Makeup & toiletries in Chinuk Wawa

chinook lipstick

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 missionary publication, laments the excesses of daily life in the Roman empire, Father Le Jeune points out that the women were just as profligate as the dudes:

     Kluchmin wiht kakwa. Chi taii kluchmin
The women were like this too.  As soon as a high-class lady 

kopit slip tanas son, iaka ilaitin kluchmin
was done sleeping in the morning, her slave women  

chako kopa iaka, klaska lolo iaka iktas,
would come to her; they brought her things: 

gol bisin, gol lpot, gol miror; iahsut
a gold basin, a gold pot, a gold mirror; hair 

kyurlirs, pint kopa iaka siahus, pi ayu
curlers, paint for her face, and many 

lpot patl kopa aias tlus ham gris,
pots filled with wonderfully scented oils,

pus mamuk tkop iaka tith, mamuk tlil iaka
to whiten her teeth, darken her 

ai braw, mamuk tlil pi aias tlus ham iaka
eyebrows, blacken and perfume her


     Niro iaka kluchmin iaka mitlait <200>
Nero’s wife owned 200 

kluchmin mula, pi iaka iskom ukuk <200> mula
female mules, and she got those 200 mules’ 

klaska milk iaka suim kopa ukuk milk pus chako
milk; she would swim in that milk so that 

drit tkop iaka skin kanawi.
her skin would get all nice and white. 

     Taii kluchmin ankati kopa Rom mitlait gol
A high-class woman long ago in Rome would wear gold 

pi aias tlus ston kopa iaka kolan, kopa
and beautiful stones in her ears, on 

iaka nik, kopa iaka lima; kopa iaka latit
her neck, and on her hands; on her head 

iaka lolo gol krawn kanamokst tlus ston. Iaka
she wore a gold crown with fine stones.  Her 

shus, pil silk, pi gol kikuli.
shoes were red silk with gold underneath. 

— Page 75 of KW #152 (May 1897)

*We knew a few words for jewelry in Chinuk Wawa previously.  The Grand Ronde dictionary shows you k̓áw-q̓wəlán and (from łəw̓ál̓məš, Lower Chehalis Salish) łək̓wánu for “earrings”.  There’s also k̓úyk̓uy “ring”.  “Necklace” can be chíkʰəmin-lúp which is the general word for “chain”, at least the small-gauge varieties.

I’ve never found any words for makeup etc. before, though, not even among the unpublished stuff from CTGR.  Ladies and goths, you’re welcome 🙂