Monthly Archive: October, 2017

Crowdsourcing challenge: find the original of this Chinook Jargon letter

I’ve had the heck of a time trying to get full-text access to this fascinating letter read into the record of the Senate Journal of the Legislature of the State of Washington! So I’ll… Continue reading

Two old saws

A couple of persistent stories about Chinuk Wawa. From “The Story of Metlakahtla” by Henry S. Wellcome (London: Saxon & Co., 1887). It’s a narrative of how the missionary Reverend William Duncan came… Continue reading

My dad was a Chinook interpreter

Heck of a story. “Parks and Redwoods, 1919-1971: Oral history transcript” is “an interview” of Newton Bishop Drury (1889-1978) “conducted by Amelia Roberts Fry and Susan Schrepfer. It’s at the Bancroft Library of… Continue reading

The Halloweena Indians

(Image credit: YouTube) For another seasonally appropriate article, turn out the lights and draw close as I tell you about…the Halloweena Indians. Scary! On a cold day when white people were still outnumbered… Continue reading

Needle-hearted Coeur d’Alenes, a Native metaphor?

A sort of speculative piece for you today… (Image credit: TodayIFoundOut.com) tsiĥ-tomtom ‘shrewd’ is in Father St Onge’s Chinuk Wawa dictionary manuscript of 1892. That’s literally ‘sharp-heart’. In modern Grand Ronde tribal spelling… Continue reading

Seward’s second folly

…trying to use Chinook Jargon in Alaska in July of 1902! (Image credit: Wikipedia) “Reminiscences of a War-Time Statesman and Diplomat” is a family memoir by Frederick William Seward (New York: G.P. Putnam’s… Continue reading

Koho stick

Until my dictionaries (plural) of Chinuk Wawa are published, I want every last one of you to buy the Grand Ronde Tribes’ dictionary. At $29.95 it’s a very good deal, giving you the… Continue reading

Kah, kahkah, kahkah kah

Thus quoth the Raven: Ilo kah son wiht. (Image credit: FurAffinity.net) Disclaimer: It’s not totally intentional that I keep writing things you can relate to Hallowe’en. But this is America, and I know… Continue reading

Four eyes

Edited 10/16/2017 to add: Coincidentally in the local Salish languages mús means both ‘four’ and ‘eyes’! Could that have influenced the Jargon expression by making it humorous? (If puns are funny.) Did local people joke… Continue reading

It’s not just for wood rats anymore: Thunderbird speaks Chinuk Wawa

In a previous installment, we learned from Civil War general Phil Sheridan that wood rats know Chinook Jargon. (Image credit: Story of the Chinook) Today, a supernatural being in Alaska joins the conversation.… Continue reading