We Still Live Here: As Nutayunean

56 mins


Linguists have never before seen the likes of Jessie Little Doe. A member of a Native American tribe called the Wampanoag, Little Doe resuscitated that tribe’s language, which had been dead for over a century. Inspired by a dream, Little Doe set out to make her dream real. The Wampanoag people were some of the first to greet the Pilgrims when they landed in the New World; hence there exists a thick record of documents written in or translated to Wampanoag, including the Bible in its entirety. Aided by these documents, as well as the award of a MacArthur Grant, Little Doe pieced together linguistic clues to her ancestors’ spoken word. In an age when hundreds of languages die each year, the story of one woman’s journey to bring back her ancestral language is a hopeful tale made most poignant through the first hesitant words of a child: Little Doe’s daughter, the first native speaker of Wampanoag in over a century.


Production Team

Anne Makepeace

Festival Screenings

Featured in the 2011 Mountainfilm Festival.
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