"On the south side of King Street, between the Caltrain station and AT&T Park, are 104 small brass plaques embedded in the sidewalk. On them are engraved all of the known words of a language called Rammaytush, the language of the people who lived for more than 1,000 years in what is now called Mission Bay. There are words for numbers, words for relatives - brother, sister, my husband, my wife. Verbs: to drink (owahto), to eat (ahmush), to give (sume), to sing (harwec), to dance (irshah), to see (atemhimah), to run (othemhimah), to kill (meme).They are all that is left of a language, an explanatory plaque says, "the authentic voice of a vanished people." But nothing is quite as simple as it seems. The people of Mission Creek have not vanished. Their descendants are around still - and they are attempting to revitalize the Rammaytush language and get their tribe - the Muwekma Ohlone - recognized by the government. "There are thousands of us," said Andrew Galvan, who is a descendant of a Bay Miwok man named Liberato and an Ohlone woman called Obulinda who were married in Mission Dolores in 1802. Galvan is the curator of Mission Dolores and is not extinct." Get the Story:
Native Son by Carl Nolte: Reviving the language of a vanished tribe (The San Francisco Chronicle 11/29)
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