This is an edited version of an elevator speech I created for a language documentation seminar. It is based on the experience of interacting with an elder of the Yuchi tribe while I was still in high school. In 2006, she passed away at age 94, one of only a handful of fluent speakers of her native tongue. Here I discuss some cassette tapes she gave me of her recording Yuchi vocabulary. If not properly stored in non-proprietary digital formats and archived in secure, long-term storage, such materials can become digital detritus.

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