Taylor Ikt, Taylor Mokst, Taylor Klone and Taylor Lakit

In the [Port] Alberni [BC] Advocate of February 27th, 1914, on page 2, column 1, is an item titled “Kew Flagstaff”.

Alberni Advocate 02 27 1914 – Taylor Ikt Mokst Klone Lakit

It deals with the flagpole at Kew Gardens, London, England, which was cut from the forest near Alberni.

Alberni Advocate 02 27 1914 - Taylor Ikt Mokst Klone Lakit

What primarily interests me in this article is the attribution of a late-era Chinook Jargon numerical naming system to Indians.  This is a point previously unmentioned in the literature about this language and about naming, which si7am Peter Jacobs of the Squamish Nation has told me about from his country.  I go into Kamloops-area use of it in my dissertation (there’s a link to that in my blog’s “pages”), and in a paper I gave in 2007.

“Taylor Ikt”, “Taylor Mokst”, “Taylor Klone” and “Taylor Lakit” are mentioned without explanation of the Jargon numerals.  Local English-speaking readers of the day could be expected to recognize these words.

Notably, “One”, “Two”, “Three” and “Four” are used here to distinguish successive generations in a family from one another, similarly to English “Sr.”, “Jr.”, “III” and “IV”.  (Although we don’t know the first names of each generation in this case.)  This differs from the usage I’ve previously found among BC Native people, who apparently used numbers to differentiate any two or more people having identical Euro-American names.

And I’ve only seen these CJ names before with the number coming first.

So in the southern Interior, by contrast, you’d find “Iht Sho” (as I transcribe the Chinuk pipa shorthand used there) for ‘First Joe’, who was likely to be a pal rather than a son or father of “Mokst Sho” ‘Second Joe’.

I’m also struck by “stick” here.  This sounds like an older sense of the word, now largely lost in Northwest English, possibly more British than North American.  Would you think this use of “stick” in the Alberni paper is influenced by Chinuk Wawa, or is a sense that influenced CW, or…?

Here’s my transcription of the relevant passage:

“The old Kew Gardens staff was cut on Roger Creek over fifty years ago, and at the time was celebrated as the longest single stick in Europe.  If local history can be depended on the stick was cut on Lot One, somewhere between the two towns [which two?–DDR], and the axe that brought down this pride of the forest was in the hands of Charles Taylor, “First,” or “Taylor Ikt,” as the Indians called him.

Since the time the sturdy Alberni fir stick first flung the royal banner to the breeze “Taylor Ikt” has passed to his reward, but “Taylor Mokst” still survives, a hale old man, quite able to fell the next spar, and there is a “Taylor Klone,” who can take the job when the old man tires.  There is also a “Taylor Lakit,” not quite big enough to swing an axe, but certainly in line to see that Kew Gardens does not want a flag pole owing to a lack of Taylors to cut the same.”

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