With the premiere of Total Drama: Pahkitew Island just around the corner there’s one question on the mind of every Total Drama fan out there: just how do you pronounce Pahkitew anyway?
First, let’s take a few steps back!
Pahkitew is a word from the Cree language.
The Cree are one of the largest First Nations groups throughout Canada and the northern United States, numbering more than 200,000. The word Cree is itself actually a shortened version of a French word, Kristeneaux, used in English conversation.
In their own language Cree identify as Nehiyawok, meaning ‘speakers of the Cree language’ or Ininiwok, meaning ‘the people’.
Depending on the geographic location different groups may be identified as Plains Cree or Woodland Cree, among others, but they all share a common language and many traditions.
Pahkitew means ‘exploding’ and that should give you a pretty good idea of the sort of thing the campers of this season are going to be up against!
Exploding Island isn’t really the name of an ideal vacation resort! The phonetic pronunciation of pahkitew is PAH-HE-TAY-OH.
We can also reveal that the two teams will be called the Pimapotew Kinosewak and the Waneyihtam Maskwak! That’s the ‘Floating Salmon’ and the ‘Confused Bears’ respectively, which fits right in with the team names of seasons past!
Pimapotew Kinosewak is pronounced PAH-MAH-PUT-EY-YO GIH-NO-SAY-WOK and Waneyihtam Maskwak is pronounced WAH-NEE-TAH MAH-SKWOK.
You can listen to the correct pronunciation of several animal names and other useful words in the Cree language right below!
Total Drama: Pahkitew Island was produced by Fresh TV in association with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, who also deserve the credit for these pronunciation tips!
Dennis Jackson and Melanie Jackson, creators of the stop-motion animated series Wapos Bay, were also on board as script consultants.
Wapos Bay is a fantastic show about a remote community in northern Saskatchewan, with a pilot episode that won the Golden Sheaf Award for Best Children’s Production and the Canada Award for Best Canadian Multicultural Program.
Stay tuned to re:Fresh for more inside news on Total Drama: Pahkitew Island!