ts’utum | Sapsucker

sapsucker, woodpecker – ts’utum
[unidentified species or sapsucker, or maybe hairy or downy woodpecker] • This is the smallest of the woodpeckers. Some say this is a rare little bird with three stripes on the back and a long beak. Some say it has a red spot on its head. It’s said that if one hears three strikes of this bird on a tree, then the tree will fall down.


ts’utum’ – sapsucker

’uy’ skweyul, sii’em’ nu siiye’yu.
Good day my friends and my relatives.

’een’thu ts’utum’ tun’ni’ tsun ’u tthu hwthuthiqut, tthu hay ’ul’ hwun’a’ hwthuthiqut.
I am sap sucker from the old growth forrest.

lemut tthunu ’uy’uy’mut s’itth’um’—tskwim ’i’ tshwikw’alus tthunu stl’ul’q’een.
Look at my beautiful cloak of red and grey feathers.

’i tsun tslelum’ ’u tthu thi thqet —ts’uhwle’ ’i nilh tthu tssey’, thq’iinlhp, ’i’ tthu ts’qw’ulhp— ts’uhwle’ ’i nilh tthu ni’ hakwusheen’.
I make my home in a big tree—sometimes douglas fir, hemlock, sitka spruce trees.

’uy’stuhw tsun kwunus sat’ut tthu sxe’muth, hay ’ul’ ’uy’ s’ulhtun.
I love to eat the sap from living trees, and it is very good food

ni’ tsun hwu sum’iq’, hwu kw’am’kwum’ ’u tthunu syaays.
And makes me full giving me strength to work

tl’umqun kw’unus ni’ xut’ukw’.
I carve all day long.

’uy’uy’mat tthunu sxut’ukw’ ni’ ’u tthu thqet.
I make beautiful carvings on the tree.

ha’ tsun yay’us ’i’ hwthiqun tthunu st’ilum, qwiil’qwul’ ’u tthunu sxwi’em’.
As I am working, I sing out my loud song, telling my stories.

kwun’a’ wulh hith ’i’ stl’i’s tthu hwulmuhw kws t’uma’thut-s ’u tthu sxut’ukw’.
A long time ago when the Indian people wanted to learn how to carve wood.

nilh kwu’elh tu’een’thu ts’utum’ ni’ hw’uw’tsust kws xut’ukw’s.
It was me sapsucker show them all about carving.

ni’ tsun lumstuhw ’uw’ nilhus tthu ’untsu syalh hakwushus.
I showed them what kind of wood to use.

ni’ kwu’elh hwu stutul’eenu tthu hwulmuhw kws hwu xut’ukw’ st’e ’utl’ ’een’thu.
Now the First Nations people know how to carve just like me.

ni’ hay. hay ch q’a’.
The end. Thank you.

Hul’q’umi’num’ description by Delores Louie | swustanulwut, Donna Gerdts | sp’aqw’um’ultunaat, and Thomas Jones | kweyulutstun.

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