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Event held in hopes of preserving Kiowa language

(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)
(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)

CACHE, OK (KSWO) - Members of the Kiowa tribe gathered in Cache on Wednesday to promote the importance of learning the Kiowa language and to keep the Kiowa language and culture alive.

Cache is just one of four towns members visited to help other members of the tribe learn the language.

The visit is part of the Kiowa Language and Culture Revitalization Program and was paid for through a grant.

Dane Poolaw who's a Kiowa language specialist said only around 20 people can speak the language fluently and about 100 are semi-fluent.  He said they're hoping to increase those numbers before the language is lost entirely.

“Most of our speakers are 75 and up,” Poolaw said. “There’s a few who's in the age groups below that so this really a critical time in which we need to get something done while we still have these speakers left.”

Which is why they're focusing on teaching participants to read, write, speak, sing, and think in their language.

They're teaching the modified Parker McKenzie-method of the written Kiowa language.

The Kiowa language is taught at Anadarko schools and they hope it will one day be offered as a language class in Cache.

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