Three Kinngait Elders have recorded Inuktitut songs that are more than 1,000 years old through record label Hitmakerz.
The project, titled Inngiusituqait, was released Nov. 4.
Unilingual Elders Masuriaq Qavianaqtuliaq, Novalinga Kinguatsiak, and Ujjualuk Etidloie performed while fellow Elder Annie Petaulassie, who came up with the idea to make recordings, acted as host.
“All four Elders were born on the land and remember what life was like before the arrival of Qallunaat (“white people”),” Hitmakerz stated in a news release.
The title of the album means “traditional songs” in the Inuit language.
“The Inngiusituqait project was created to ensure that these songs – preserved for centuries through oral traditions – were recorded by their original speakers before becoming lost in time,” according to Hitmakerz.
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Petaulassie, a residential school survivor and former teacher, “envisioned the project as educational material, easily accessible for anyone wanting to understand traditional Inuit life or learn Inuktitut.”
The recordings will be heavily promoted on social media in an effort to capture the attention of Inuit youth.
Kinngait residents translated the songs, although some lyrics couldn’t be translated directly because there is no equivalent in other languages, Hitmakerz stated.