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.
Water’s 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 Language Fund.
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 book can be purchased for $20 by mailing check or money order to:
1917 Pelham Circle
Norman, OK 73071
*all proceeds go towards promoting Kiowa language activities!
*more information for discounted larger orders is available on the KIOWA KIDS website at: www.kiowakids.net