Versión en náhuatl y español

Ya wejkawitl oksé tlamantle oyeka
[Life was different long ago]


Severiana Estrada Vásquez



Teopoxco, Oaxaca

This text, written in April, 2000, in the Nahuatl language of Northern Oaxaca, describes what life was like for a past generation.



001

Ya

already

wejkawitl

long.ago

in

in

topueblo

our.town

oyeka

it/he/she.was

oksé

other

tlamantle.

manner

Long ago life in our town was very different.
002

Oyeka

there.was

wejweyi

big.pl

kuawyoj

woods

iwan

and

okatkaj

there.were

miekej

many

okuilimej,

animals[generic]

oyekaj

there.were

koyomej,

coyotes

pesojtin,

badgers

mapachimej,

raccoons

tlakomistin,

ring-tailed.cat

kuawkochimej

spotted.cavy

iwan

and

oksekimej

others

miekej.

many

There were lots of woods and many animals; there were coyotes, badgers, raccoons, ring-tailed cat, spotted cavy, and many others.
003

In

the

kalmej

houses

mach

not

miekej

many

in

in

oyekaj

there.were

san

only

tlapoaltin.

they.are.counted

There weren't many houses, only just a few.
004

In

the

kalmej

houses

oyekaj

they.were

sakakaltin

grass.houses

iwan

and

de

of

chinamitl,

cane.walled

in

the

tlakajtin

men

nik

how

omotlakentiayaj

they.dressed

san

only

nochi

all

okimochiwiliayaj,

they.made.for.themselves

in

the

okichtin

males

okonakiayaj

they.wore

kalson

wraparound.pants

iwan

and

inkamisa

their.shirt

de

of

manta

unbleached.cotton

iwan

and

okinmijkitiliayaj

they.wove.for.them

inkotonwan.

their.work.shirts

The houses were made of grass (roofs) and cane (walls); and people all wore homemade stuff; the men wore work shirts and shirts of unbleached cotton, and ponchos that were woven for them.
005

In

the

siwamej

women

okimochiwiliayaj

made.for.themselves

inwipil

their.embroidered.smocks[huipiles]

de

of

manta

unbleached.cotton

iwan

and

inkue

their.dresses

de

of

koyammej,

[regional]skirts

achtoj

first

okinximayaj

they.sheared.them

in

the

ichkamej

sheep

iwan

and

okitzaawayaj

they.spun.it[wool]

iwan

and

okinmijkitiaj

they.wove.them

kotomej,

poncho

kueyitl,

dress

ichkapayoj,

wool.shawl

tzojmimej,

blankets

sinidor

wool.sash

iwan

and

nelpiltin.

women's.sash[wool&palm]

The women made their own embroidered smocks of unbleached cotton and their skirts were the typical type of the region; first they sheared the sheep and spun the wool, and then they wove their ponchos, dresses, shawls, blankets, sashes and belts.
006

In

the

koyamej

[regional]skirts

iwan

and

kotomej

poncho

okipintaroayaj

they.dyed.them

ika

with

alkaparrosa,

alcaparrosa[dye.from.a.pod]

mach

not

itlaj

something

oksé

other

tzotzole

clothing

okachi

more

okixmatiaj, 

they.knew.it/him/her

san

only

yej

in

in

the

manta.

unbleached.cotton

They dyed their skirts and ponchos with alcaparrosa, and the only kind of store-bought cloth they used was just the simple unbleached cotton.
007

Nochtin

all

onemiaj

they.walked

san

only

inmijikxi

barefoot

iwan

and

mach

not

okixmatiaj

they.knew.it/him/her

kaktle,

sandal

iwan

and

katlej

the.one.who

okipiaya

he/she.had.it

ikak

his/her.sandal

kijtosneki

it.means

okimopialiaya.

he/she.was.rich

They all walked barefoot and weren't used to sandals; if you had sandals, it meant you were rich.
008

Iwan

and

tlan

that.which

okipoloayaj

they.lacked.it

okonkuiaj

they.went.to.get.it

asta

until

Tiotitlan,

Teotitlán

san

only

onejnemiaj

they.went.walking

oyayaj

they.went

ik

by

Tlakpak,

above

opanoayaj

they.passed

ik

by

Rancho

ranch

para

for

Tlajkotepetl,

mid.mountain

Tzajtzapotlaj

zapote.place

iwan

and

ompa

there

oajsiaj

they.arrived

Tiotitlan.

Teotitlán

Anything they lacked they had to go to Teotitlán to get; they would hike to High Point, go past Ranch to Mid-Mountain, then Zapote Place, and from there the would arrive at Teotitlán.
009

Ompa

there

okonkuiaj

they.went.to.get.it

intliol,

their.corn

inpanelaj,

their.raw.sugar

inmistaw,

their.salt

inpetrolio,

their.kerosene

insera

their.beeswax.candles

iwan

and

oksekin

other

okachi.

more

There they would buy their corn, crude sugar, salt, kerosene, candles and other stuff.
010

Yonmej

those

tonaltin

days

mach

not

okipiayaj

they.had.it

tlanextle

[electric]light

iwan

and

san

only

ika

with

kandil

lamp

in

in

ika

with

otlachiayaj,

they.could.see

iwan

and

ijkuak

when

oyayaj

they.went

ipan

on/in

ojtle,

path

omotlawilijtiayaj

they.went.illuminating.themselves

ika

with

okotl.

pitch-pine

In those days they didn't have electricity, and used lamps to see with, and when they went on the trail, they would light their way with pitch-pine torches.
011

Mach

not

oyeka

there.was

karretera

road

iwan

and

mach

not

okixmatiaj

they.knew.it/him/her

in

the

kamion,

truck/bus

ijkonik

in.that.way

onejnemiaj

they.walked

ijkuak

when

oyayaj

they.went

Tiotitlan.

Teotitlán

There was no road, and they didn't have trucks or busses; so they just walked whenever they would go to Teotitlán.
012

In

the

siwamej

women

oatlakuiaj

they.went.to.bring.water

asta

until

kan

where

meya

it.springs.up

atl,

water

okonkuiaj

they.went.to.get.it

ika

with

tekomatl

water.gourd

o

or

noso

or

ika

with

bikkoj.

clay.jar

The women would go to the spring to bring water; they brought it in gourds or clay jars.
013

In

the

otisiaj

they.ground[corn]

tlankuijkatokej

they.are.kneeling

iwan

and

okipapayatzayaj

they.smashed/ground

in

the

nextamale

tortilla.dough

san

only

ipan

on.it

metlatl,

metate

in

the

tlitl

fire

okipiayaj

they.had.it

ipan

on.it

tlale

ground

iwan

and

okintlaliayaj

they.put.them

tenamastin.

supporting.fire.stones

They ground their corn for tortillas kneeling on the ground and grinding the nixtamal (prepared corn) on a metate; they set their cookfires on the ground and used stones to support the comal (griddle).
014

Iwan

and

okinnekiaj

they.wanted.them

nochi

all

xoktzimej

clay.pots

iwan

and

ayeewamej,

gourd.shells

yinmej

these

ika

with

omaachiwiayaj

they.put.water.for.themselves

iwan

and

ijtik

inside.it/him/her

otlioyayaj.

they.shelled.corn

They used all sorts of clay pots and gourd shells, for putting water in or for shelling corn into.
015

Mach

not

akaj

someone

okachi

more

oyeka

it/he/she.was

ixtlamatke,

learned

san

only

tlapoaltin

they.are.counted

in

the

oyekaj;

they.were

otlatamachiwayaj

they.measured/weighed

ika

with

libra

balance

porke

because

mach

not

oyeka

there.was

in

in

baskula.

scale

Hardly anyone had any education, only just a few did. They measured things with a balance because there were no spring scales.
016

Mach

not

okixmatiaj

they.knew.it/him/her

nion

nor

radio

radio

iwan

and

nion

nor

doktor.

doctor

Omopajtiayaj

they.healed/treated.themselves

san

only

ika

with

pajxiwitl.

medicinal.herbs

They didn't have radios or doctors; they treated their illnesses with medicinal herbs.
017

Nochi

all

in

in

yin

this

ya

already

kipia

it.has

kanaj

some

se

one

eyinpoale

sixty

xiwitl.

year

All of this is how it was about sixty years ago now.

Text narrated in 2000 by: Severiana Estrada Vásquez
Transcription and analysis: Arnulfo Prado
David Tuggy


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