Marie "Che’ihmyat" Wilcox, last speaker of Wukchumni, 1933-2021

Very sad news via the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival on Facebook:

The Advocates are saddened to hear about the passing of Marie “Che’ihmyat” Wilcox, a master speaker of Wukchumni Yokuts language. She was a master speaker to eight apprentices in our Master Apprentice Program and a language teacher to many more, anyone who wanted to learn. We will miss seeing her smile, and hearing her signature laugh, at our language gatherings. She truly lived AND loved her language.

Marie was a local celebrity after being featured in the New York Times for her Wukchumni dictionary and in Emergence Magazine’s award-winning podcast and website, Language Keepers. To hear more about Marie and her family’s amazing work, visit the links provided below.

Marie’s Dictionary:
Emergence Magazine Language Keepers:

Image: Looking proud at our Language is Life Gathering 2017, in front of a mural designed by Lyn Risling and painted by youth at the gathering which shows “We Love Our Languages” in different California languages including Wukchumni.

Wilcox was a true champion of her language, and spent years creating a dictionary and teaching Wukchumni.

There is a really remarkable documentary on her and her work:


This is very sad. She will be sorely missed.