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ATEYO TeSYAKSYUK: TSULFATU

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Ateyo Te Syaksyuk:
PREFACE~~~~~~
Ateyo's life parallels mine in most respects.
Including the gender issues.
The romance between the Samoan pilot mimics the love shared by oeyä yawnetu sì oe. (my beloved and I)  She too is two-spirit, yet served as an Army Helicopter pilot for 20 years, and she lived among the Samoans for two years and was accepted into their family structure.
My experience with volunteering at the local library revealed that children are drawn to me and enjoy
the craft making sessions I taught.  Niri Te (Tai) and I live in a loose knit rural community where we have gained popularity with some for our cook outs and target shooting competitions.
  The GiveAway is a long tradition among Native Americans.  It is a tradition, where bonds are made between clans and individuals.  It is usually accompanied by spontaneous drumming and singing,
hooting and hollering, and lasts for hours.  It sometimes conducted like a "roast" with gifts reflecting someone's accomplishments or an embarrassing event.
These things I wish to convey with a Na'vi context an share with you!
ATEYO TE SYAKSYUK (aka Tee, Tabby or Toby)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1)~ An excited energy ran through the Na'vi of the Kelutral, HomeTree.
The moons would be in alignment tonight, so that meant
a visitation of the neighboring clan and a feast followed by a GiveAway.
And a GiveAway always meant a visit from Ateyo Te SyakSyuk!
The children were especially anxious to see what gifts Ateyo would bring,
Ateyo was a tsulfätu, a skilled craftsman.
She stayed away from most of the Na'vi, which seemed very odd.
She lived among the treetops, with a colony of Syaksyuks as friends.
But everyone loved her for her good humor , her songs, and her gifts.
Perhaps she was self-conscious about her height.
She was not even two meters tall.
"Tsawtutsyìp!"  The 'eveng would cry out. Little human
It was a word that the ayevi had made-up. just for her.
"Oisss" Ateyo would only grin and hiss good naturedly.
But perhaps she was self-conscious because she was two-spirit.
"Ateyo, nga lu Tsmuke? Tsmukan?"  Are you Sister or Brother?
"Tsmuk", she would reply with a grin.  Sibling!
"Sran. Slä tutan fu tute?"  Yes, but male or female?
She would grin and say "SRANE" YES! and disappear into the heights.

Ateyo Te Syaksyuk:
2)~  Ateyo was excited too.  The sawtute (sky people, humans) and the elders had had a meeting earlier that afternoon,Olo'eyktan, the Clan Chieftan, Ikxeru had assured her that the sawtute were becoming ayeylan, friends, and were very much interested in the Na'vi and wished to help them retain their home land.  They were from the warrior clan of the sawtute, the Human SkyPeople, and one flew a kunsìp!  (a gunship,a flex-wing helicopter!) Tai was her name. She was from an Ocean Tribe from 'Rrta, earth. Ateyo had always wanted to fly an ikran, the winged dragon-like creature that every hunter flies; or even lefngapa yayo! a Metal Bird,the flexwing  helicopter. She remembered helping Trudy Chacon paint her kunsip and her face with tsamopin, warpaint.  Ateyo had presented her with an armband ornament, ioi: a circular shape with grass blades woven through it to resemble the strange wings of the kunsìp. That was during The Time of Great Sorrows when Trudy Chacon helped JakeSully and the Na'vi repel the greedy skypeople who were destroying Pandora with their strip mining operation. Trudy never came back.
   She looked at the new ornament in her hand, a replica of the one she gave Trudy.  She had met Tai just last month, and fortunately Tai had invited her to sit in the left seat, next to the pilot.  She had served as interpreter on that excursion.  She hoped Tai would accept her gift.

Ateyo Te Syaksyuk:
3)~ Ateyo sat above the large gathering place, thoughtfully chewing the last morsel of her dinner. She had wondered if today would be a good occasion for a Give Away.  Eyktan Ikxeru, the chieftan, had assured her it would be.  The sawtute, humans were relaxed.  They had to eat carefully, sneaking one bite at a time under their masks.  How tedious a task!  It only proved to her how willing they were to be here. She watched the eyktan stand and walk to the drum.  He made a short speech, again welcoming the sawtute and thanking them for their assistance in turning away the Destroying Sawtute.  Tsahik Meykir stood up and gave a good translation.The tsahik was the medicine woman and spiritual leader of this tribe, the Omatikaya. She had studied with Toktor Grace, too, in the time before the Great War. She was speaking in Na'vi and Ìnglìsì:
"Is special night for us. For celebrate new friends make here, we do GiveAway.  Comes always our special friend: Syaksyuk! Syaksyuk? Where are you?"
At this point, the ayeveng, the children, were nearly frantic:
SYAKSYUK! SYAKSYUK!  the eyktan Ikxeru pounded the drum as a figure descended from above.
SYAKSYUK SYAKSYUK! In a high piping voice. A beautiful, musical whistling sound was heard as Ateyo soared down wearing a pair of "wings" fashioned from large leaves. They were attached at the ankle and along her sides to resemble the syaksyuk (lemur-like creatures) who swooped among the treetops. She landed lightly near olo'eyktan, the clan chieftan.
  

Ateyo Te Syaksyuk:
4)~ Tsahik Meykir, the medicine woman,  had taken her seat next to the Tsatute who flew the kunsip.
 "I not knowing if other olo' have One like Syaksyuk. She making this thing our tradition.  All child look excitement for GiveAway." But her eyes were just as glittery with excitement as of any evi in the circle.  Eyktan Ikxeru bowed to Ateyo in a mock formal gesture
"Oel ngati kameie".  (I SEE you truly) The small, by Na'vi standards, figure also bowed and said SYAKSYUK! in her high pitched chirp.  Everyone laughed as the olo'eyktan feigned shock and surprise.
"I come with gifts for GiveAway!" the small figure cried.  And the evi were beside themselves. But they knew they must wait.  "Ateyo climbing high up tree and bringed you  prize UTU MAUTI- push fruit."
  A great pantomime ensued where Ateyo solicited help from an 'eveng, a child, to untie the fruit from one of the extra hands she had fashioned on her costume.(SyakSyuks have four hands, too!)
Eyktan  Ikxeru accepted UTU MAUTI solemnly and pretended to take a bite.  Everyone hooted and hollered.  They all knew it was impolite to accept UTU MAUTI without first refusing it.
"ATEYO I cannot accept this delicious gift when we have new friends with us here."

Ateyo Te Syaksyuk:
5)~ NÌPRRRRRTE! With pleasure!" Ateyo turned quickly towards Tai. There was another tsawtute sitting with her, but she remembered Tai from before. A time when Tai needed a ralpengyu, a translator, to fly with her in her kunsip. Being puptokh, small body, Ateyo was asked to sit up front, next to the pilot. In a flash, she remembered the event:
Tai had come to Ramunong Ayvitrayäa, the Well of Souls, to seek acceptance and prove her dedication towards the Na'vi.
And had been requested to be struck dead if her words were untrue.
((FLASHBACK))
Ma Tai! The Great Mother does not cause death.  It is not her way. But I know she can see your heart, as well. Though you don't have tswin,(all Na'vi have a braid,which contains neural fibers) I would hope that you know this. Can you feel it here?

Ateyo took the liberty of placing her hand over Tai's heart, wondering to herself how anyone could experience deep connectedness without a tswin. Tai took Ateyo's hand in hers.  They were nearly the same length, but Ateyo's three fingers were long and slender. She brought the sweet hand to her lips, and lingered there a moment. Ateyo felt a strong jolt of warm energy coursing through her veins at the touch of those lips.

Ateyo remembered her response, " Yes Ateyo. I feel it here. I feel many things deeply. Here."
 She had touched her own heart but her eyes had been locked into the deep cat-like eyes of Ateyo.

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