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Authors Of New Anthology Of Arapaho Stories Hope To Preserve Language

Andrew Cowell



The Arapaho language is one of many indigenous languages considered endangered. But a new book of bilingual Arapaho stories attempts to help the problem by collecting hundreds of songs and prayers into one place.

University of Colorado linguist Andrew Cowell discovered a treasure trove of translated stories during his research. He got the help of William C’Hair in translating his findings. C’Hair is the official interpreter for the Northern Arapaho tribe and has worked much of his life to create a written system for preserving his tribe’s language. I sat down with them to hear some of their favorite stories.

Northern Arapaho translator William C’Hair and Linguist Andrew Cowell's book, Arapaho Stories, Songs and Prayers: A Bilingual Anthology, was published by the University of Oklahoma Press last year. They are currently working on a dictionary of the Arapaho language. You can hear C'Hair tell a story in Arapaho and Cowell's translation in English below.

C'Hair & Cowell

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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