Dear George Appell and the Firebird Foundation Fellowship Committee,
I am excited to bring you more fantastic news regarding the Ende Oral Literature Collection, a project graciously funded by the Firebird Foundation in 2015. I have previously informed you about the overwhelming success of our 2015 trip in letters and with the materials that we sent to the Firebird Foundation Archive, also summarized below. The Ende people of Limol, Papua New Guinea were also very pleased with the project and have attached their signatures below in support of its continuation.
The present proposal seeks to expand last year’s goals, which were to record Ende traditional stories, establish an Ende orthography, and explore the range of Ende orature. This year, I’m bringing two more specialists to enhance my linguistic expertise. The first, Diana Johnson, is an illustrator, storyteller, nurse with Doctors Without Borders, experienced project coordinator, and an avid outdoorswoman, who plans to apply all her skills to writing and illustrating the first short books for the local elementary school and health post. Second, Elizabeth Conlan is a horticultural scientist with expertise in plant anatomy, physiology, and nutrition, international agriculture, and rural development. Her aim is to understand how storytelling and traditional knowledge can inform both our knowledge of the role of agricultural crops in the community and the natural sciences more broadly. Finally, I will be exploring a question of interest to my linguistics dissertation: does the act of writing down spoken language reveal a hyper-correct grammar? Ende is the perfect language for this study, as we can document the progression of the two diverging grammars (what can be said and what can be written), from the origins of writing itself.
Continued support from the Firebird Foundation ensures this project’s success and allows for a continuity of materials and focus. We foresee a long-term relationship with this community and we are grateful for your support.
Kate L. Lindsey
Diana L. Johnson