Friday, January 13, 2006

Alaskan Native Whistling Language a Mystery

Of the 6,800 languages the world, some have a rather unique form of delivery: whistling. In the village of Savoonga in Alaska, some claim an ancient form of communication still exists. Local Alaskan Natives Yaari Kingeekuk and Marisa Jackson call it Kookameegeenuk. According to Kingeekuk, the language was used most frequently when the men were out hunting, to keep track of each other and communicate messages. “We use it to communicate when my friends or relatives were a distance away and I wanted to communicate with them,” said Kingeekuk. Marisa considers Kookameegeenuk a big part of her daily life. “I enjoy using it as a source of communication and I would think it would be really interesting to pass it on to a younger generations.” Jackson said. Yaari hopes to do just that as she knows that the only way to keep Kookameegeenuis alive is to pass it on. Now her children are learning it. However, linguist professors at the University of Alaska Anchorage and University of Alaska Fairbanks have never heard of the Kookameegeenuk language. But that doesn't mean the Alaskan Native language does not exist. One professor believes it simply has never been researched.

For more information on northern culture, see Eskimo Art Information Articles.

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