We Welcome You to the Passamaquoddy Peoples' Knowledge Portal.
Kulasihkulpon yut Peskotomuhkati-pomawsuwinuwok Etoli-kisokehkimsultimok.
When the Passamaquoddy, Mi’kmaq, Maliseets, and Penobscots meet together, they are known as the Wabanaki (People of the Dawn), because we all come from the East, where the sun comes up.
An ci putuwosultihtit Peskotomuhkatiyik, Mihkomak, Wolastoqewiyik, naka Panuwapskewiyik, li-nonuwak Waponahkiyik, ’sami nilun psi-te nuceyawultipon ’cipenuk, etoli-weckuwapok.
We try to live as a peaceful people who have a strong cultural connection with the land and waters.
Ntoqeci-sankewi-pomawsultipon naka nuli-qsihtunen nkihtahkomikumon naka nsamaqanomon.
Our language connects us to our ancestors and to who we are.
Kansuhsuwicik nkisi-milkunen ntolatuwewakonon, naka nkisokehkimkunen nilun eli-pomawsultiyek.
This website is a glimpse of our rich cultural traditions and history.
Yut kisi-nomihtasu eli-pomawsultiyek naka tan wetapeksultiyek nilun Peskotomuhkatiyik.
It will allow future generations of Passamaquoddy to learn about OUR STORY in OUR WORDS.
Yut-ona Peskotomuhkatiyik, yukt weckuwi-macekulticik naka keti-nomihqosultihtit, ’kisokehkimsultiniya ntatkuhkakononnul tahalu nilun nihtol elatkuhkatomek.
It will also introduce the World to our Passamaquoddy Heritage and History.
Weci psi-te wen kisokehkimsit wetapeksultiyek naka eli-pomawsultiyek mecimiw naka toke.
Written by Donald Soctomah. Transcribed by Margaret Apt; MaDonna Soctomah; Gracie Davis; Loren Homan, Robert Leavitt. Read by Dwayne Tomah April 10, 2018.
The Earth is Our Great Mother. / Skitkomiq kihci-kikuwosson.
We treat the earth as sacred. / Qosseyutomonen ktahkomiq.
Nobody owns the earth. / Ma-te wen ’topeltomuwon ktahkomiq.
Everything we need, I get from the earth: food, water, seeds for planting. / Psi-te keq eli-nituwiyiq, nit kutonomonen ktahkomikuk: micuwakon, ’samaqan, ktahkomonsol.
We think of the earth as out mother. / Ktolitahatomonen ktahkomiq ansa kikuwosson.
The earth is our great mother. / Skitkomiq kihci-kikuwosson.
The earth is our home. / Kilun yut skitkomiq kikon.
Prayer by Stephanie Francis. Transcribed and Read by Stephanie Francis.
About this project
The Passamaquoddy wax cylinder sound recordings were made in Calais, Maine in 1890. They were first returned to the Passamaquoddy community in the 1980s. David Francis, our ancestral language specialist was able to listen and transcribe 4 of these cylinders. In 2014 we began a new project with Local Contexts and the American Folklife Center to listen again to these recordings because the sound quality had been improved. This new project became the impetus for this digital archive. We wanted to put the recordings in a Passamaquoddy controlled archive where our community can listen to them and add the Passamaquoddy transcriptions and English translations in our own time. These recordings are dear to us. They connect us across time to our ancestors. We are the cultural authorities for this material. In 1890 our ancestors spoke Passamaquoddy and French; today we speak Passamaquoddy and English. Each song is a puzzle to fully interpret as no full songs were ever recorded. There are only partial songs on the cylinders. We have very few descriptions of these recordngs from the person who visited with us for three days and made them, Jesse Walter Fewkes. In our listening we connect to people in the present and in the past.
While we work on these recordings with our language speakers, our elders and our children, we are also using this archive as a way to share other parts of our history and culture. We hope that this helps contextualize these recordings within our lands, our territories and within our social, cultural and economic life. We thank the Peabody Museum at Harvard for maintaining the cylinders and to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for making them accessible to us, in both the 1980s and now.