Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It has arrived....

When I got home yesterday, the Kaiatonsera Teieriwakwatha was waiting for me.

It's going to be hard to give a first impression as there's very little text in the book that *isn't* Mohawk. Only a few snatches of Latin--no French headers, as in the Book of Seven Nations.

But a few observations:

1) The book has *lots* of chant. Except for 126 pages of hymn text in the middle (no music), the rest is words with chant notation. It tells you which tone things are sung in.

2) Many of the Sunday propers here are in chant rather than just text. Moreover, they seem more close to the Roman propers. There definitely seems to be s greater variety of introits over the course of a year, and there also Alleluias which I don't remember in the older book. It also looks like there was a considerable expansion of the propers between the 1865 Book of Seven Nations and this work in 1890.

3) The old Jesuit letter "8" has been replaced here with plain old "w". Not very important, but just interesting typographically.

More as I delve deeper into this and learn ecclesiastical Mohawk better....

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Kaiatonsera Teieriwakwatha

I was leafing through Pilling's Bibliography of the Iroquoian Languages the other day when I saw a note about a 500+ page manuscript by Marcoux and Burtin that contained the chants for Mass and Vespers.

Manuscript, pp.1-530, 4° in the archives of the Roman Catholic Church at the Indian village of Caughnawaga, Canada, consisting of the Mass and vespers in the Mohawk language. The vespers were translated and the whole set to music by Père Burtin, missionary at Caughnawaga (p. 113)

This MS was written in 1878 after the Book of Seven Nations (1865), and given the note about Burtin's writing the Vespers, it's a fair bet that it contains a more complete vesperal and cycle of Mass Propers than the Book of Seven Nations. I get the impression that Burtin may well have translated some of the actual psalms for Vespers rather than just the collection of prayers and hymns that had been taking their place at the mission.

This MS would probably be *extremely* helpful for my research, but I couldn't reasonably expect to get a look at it anytime soon.

Well, last night I saw in Clement McNaspy's article "Iroquois Challenge" (Orate Fratres, 1930-something) that the Kaiatonsera Teieriwakwatha was *published* in 1890--too late to be included in Pilling. Well, that's all I needed to hear...did a quick web search for it and found some references to the original edition, a microfilmed version, and a 2001 reprint (REPRINT??!? Who's REPRINTING Iroquois liturgical works????) that was for sale at a used bookstore AND very affordable!

By this morning, the order was in. I'll report back when it arrives and I get to take a look at it. I am hoping it sheds some light on the problem of the cycle of propers which I described in the previous post.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Parsing the Cycle of Mohawk Propers

For the last few weeks I've been delving into the "Book of Seven Nations" trying to figure out how the Mohawk propers fit together over the liturgical year. These aren't exactly true propers--they are Mohawk texts that were sung by the choir at the places where the schola would normally be chanting the Latin propers (i.e. the Introit, Gradual/Tract/Sequence, Offertory, Communion). Some of these are just translations of key Latin propers (e.g., Terribilis Est), but others are chants from the Divine Office, and still others are various motets and hymns in Mohawk or Algonquin.

I think I've got things mostly figured out before the Gospel: namely, the Introit and the hymns that replace the Gradual & Tract. But the post-Gospel cycle is proving more difficult. There are sometimes indications like "Offertory", "At the elevation"", "During the Last Gospel", but only occasionally. Currently I'm trying to figure out what goes where when 4-5 hymns are listed after the Gospel.

Puzzling. Fun, but puzzling!

The Life of Kateri Tekakwitha website

Diego Paoletti has an *excellent* website with the two main primary sources on the life of Kateri Tekakwitha: Chauchetiere's account from 1695, and Cholenec's from 1696. He also has lots of other primary source material there, including accounts of the little-known other holy souls of the Indian missions. See especially his English Page 2.