Chinook for Washington Pioneer.

With, as usual, my suggested translation put between the lines, let’s read from page 1 of the June 2, 1899 issue (volume 13, number 24) of the Mason County [WA] Journal:

Chinook for Washington Pioneer

Chinook for Washington Pioneer.

Anent the annual meeting of the
Washington pioneers at Seattle next
month the following letter from Secre-
tary D. B. Ward of that organization
may be interest :
“Seattle, quinum moon, pee quinum
Seattle, month of May, and the fifth 

sun.
day.

“Tyee Allen Weir, copa Olympia:
Chief Allan Weir, in Olympia: 
“Nika ankutty tillicum: Mika
My old-time friend: You [sic]

iskum miak paper okoke sun. Okoke
received your letter today.  To-

sum mika mamook copa paper. Pee
day you wrote on paper.  And 

klose spose wawa conway tillicum ya-

you should tell everyone he [sic] 

ka charco kopa Seattle. Hyu ankutty
[should] come to Seattle.  Lots of old-time

tillicum yaka charco copa Seattle
people is [sic] coming to Seattle 

spose charco tenis warm—wake lala.
when it gets a bit warmer — soon.  

Spose conway ankutty tillicum charco
When all of the old-time people come, 

nesika iskum hyu muck-a-muck, pee
we’ll get lots of food, and [have] 

hyu he he. Nika copet mamook sum
lots of fun.  I’m done writing 

alta. “Dick Ward
now.  Dick Ward

“Nika name, Cumtux?”
is my name, understand?

All of which means:

“My old friend: I received your
letter today. The letter you wrote on
paper.  You better tell all your friends
to come to Seattle. Very many old
friend are coming to Seattle when it
gets a little a short time.
When they all come we will get plen-
ty to eat and have lots of fun. I am
done writing now. My name is Dick
Ward. Understand?”

So, yet more Chinuk Wawa as an insiders’ code talk, ipsut-wawa.  (Compare Potlatch Club Ball Invitation and Tilikums Ikt Potlatch.)

The spellings and grammar (such as yaka being used, a la Kamloops dialect, to mean ‘they’ instead of the usual ‘she’ or ‘he’) here are unbeholden to any published Chinook Jargon dictionary that I can pin down so far.  This is distinctively ‘white’ speech, bearing few imprints of contact with Native people.  I think it’s someone’s spontaneous, remembered Jargon.

Dillis Burgess Ward is known to have worked for several years at the Skokomish Indian Reservation, where famously Rev. Myron Eells used the Jargon a great deal.  So go figure.

Neat piece.

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