Central to the Yakama oral tradition, storytelling enables Tribal Elders to share lessons, values, and customs with younger generations across the Columbia River plateau and the Pacific Northwest. Drawn from a time before the coming of human beings when animals were like people, the stories present characters and motifs that paint a bigger picture of the world as Yakama ancestors knew it.
The original edition of Anakú Iwachá featured stories that Yakama Tribal Elders recorded in several dialects of the Ichishkíin language that were collected and translated into English by renowned linguist and scholar Virginia Beavert. This new edition adds a preface from the Yakama Nation and essays on the history of the project and on Ichishkíin-language education. It includes four additional legends in Ichishkíin and English, annotations, an updated glossary, and more artwork by Tribal artists, helping readers, teachers, and students engage with the legends as teaching and learning tools and as a precious gift to current and future Yakama generations.