Ithánali (I Know)

Jerod Tate


Performance forces:
sop — vc, pno


Chickasaw, English

Ithánali (I Know) is about a Chickasaw woman astronaut who is designated to be the first human to set foot on Mars. In her excitement, fear and wonderment, she is also aware of the irony of her own action – colonizing Mars – and how it compares/contrasts to the historic colonization of her own tribe. This song is the first of a song cycle, expressing many aspects of being a modern American Indian and is sung in English and Chickasaw. Text: This is the moment. The old ones, they know. Now I will listen and follow. Now I know. Anchonkash, (my heart) is clear. I can feel them. They take my hand and show me. They hold me, and carry me home. Ithánali. (I know.) I see, and now I know. Inki’, Ishki’, chihollo’li’. (Father, Mother, I love you.) The wind is restless, like my soul. Is this the right time? Am I the right one? I am breathless. The air is heavy. Hear me, mother. Talk to me, father. They took a chance so I could be. They were frightened, but fate did tell them. I know I must go. The Sun is shining!