Chinuk Wawa shorthand writers of Spahomin

Douglas Lake (2)

I can guarantee you that this photo shows a large number of Chinuk Wawa shorthand writers.  (Kamloops Wawa #125 (1895), page 19.)  The local chief, John Chilliheetza, was himself a skilled practitioner, and he promoted Chinuk pipa actively.

Spahomin (Douglas Lake), about 50 miles south of Kamloops, was a great hotbed of the Chinook literacy. A big percentage of the population here was writing and reading in Chinuk pipa.

Here is a more recent impression of the same location, St. Nicholas church, by BC painter Michael Kluckner:

Michael Kluckner Spahomin church

For more photos and analysis of the construction of these quaint missionary-designed buildings, I also recommend architect Barry Downs’ fine study, his book Sacred Places: British Columbia’s Early Churches.

That’s all for now.  I wanted to quickly get a post out before I move on with the day.


Naika nim