Pɵˈɵkwatʉ – Eagle’s Nest: Continuing to grow the Ute language

Lower elementary students, Lawrence Santisteven Jr., Leandro Litz, Jr. Tenetke Wesley, Jayceon Richards, and Destiny Valdez thank Ute elder Hanley Frost for telling them stories about the Bear Dance.
O’hozhoni Larry and Destiny Valdez listen intently to stories being told in one of the classrooms at the Southern Ute Museum and Cultural Center.
Courtesy SUIMA
Courtesy SUIMA

Using the approved Ute Dictionary, I have provided a brief reference for some of the consonants that are encountered in the Southern Ute language. The last edition of the Pɵˈɵkwatʉ I had included the vowels and special symbols. I hope you find these useful as we continue to grow the language.  

This edition: 

g – as in núugani – sounds like g in get – means tipi 

k – as in kiipʉ – sounds like k in kitty – means elbow 

m – as in mamachi – sounds like m in mat – means woman 

n – as in na’awaapuuni – sounds like n in not – means beautiful 

p – as in paa – sounds like p in pat – means water 

q – as in qoqho – sound like k, but further back in the throat – means bullsnake 

r – as in núuruachi – sounds like t in the word butter – means baby 

Last edition: 

‘– as in taa’ – sounds like the air space between uh’oh 

_ – ‘ivetʉ – underline – means these vowels are devoiced. 

a – as in taa’ – sounds like a in father – means shirt, clothes 

e – as in ‘ivetʉ – sounds like e in met – means ‘on here’ 

i – as in ‘ivetʉ – sounds like i in Wii – means ‘on here’ 

o – as in ‘aghochi – sounds like o in note – means ‘dish’ 

ɵ – as in ‘ɵaqarʉ – sounds like er in her – means yellow 

u – as in ‘uwarʉ – sounds like o in who – means ‘rain’ 

ʉ – as in ʉʉ – sounds like oo while frowning – means ‘yes’ 

Montessori Tidbits 

 There are hundreds of Montessori schools in our country, and thousands throughout the world. The age ranges of these schools can include infants through high school.  

To become a Montessori teacher, there are intense, college level classes that the individual must attend. The Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy serves infants through sixth grade. 

Focusing on the toddler and pre-K ages, Dr. Montessori saw that young children are in a “sensitive period” for absorbing language, both written and spoken. When you enter one of these age level classrooms, you will find students deep in conversations, listening to stories, or singing songs.  

Introduction of the Montessori sandpaper letters helps the students to associate each spoken word with its symbol (letters) which supports the development of writing and reading.  

 Upcoming events – Fancy Fridays and early release every Friday! 

April 3 – 7: Book Fair week 

April 18: PAG meeting via Zoom 

April 21: No school for students – Professional Development Day for staff 



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