Giizis Binoojiyag

Swamp Singers

Giizis Binoojiyag (Sun Children)

Sung by Margaret Noodin

This song was created in response to a request from Lena Terhart who was curating an Endangered Languages exhibit at the UNIKATUM children’s museum in Leipzig, Germany. She asked that we use the words: giizis (sun), nibiish (water) and binoojii (child). Students at Kchikinoomagegamigong-Wiskonsin Minoakii recorded each of the words for the exhibit and with the help of Alphonse Pitawankwat, the Miskwaasining Nagamojig (Swamp Singers) came up with a song for children that could be sung in a round. Sheila Feay-Shaw assisted with the scores and vision of equity and diversity in Music Education.

These transcriptions of the music for Giizis Binoojiyag are intended for teachers to help them learn the song and bring the kind of accurate diversity to music classes we wish had been in public schools. Traditional Native American songs are not usually written down nor taught from music. Once the song has been taught to students, the notation can be used as a learning tool to show the relationship of pitches, rhythms or other elements of the music. The original transcript has two pushes (sections) of the song and should be done to a total of four pushes (repeat the entire transcription twice) to fit traditional format. The Swamp Singers envisioned the song as a round which is the longer transcription version with an Orff xylophone and drum suggested accompaniment.

Giizis Binoojiiyag

Giizhaasiged giizis
It is warm, the sun

it cleans the water

wii de bigizowaad
so they can swim

the children.

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