As Long as the Earth Endures

To commemorate Native American Heritage Month, this week's review provides a rich linguistic history of the Myaamia people through its examination of original texts in the Algonquian language Miami-Illinois

As Long as the Earth Endures: Annotated Miami-Illinois Texts

Costa, David J. Nebraska, 2022
678p bibl index, 9781496228567 $85.00, 9781496229915 $85.00

As Long as the Earth Endures: Annotated Miami-Illinois Texts book cover. On the left of the image is a tree trunk with the title overlaid on top of it in white text. On the right of the image is a drawing of a fox face and a drawing of a wolf face underneath it.

Miami-Illinois is an Algonquian language once spoken across territory that is now the states of Illinois and Indiana. The language became moribund during the 20th century but has been revitalized and continues to provide a key aspect of traditional heritage for the Myaamia people. The product of more than three decades of meticulous research, this collection contains 46 original texts accompanied by linguistic, cultural, and historical commentary. It also includes biographical details about the seven native-speaker storytellers who narrated the texts and provides background information about the three scholars who recorded them. Each text is carefully transcribed in the original dialectal form, followed by interlinear word-for-word translation and then by idiomatic English. Included are genres ranging from traditional culture hero, animal, and trickster stories to translations of the Lord’s Prayer and portions of the Old Testament. Each text has extensive endnotes and a general glossary of Miami-Illinois vocabulary. This unique, long-awaited volume is of great value to Algonquian studies from both a linguistic and cultural-historical perspective. It represents a major contribution toward fostering a Myaamia cultural legacy that will be accessible to a wide readership.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.
Reviewer: E. J. Vajda, Western Washington University
Interdisciplinary Subject: Native American Studies
Subject: Humanities – Language & Literature
Choice Issue: Dec 2022

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