Happy belated Victoria day, part 2

Yesterday I shared a Secwepemc girl’s tree-bark (!) postcard congratulating Queen Victoria on her 60th anniversary on the British throne. Today (in shorthand French): how that message was received.      Də d… Continue reading

Happy late Victoria Day from a Secwepemc girl

[Serendipity!  Updated 7/20/2016 when I discovered a clearer copy of her letter, with a French translation backing it up, in the next issue of Kamloops Wawa.] From an Indigenous girl in 1897:    … Continue reading

Girl with copying machine

This verbal portrait comes courtesy of The Prospector newspaper (Lillooet, BC), volume 7, number 7, February 9, 1905, page 3, second column, under the headline “Current Comment” (my comments follow below the image): One of the… Continue reading

Did David Douglas have 2 Jargon names, or 1? Or 3?

File under Chinuk Wawa names: A previous post of mine made a sideways mention of botanical luminary David Douglas’s presumable Chinuk Wawa name.  He was said to be called “Grass Man”, I suppose… Continue reading

Tilakums Katsuk, swastikas, and the Bannock War

There are things I find in my work with old documents that would be disturbing if taken out of context. Some Chinook Jargon dictionaries have swastikas on their covers.  (“It’s an ‘Indian’ symbol!”… Continue reading

Pinchers, real people, and Chinuk Wawa

Study a creole or pidgin language like Chinuk Wawa for a while, and you’ll find little fossils of real people’s way of talking back in the day. I don’t just mean that these… Continue reading

Pit’s Winter

A remarkable document from a Native Chinuk pipa writer. In Kamloops Wawa #152 of May 1897, Father Le Jeune tantalizes us with news of a “curious letter”, apparently illustrated, from Pit N’hinaskret (a.k.a. Pete… Continue reading

Chinook hymn, or, why songs are hard

When you’re called on to translate Chinuk Wawa stuff, hope for a big job. Epigraphers, people who decipher ancient languages, know this. Champollion was able to crack the code of the Egyptian hieroglyphs… Continue reading

Makeup & toiletries in Chinuk Wawa

I can’t resist sharing another article to be filed under “For the Ladies”.  There’s lots of new vocabulary here to add to your dictionaries.* In a long article that, typically for a Christian… Continue reading

Chasing Alexander W. Chase

A nice thing to experience (and it keeps on happening) is to come across someone for the first time, albeit after their passing — and find that they, too, were making notes on… Continue reading