“In the future, everyone will ride this kind of horse”

*Scroll to the bottom for my Mother’s Day note 🙂

Talk about steampunk!  The guy was a straight-up 1890s geek:

Father Le Jeune of the Kamloops Wawa showed his fancy for technology in many a way.  One was early adoption of the Edison mimeograph and a related device called the hektograph, to self-publish his Chinook Jargon newspaper.

“Parisa” also got a typewriter as soon as he could, at a time when writing on one was a high-tech specialized occupation.  Many of you will not have known that the last decade or so of Kamloops Wawa was typewritten–in English and French–and then mimeographed.

We can go on: Le Jeune delighted in gathering Aboriginal people from hundreds of miles around and regaling them with magic-lantern (slide-projector) shows, accompanied by his own and any visiting priests’ narration.  He reported with detectable enthusiasm about the installation of acetylene lights at an establishment across the river in Kamloops.  He went into great detail about the workings of metal-framed skyscrapers in Chicago, the burgeoning city of his era.

It’s in that spirit of embracing new technologies, combined with an obvious eagerness to see what further changes the future would bring (and not a little of Le Jeune’s trademark humor), that I’m sharing today how he introduces his readers to those newfangled two-wheelers…

otters (3)

Msaika nanich
You folks can see 

ukuk hloima
this strange-looking  

kyutan. Pi klunas
horse.  And maybe 

msaika nanich tkop tilikom kuli
you’ve seen white people traveling around 

kopa ukuk aias
on this very 

hloima kyutan. Kopa Boston ilihi klaska
odd horse.  In the USA, they 

sil kopa tanki wam <600 000> kakwa kyutan,
sold last summer 600,000 such horses,  

<120 000> kopa kluchmin pi <480 000>
120,000 for women and 480,000 

kopa man.
for men.  

Pi ukuk wam ilip ayu man pi ilip ayu
And this summer even more men and more 

kluchmin tiki iskom ukuk aias hloima kyutan
women are wanting to get these weird horses.  

Klaska mamuk <1 250 000> kakwa kyutan
There have been built 1,250,000 such horses 

kopa Boston ilihi pus klaska sil ukuk wam.
in the USA to be sold this summer.  

Ukuk aias hloima kyutan iaka nim baisikl.
This weird horse is called a “bicycle”.  

Ilip tlus baisikl iaka sil ilip ayu kopa
The best bicycle costs more than 

<100> tala. <X> Tlus baisikl iaka sil kopa
100 dollars.  A good bicycle sells for 

<75> tala. <X> Tanas tlus baisikl
75 dollars.  A fairly good bicycle 

iaka sil kopa <60> tala. Klunas msaika
sells for 60 dollars.  Maybe you folks 

kwash chako kakshit kopa kakwa kyutan, kakwa ilo
are afraid of getting hit by this kind of horse, so 

msaika tiki iskom kakwa kyutan. Alki tilikom
you don’t want to get such a horse.  In the future, people 

kanawi iskom kakwa kyutan.
will all take this kind of horse.  

— KW #141 (June 1896), page 131

*Mother’s Day note:  

Today’s post is in honour of my mom Ann, who has always set me the great double example of an optimistic attitude and the enjoyment of a healthy active life — and in honour of my grandma Bonnie, whose anecdote of her grandma being startled and hurt by a newfangled automobile stays with me as part of our family lore.  

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you! 

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