Documenting indigenous languages contributes to the understanding of both linguistic diversity and the human potential to subconsciously organize knowledge in a variety of ways. This RAPID proposal documents the last fluent native speaker who has knowledge of the Mojave Bird Song cycle. To date, there is no permanent, high-quality documentation of these songs or of the cultural contexts in which they are performed.
The project entails community-based training and involvement in the in-depth recording, transcription, analysis and archiving of the Mojave language as used in the song and of the song cycle itself. The outcome will be a standing record, carefully documented, which will benefit members of the community who are interested in maintaining this tradition in its authentic form and will be of interest to researchers of Ethnomusicology, Linguistics and Cultural Anthropology.