July 30, 2007

Cocopah bingo

Cocopah language class seeks to keep ancient tongue from dying outThe Cocopah Museum, which develops cultural programming for the tribe, began offering language classes to children nine years ago.

Classes this summer mark the first time the opportunity has been extended to adult tribal members, as well as nonnatives who work for the tribe.

Playing a language-version of bingo during those classes seems to be slowly breathing life into words that could have been silenced forever.

Students use specially-made bingo cards designed with rows of simple, but useful, Cocopah words. Players listen carefully as the teacher calls out word after word, crossing out each lucky word with bright-colored markers. Skits are also used to teach the language.

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