Mahk Jchi

The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library

Mahk Jchi

Mahk Jchi is a haunting song written by the Native American women’s group Ulali. The song is in a compilation of Tutelo and Saponi languages, now extinct dialects of the Sioux nation from the Ohio Valley. There is a commonly mistaken translation of this song widely circulated on the internet but the translation below has been confirmed by the artist. This song takes an investment in learning and is more complex for choral, oral-tradition learning, but do-able and worth it.

Composer & Copyright

Composed by and copyright Pura Fé and Soni of Ulali.


Inspiration Track


Mahk Jchi tahm boo-ee
yahm pi-gih-dee
Mahk Jchi tahm boo-ee
kahn speh-wah eh-bi (x2)

Mahm-pi wah ho-ka yi nonk,
tah hond tah-ni kih-yee tai-yee
Ghee weh meh yee-tai-yee,
Nan-ka yaht yah moo-ni-yeh wah-jhi-seh

English translation:

Our hearts are full and our minds are good
Our ancestors come and give us strength
Stand tall, sing, dance and never forget who you are
Or where you come from


  • Nerida Kirov
    Posted at 02:54h, 01 July Reply

    I have had this recording from when it was first released an love the whole album. Thanks so much, it is so helpful to see the words written. What language is it please?

  • Nerida Kirov
    Posted at 02:55h, 01 July Reply

    Sorry, I should have read the top first!!

  • Marcus R.C. Matheryn
    Posted at 06:31h, 22 January Reply

    Thank you for your efforts in archiving and translation. The importance of this is unmatched.

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 16:18h, 15 February Reply

    Thank you–I also have the full album and have been in love with this deeply beautiful piece for years and years. The lyrics translated are justwhat I would have guessed. Thank you for this!

  • Melissa Garcia
    Posted at 07:34h, 02 March Reply

    I am native American (Cherokee) and the first time I heard this song I knew I wanted it played at my funeral and I had no clue what they were even saying. Then I read this and it is just so fitting. Such a beautiful piece!!!

  • Esteban Botero
    Posted at 17:45h, 27 September Reply

    Thank you!

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