Young Kiowas take language honors

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A trip to the fair proved to be fruitful for several young Kiowa linguists. Young members of the Kiowa Tribe took home several first-place trophies from the 2012 Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair on April 2 in Norman, according to Keith Vasquez, tribe information officer. Native Americans, K-12 grades, from all over the country, gather each year at Sam Noble Museum to publicly present their languages, Vasquez said.

The students perform for elders and teachers who score the children on the amount of language used, fluency, spirit of the performance and stage presence, he said. In grades 3-5 Large Group Song category, the BIE Kiowa Children’s Language Program from Carnegie received a first-place trophy for their Kiowa rendition of the “Wizard of Oz,” entitled “Yellow Road Tales” or “Maun-Kaw-ee-Dau-Ahn” (The Tornado is Coming).

The win continued a long string of competition success for the group, Vasquez said. The group is Ray Redbird, Lindy Toppah, Nathan Tah-Bone, Asa Worthington, Charles Boettger, Justice Hayden, Autumn Tahbone, Sydnee Boettger, Laurynn Hayden and Janie Worthington. “I’m very proud of the kids,” said Vickie Boettger, BIE group leader. “They worked real hard and I want to thank the parents for encouraging the kids. They were awesome!”

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