Iesus Ahattonnia / Jesus, He is Born (The Huron Carol)


Iesus Ahattonnia


Ehstehn yayau deh tsaun we yisus ahattonnia
O na wateh wado:kwi nonnwa ‘ndasqua entai
ehnau sherskwa trivota nonnwa ‘ndi yaun rashata
Iesus Ahattonnia, Ahattonnia, Iesus Ahattonnia


Ayoki onki hm-ashe eran yayeh raunnaun
yauntaun kanntatya hm-deh ‘ndyaun sehnsatoa ronnyaun
Waria hnawakweh tond Yosehf sataunn haronnyaun
Iesus Ahattonnia, Ahattonnia, Iesus Ahattonnia


Asheh kaunnta horraskwa deh ha tirri gwames
Tishyaun ayau ha’ndeh ta aun hwa ashya a ha trreh
aundata:kwa Tishyaun yayaun yaun n-dehta
Iesus Ahattonnia, Ahattonnia, Iesus Ahattonnia


Dau yishyeh sta atyaun errdautau ‘ndi Yisus
avwa tateh dn-deh Tishyaun stanshi teya wennyau
aha yaunna torrehntehn yataun katsyaun skehnn
Iesus Ahattonnia, Ahattonnia, Iesus Ahattonnia


Eyeh kwata tehnaunnte aheh kwashyehn ayehn
kiyeh kwanaun aukwayaun dehtsaun we ‘ndeh adeh
tarrya diskwann aunkwe yishyehr eya ke naun sta
Iesus Ahattonnia, Ahattonnia, Iesus Ahattonnia.


.     .     .


“Jesus, He is Born”


Have courage, you who are human beings:

Jesus, he is born

The okie spirit who enslaved us has fled
Don’t listen to him for he corrupts the spirits of our thoughts

Jesus, he is born

The okie spirits who live in the sky are coming with a message
They’re coming to say, “Rejoice!
Mary has given birth. Rejoice!”

Jesus, he is born

Three men of great authority have left for the place of his birth
Tiscient, the star appearing over the horizon leads them there
That star will walk first on the path to guide them

Jesus, he is born

The star stopped not far from where Jesus was born
Having found the place it said,
“Come this way”

Jesus, he is born

As they entered and saw Jesus they praised his name
They oiled his scalp many times, anointing his head
with the oil of the sunflower

Jesus, he is born

They say, “Let us place his name in a position of honour
Let us act reverently towards him for he comes to show us Mercy

It is the will of the spirits that you love us, Jesus,
and we wish that we may be adopted into your family.”

Jesus, he is born.


.     .     .

English translation from Huron:  John Steckley


Editor’s note:

There is a famous version of The Huron Carol

in English (“T’was in the Moon of Wintertime…”) but its

lyrics were written by Jesse Edgar Middleton and are not

a translation of Brébeuf’s Huron original.



The Huron Carol / Iesus Ahattonnia is the oldest

Canadian Christmas carol.  It dates from 1643, with

lyrics composed for the purpose of religious conversion,

in the Huron language (Wendat) by Father Jean de Brébeuf,

a Jesuit priest at Sainte-Marie aux-pays-des-Huron, the

French-Canadian Christian mission that was near what is

now Georgian Bay, Ontario.

Brébeuf was burned at the stake during the Beaver Wars, an

aggressive push for land expansion plus control of the fur trade

that involved the Dutch, English, French, and

the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Huron were casualties of this struggle, and dispersed to

Québec in the east and, eventually, southwest to Oklahoma.

In the 21st century the Huron/Wendat People are revitalizing their

language which, 50 years ago, was virtually extinct.

.     .     .     .     .