Ponca Tribe of Nebraska
Ponca Tribe - Circa 1906
There once was a young Ponca boy whose mother and father died.
Shenuzhinga wi, i’han, i’thadi shti widan t’ia.
He became an orphan because he had no parents.
U’ki thinge, i’thadi, i’han githinge, e’wan wa’hanthinge aka manthin.
Although he was very poor, he did not look for help from relatives.
Wa’hanthinge ka wa’xpathin, ti’uzhinma uwikan thinge.
The Orphan went traveling because he did not have a lodge.
Wa’hanthinge aka u’ki thingai, e’wan ugashan manthin.
Through great hardship, the orphan became strong and independent.
Ni’ta texi u’hi te e’wan, wa’hanthinge washkantanga ahi biama.
One day he found an elder, who took him in.
Anba wi, niashinga nan, akipai, u’ki ti gthe zhugthe, abiama.
He called her grandmother and she taught him many things about life.
Wahanthinge aka kanha thadaite, ganki i’kan aka i’dadan u’dan
Her lessons helped heal the very hard life he had known.
U’shkan u’dan, i’gi’ni’e giganthai, ni’ta texi te ibahan thishtan te.
The orphan grew into a young man, who became strong and wise.
Wa’hanthinge ka, nanahi, bigan, washkantanga, wazhinska ahi biama.
When the Tribe would face great trouble, it was not the leadership who the Ponca turned to for help.
Atan Panka ka texi akipi ki, Panka ka nikagahi ka uthunanzhi bazhi.
It was the orphan, who was once the weakest among the Ponca, who came to help.
Wahanthinge aka e, washkan thinge Panka gazan, Panka ma’ u’wakan, biama.
It was the Orphan who became the great hero!
Wahanthinge aka niashinga ata’ biama.
The Orphan was able to walk freely and go wherever he wanted.
Wahanthinge aka awagudi manthi gantha te e’gan biama.
One day, because he was friends to all creatures, he called all the
Anba wi, Wahanthinge aka wazhinga gian ma bthuga webai biama.
All the birds came together to see what the Orphan had to say.
Wazhinga ma bthuga uthewin ki thai.
The Orphan said, “Whichever one of you can fly the farthest in the sky,
you shall be known as the bird chief.”
Wahanthinge aka abiama, “Awiwan pahanga manxe ke manshi thagian ki, izhazhe te Wazhinga Nikagahi,” ani ta’nike.
There were birds of all kinds, from the smallest to the largest.
Wazhinga a’zhithanthan, zhinga shi, tanga e’di.
The birds all agreed and set off to fly high in the sky.
Wazhinga ma bthuga inanhi, wangithe manxe tathishan gian.
As they started to fly, the Wren, got under the thick feathers of the Eagle and stayed there as the Eagle flew.
Gian hahakitha ki, kixaxaja ka ikinanxthai, xitha manshan ke di, ganki xitha ka, manshi gian.
After flying a great distance, the birds’ wings became tired and weary.
Kashi wazhinga ma gian ki, u’zhetha ahi bigan.
All the birds began to fly down, but the Eagle continued on.
Wazhinga ma bthuga hi–de aki, thanzhan xitha ka pi’gude manshi gian te.
When the Eagle flew as far as he could, the Wren flew higher.
Xitha ka manshi xti gian ahi bigan, kixaxaja ka pi’gude ahi te.
Finally, after all the birds reached the ground, the Eagle returned alone.
Ganki wa’zhinga ma, bthuga aki, biama, ganki xitha aka ha’shi aki biama.
The birds thought they were all there, but the Orphan saw that one was missing.
Wazhinga ma bthuga aki e’thegan, Wahanthinge aka wi shetannan aki bashi.
“Behold, the Wren is not here,” said the Orphan.
Nanhebaga! Kixaxaja ma shetannan agthi bazhi, Wahanthinge aka abiama.
The Orphan exclaimed, “We shall wait for his return.”
Wahanthinge aka abiama, “ithape wathe.”
After a long time, the Wren finally returned.
Kashi ithapai te, kixaxaja ka ganxti aki biama.
The Eagle had been thinking too highly of himself, and was sure that he would be named the Bird Chief.
Xitha ka anxti kithe kisithai biama. e’izhazhe te ‘Nikagahi Wazhinga’ te athingantha.
The Orphan said, “The Wren flew the longest, and was the last to return.”
Ganki Wahanthinge aka abiama, “Kixaxaja aka e’gian te, e’hashi agthi.”
He exclaimed, “Wren, you shall be known as the ‘Bird Chief’.”
A’dan, “Kixaxaja! Thi izhazhe te, thi ani ta’nike, ‘Wazhinge Nikagahi’.”