Second Life resident Duuya Herbst is a real-life descendant of the Deeni people, a small tribe among about 15 others living in the northwestern United States, who were virtually wiped out by the U.S. government in the late 1800s. With no surviving pure-blood of the actual Deeni tribe alive today, he is trying to salvage the spirit of his ancestors in an online community and save a language spoken fluently by only 10 or so people on the planet...Linka
Duuya's goal is to keep the Deeni language alive (a language which was banned in early federal boarding and public schools) and to create a resilient community that can transcend IRC, SL or multiplayer games. "There is a big absence, a disconnection," he says. "I find a tribal community is something missing from today's world: a support structure." His vision for the community is essentially open-ended, and he stresses that it is not necessary to learn the Deeni language in order to join: "I'd like to think the online version [of the Deeni] would be like a 'family,' in a sense. We spend enough time within these 'worlds' with each other."