Wintu - Love Song
In My Own Words. Stories, songs and memories of Grace Mckibbin, Wintu [1884-1987]. by Alice Shepherd, 1997.
hini nini nini nini
A young girl is crying.
Because she wants to eat grouse she's crying.
[the repetition of hini nini nini nini is a characteristic love song syllables. Other types of songs has other syllables associated with them.] [The song was sung by a boy who was not interested in a girl who loved him. She is crying because he does not want her, but he says it is because she wants to eat grouse. As part of Wintu puberty restricitions, young girls were not allowed to eat grouse or other meat. The singer may have chosen to use grouse because puberty songs frequently mention birds. The three lines of the song are repeated several times in different sequences.]