Learning Gitksan: Feast Hall Speech Introduction

Feast Cover.jpg

Simgiget, Sigidimhaahanak, ganhl K’uba wilksasxw…

Every Gitksan person who has regularly attended the Feasts hosted knows those words by heart.  When a Chief, a Simogyet, addresses the Feast Hall these words are spoken. It is the common way to address a gathering of people in attendance as a show of respect to those listening to the words.

For those who graciously bought (or won free copies) of the paperback of Feast: A Gitksan Story from Amazon or any of the extended distributors, you will have noticed those words on the back cover.  I thought it would be an appropriate nod to the Feast Hall speeches spoken, as an introduction to the back cover blurb featured on my book.  A formal welcoming to those would would read the words I have written.

Simgiget, Sigidimhaahanak, ganhl K’uba wilksasxw in English means, “Gentlemen, Ladies, and the little ones.”

To those interested in speaking these words, I’ve attempted to sound out how these words are spoken below:

Simgiget, is pronounced like this:  Sim, Gee (hard G, rhymes with Key), Get.

Sigidimhaahanak, is pronounced like this:  See, Gid (rhymes with Sid), Em, Ha, Nak.

ganhl, is pronounced:  Gan, hew (spoken like you’re exhaling breath).

K’uba, is pronounced:  Queue, bah.

wilksasxw, is pronounced:  Will-k (rhymes with milk), sex, hew (exhaling breath).

Simogyet, is pronounced:  Sim, Og, Gee (hard G, rhymes with Key), Yet.

Thank you for your interest in this little bit of Gitksan Culture, learning the language, and your interest in my book.  Have a great day out there.