Apisa Tuklo

"Lesson Two"
Charley Jones

Akshupi! - Oh dear!

You have come far enough along to begin hearing a different voice, my voice!

Charles G. Jones, "Charley," and I have some common background although he is old enough to be my grandpa. Charley was born in 1917 over in Honobia, Oklahoma but spent a lot of his adult years living in Idabel, Oklahoma, which is located not far from my hometown, Eagletown, Oklahoma. We have in common loss of our mothers when both of us were very young children. There is no mention of Charley's father, I do not know, with certainty, who is my father other than he is of the Ashalintubbi family, Pankibok, Oklahoma.

There are some slight differences in our dialect inflections. Charley is clearly highly skilled in speaking and writing Choctaw; he was raised purely Choctaw by his extended family; aunts and grandmother. Charley also attended the Indian School in Hugo, Oklahoma. I am raised, during my childhood, by my grandparents, aunts and uncles, all of whom are not native tongue speakers. However, many Choctaw lived with us, on a seasonal basis, to work our fields and to share harvest. My Choctaw teachings only span the first fifteen or so years of my life. Charley has spent his entire life as Choctaw.

These differences in our learning, obviously Charley spend his life speaking Choctaw, these differences are I am also taught Choctaw which originates from regions outside of Charley's and my southeast Oklahoma region. Charley speaks pure Sixtowns dialect. My dialect is almost all Sixtowns but also includes dialects from south of our hometowns, from Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi. Adding to this, accents are somewhat different in those other states. Most of my Choctaw is learned, apolichi, "while working in the corn." My dialect is a mixture of Choctaw locals and migrant Choctaw field hands. Choctaw I learned is casual and often included cuss words common to humid sweaty work under Oklahoma's hot blazing sun. My Choctaw is not formal, like Charley's Choctaw. My Choctaw is a common tongue of hard working field hands.

Pankibok, Oklahoma

This town is a good case study, not because Pankibok is about the wildest town around my hometown nor because a majority of Choctaw live there, including the Winship family and Ashalintubbi family, rather this is a good example of how Choctaw words become morphed into different enuniciations.

My research suggests a century or more back, Pankibok was known as Panti Bok, which interprets to Cattail Creek although "bok" has come to mean "river" in more modern usage. Over much time, Pankibow has come to have two enunciations. One version is Okie-Anglo, which I know this town best, "Pawn-kee-bow" in spoken local dialect, even amongst many Choctaw. Traditional enunciation is "pawn-kee-bouk" in spoken Sixtowns dialect.

  Pankibok   (pawn-kee-bow)   - Pankibok - Okie-Anglo (most common)
  Pankibok   (pawn-kee-bouk)   - Pankibok - Sixtowns traditional dialect

I love Pankibok! I have relatives in the area and, many decades back, Pankibok was a favorite town for farmers to seek out a good wife, such as the Hadley family, specifically Edna Hadley known to all Choctaw. She and one of the Ashalintubbi family, were both killed in a car accident, long back. Edna is well remembered by Choctaws; she baby-set and reared many of the Ashalintubbi children, from Cravin Ashalintubbi's children to his grandchildren.

You have obviously been researching as I have also. But before I forget, Dave McKinney was a white man who was of no relation to the other Mckinneys in Panki Bok. We knew Edna Hadley well, she was one of the best women I have ever knew, she baby sit me while I was young and she baby sat my children. I have the highest respect for Edna, when Edna died there was an Ashalintubbi that died with her.       - Kenneth Ashalintubbi

You will note in Kenneth's quote, he spells "Panki Bok" rather than "Pankibok" as is common. His spelling, most likely, is the correct spelling for traditional Choctaw.

Although I drift into a story of families and life, Pankibok reminds us regional enunciation and regional spelling can vary. All forms are acceptable but I would rather you, as a new learner, stick with traditional, at first, then much later adapt to highly local variations of Choctaw words.

Akshupi! You are to remember my Choctaw learnings are ikhana apolichi   "learning while working in the corn." I do not enjoy the formal learning of Charley Jones, to my envy.

Casual Common Words

  Hashi   (hah-sheh)   - Sun
  Hushi   (hou-sheh)   - Bird
  Chula   (chew-lah)   - Fox
  Pala   (pah-lah)   - Lamp
  Hapi   (hah-peh) - Salt
  Shinuk   (sheh-nook)   - Sand
  Haksobish Takali   (hahk-so-beesh tah-kal-leh)   - Jewelry
  Yopula Shali   (yo-poo-lah shah-leh)   - zany (fun crazy humorous)
  Tahpala   (tah-pah-lah)   - Yell (shout holler)
  Wohwah   (whoa-wah)   - Yelp (short suprise shout - dog yelp)
  Ohoyo Chuka Pelichi   (oh-ho-yo chew-kah peh-leh-cheh)   - Housewife
  Ohoyo Nukoa   (oh-ho-yo new-ko-ah)   - Mad Woman
  Ohoyo Kasheho   (kah-sheh-ho)   - Old Woman
  Iti   (it-tee)   - Wood
  Apolichi   (ahp-oh-leh-cheh)   - Work In The Corn
  Yukpa   (youk-pah)   - Laugh - Laughter
  Panya   (pahmn-yah)   - Cry (nasalize first "a" - pahmn)
  Luak   (lou-ahk)   - Fire
  Taloa   (tah-low-ah)   - Music
  Akshupi!   (ahk-shoe-peh)   - OH DEAR!

Study well these lessons. I will test you.

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