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Prose Selection
from Spoken Marshallese

Aebōj laḷ. - Cisterns. [SM26]

Ṃokta jān an itok armej in pālle ñan Ṃajeḷ, ri-Ṃajeḷ rōkein kōjerbal eṃṃak, aebōj laḷ, kab lọjet ñan tutu, aṃwin, im idaak. Eṃṃak im aebōj laḷ ko etto raar jab kanooj in erreo. Raan kein ekanooj in eṃṃanḷọk im erreoḷọk aebōj laḷ. Wāween aer kōṃṃani, rej kibwiji ñan ñe epo dān innām jimeeṇe tōrerein ak apare tōrerein kōn kaajliiñ ak dekā bwe en jab rōṃ tōrerein im kōṃṃan an ettoon. Kiiō rej kōṃṃan penjān mejān bwe en jab wōtḷọk menọknọk ak jabdewōt men ilowaan im kattoone. Ear kanooj iiet aebōj laḷ etto im jabdewōt armej rej kōjerbale im kattooni. Kiiō enañin wōr aebōj laḷ iturin aolep eṃ. Eḷap ḷọk an armej ro aer aebōj laḷ kein karreoiki bwe ren erreo im jab kōṃṃan nañinmej ñan er ñe rej tutu, idaak, ak kōṃṃan ṃōñā ilo aebōj laḷ kein.
Before Westerners came to the Marshalls, people used to use tree catchments, cisterns, and ocean water for bathing, washing hands, and drinking. Tree catchments and olden-time cisterns were not really clean. Nowadays cisterns are better and cleaner. The way they make them, they dig down until it is near water, then cement the sides but put a rim around it with an oil drum or stones so that the sides don’t crumble and make it dirty. Now they make a cover for the opening so that trash or anything else doesn’t fall into it and contaminate it. There were very few cisterns in olden times, and everyone used them and contaminated them. Now there are cisterns near almost all homes. More people clean their cisterns so that they are pure and don’t make them sick if they bathe, drink, or make food at these cisterns.