Mother’s Word (Canyon Records)
Multi-talented Delphine Tsinajinnie (pronounced sin-a-jinee) is a descendent of the traditional Blessingway and Nightway medicine men of the Nihookáá’ Dine’é. This is the name the Navajo people call themselves. While many American Indian traditions have been lost over the years due to assimilation into the mainstream culture, you will still find elders and younger tribal members keeping the songs
and traditions alive. Besides her talent as a tribal vocalist, Delphine earned a bachelor of Science degree in biology, she has performed in television and film productions, authored children’s literature in her tribal language and has taught at Arizona State University as a faculty associate. Her recording, Mother’s Word, features 18 songs associated with various facets of the
Navajo Diné culture. She includes lullabies, dance songs, work songs and even a jig and a soldier’s birthday song.
According to Delphine, “my purpose in sharing these songs with the world is implanted in my hope for global harmony via symbiotic respect of all world cultures…” The songs are mostly a cappella accompanied by drum and other percussion. Basket Dance Song features veteran American Indian performer, Ed Natay (the first artist signed to Canyon Records, 1951) and First Voice features
Delphine’s father, Leroy Adison Tsinajinnie. Each song comes with a story or description of it’s tribal use. A Soldier’s Birthday Song was written for a mother of a soldier sent away to the Gulf War and who wanted to honor her son’s birthday.
Recorded in 2000, Mother’s Word feels timeless as it preserves traditional songs and features original compositions. Delphine takes her listeners on a musical tour of tribal life that is sincere and compassionate. And because of these virtues, this recording could easily become a favorite. It’s educational, provocative and features stunning chants that would be lost if it weren’t for artists like Delphine.
Buy Mother’s Word.