1912 - for Full Orchestra
The Colorado River, or 'Aha Kwahwat in the Mojave language, was first noted in the records of written history in September, 1539. It is not clear when or why the name "Colorado" first replaced "Tizon" (Tecon/Tison), which had been the most common name on maps since 1540. The Mojave, or Pipa Aha Macav (the people by the river), believe the Colorado River was created by Mutavilya, the Mojave spirit who placed the plants and animals. The Hisatsinom were Ancient Puebloans. The Havasupai were known as the traditional guardians of the Grand Canyon, while the Hualapai (people of the tall pines), called the Colorado middle river corridor Hakataya, or “backbone of the river.”

These do I sing with the somnolent, slurrying, not-quite-yet
Hurrying cascadences sliding and chanting and burbling;
I Am The River, the Gift of Mutavilya, I am The River,
The Giver of Life. In the Time before Time did I
Carve out each Canyon (somnolent, slurrying). In the
Time within Time the Hisatsinom came. I am The
River that some called ‘Aha Kwahwat; singing, I
Danced with the Havasupai. I am The Giver
(not-quite-yet hurrying), I was Hakataya, of
The Tall Pines. In the Time beyond Time will I look
Back and wonder (cascadences sliding and chanting
And burbling), look back and understand all I have seen,
For I am The River, The Knower, The Giver;
I am The River who yet still is
Singing, Gift of Mutavilya,
Gift For All

Copyright 2010 Martha Kirby Capo