| NORMAN, Okla. A goal Modina (Toppah) Water set 12 years
ago came to fruition Monday at the annual Native American Language
Fair held at the Sam Noble Museum in Norman. The bi-lingual book of
Kiowa trickster stories she created was finally published and in the
hands of Kiowa and other Native children.
full-color illustrated book, Saynday Kiowa Indian Children's Stories,
is based on the tales she grew up with the stories her late
mother, Lucille Ataddlety Toppah, told her of the trickster Saynday
and his antics.
Although the initial draft and illustrations for the book were
composed more than 12 years ago, it was only recently published
thanks to the Sam Noble Museum, the University of Oklahoma and the
KIOWA KIDS language program with assistance from the Endangered
The finished product is engaging, humorous and in an easy-to-read
format for all ages.
"It is my hope that this book will contribute to the language
revitalization efforts which are occurring in Indian communities
across North America," Water said.
The first 250 copies were donated to various community organizations,
families, and individuals - including the Kiowa Tribe Child Care
Center; Kiowa Tribe Head Start; KIOWA KIDS participant families
and board/panel members; Norman Public Schools Indian Education,
and Anadarko Public Schools Indian Education.
"I am pleased that the language fair includes literary categories.
The books, the poetry, the comics, the artwork, in addition to the
oral presentations, make for an incredible venue to promote our
tribal languages," Water said.
"At this wonderful venue the Kiowa people, through our various
community language programs, are showing truly that the Kiowa language
will continue for many years to come. And the same can be said for
the many other tribal languages I heard today at the Fair."
A copy of Saynday Kiowa Indian Children's Stories was also given
to all the language programs in attendance at the fair and to a
number of families engaged in language at home activities.
"My parents would be so very proud," Water said. "As my mom
would say, BAY P'AY TDAY! Never give up!"
More information on the book Saynday Kiowa Indian Children's
Stories can be found at the KIOWA KIDS website: www.kiowakids.net
The KIOWA KIDS language program was created to support the continued
use of the Kiowa
language within our families and beyond. The program is geared towards
and many of the program offerings are interactive such as sports,
board games, singing,
outdoor activities, plays, etc. all in the Kiowa language.