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The official site of Kaw Nation

Kaw Language

Kaánze Íe, Angáye Tabe!

Kaánze Íe*, Let’s Go!

  1. The present and the future of our nation depend on the survival of our language.  It is through our language that we understand our history, our ancestors, and ourselves.  It is through our language that we teach our children to make sense of the world.
  2. To connect with other Dhegihan Siouan languages in order to share resources, collaborate on teaching strategies and encourage inter-tribal commitment to learning.
  3. To use Kaánze Íe in our homes, schools, and daily lives. For it to be a living language; not one only of ceremony.
  4. To offer language instruction and create materials for our níkashinga (people) whether they live in our traditional service area or they live in diaspora.
  5. To record our songs, games, stories, mistakes and laughter so future generations will have us, as we hold so precious those voices from whom we learn.
  6. To make learning our language play and not work, accessible and not difficult, pleasant and not scary. We want our people to come with open hearts so our words continue to live.

*Kanza language

NEW KANZA LANGUAGE BOARD GAME FOR SALE - PLAY AIDS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

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The traditional language of the Kanza people is Kaánze Íe, or simply Kanza. Although it is a separate language, it is closely related to the languages of the Osage, Ponca, Omaha, and Quapaw tribes. Kanza is a Siouan language, and so it also has similarities in grammar and vocabulary with Ioway, Otoe-Missouria, the languages of the Sioux peoples, as well as more distant ties to Crow, Mandan, Hidatsa, Biloxi, and others.

During a long and very devastating period in the history of the tribe, usage of the language began to taper off dramatically. This trend continued on into the twentieth century, until only a handful of the fullboods in the 1970s could speak the language fluently. Today, all these elders are gone. The Kanza people today speak English as a first language, but many can still understand and use Kanza words and phrases.

The Kaw Nation is interested both in preserving the language and more importantly in reviving it. The Kanza Language Project is a special department of the tribal operation devoted to this task. For a wealth of information about Kanza and a wide range of user-friendly language resources, please visit WebKanza, the homepage of the Kanza Language Project.

Kanza Language Project

NEW KANZA LANGUAGE SOFTWARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD

  

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