham: (’Ap s-ke:gaj vakial api/You’re a real cowboy). The determiner marker (DM) “eg” is equivalent the “heg” in Akimel O’otham: “Eg Oob esi-m ek huun” (DM person planting object corn/The man is planting corn).  “Eg okasi naati-m ek ha’a” (DM woman making object pot/The woman is making a pot).   Predicate Adjectives (PA) are the same in Oob No’ok, as Akimel O’otham: “Eg ko’adaga si keega-d!” (DM food really good PA/The food is really good!). 


This month’s word match will challenge you to remember a few phrases in Oob No’ok.  Although we are separated by hundreds of miles, our families of Uto-Aztecan languages are still spoken on both sides of the International Border.  We encourage you to speak Akimel O’otham in your everyday lives.  Continue to speak and learn from our Elders and Speakers.  

A special Thank You to Pimas de México, whose shared knowledge of Oob No’ok that made this article possible. Additional source related from, An Overview of Uto-Aztecan Grammar, Ronald Langacker, University of Texas at Arlington, 1977.