When Daryl Baldwin discovered his grandfather’s native language, he quit his construction job and became a linguist.
He found personal papers written in a strange vocabulary, which turned out to be Miami, the language spoken by the Native American tribe of the same name. A friend recommended the Smithsonian’s linguistic archive, whose comprehensive documentation of indigenous languages allowed Baldwin to teach himself the language. Miami had died out by the time he started studying it; by learning it, he became the world’s only Miami speaker.
Now Baldwin runs the Myaamia Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He relies on the Smithsonian’s archive for lexical resources and vocal recordings. Below are some documents from the Smithsonian’s archive, which detail native alphabets, nomenclature, and signage.
All Images Courtesy Smithsonian Institute
Source: Washington Post
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