LINGUISTIC ARCHAEOLOGY: TREATY LANGUAGE (POINT NO POINT), PART 8

indian removal

(Image credit: Chickasaw.tv)

This Article of the Point No Point treaty is one that I find relatively hard to translate, with its fancy literary nested-clauses style and its profusion of modals like ‘may’, ‘shall’, and ‘will’ (and ‘willing to’)!

(Back to: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7)

Also because it signs these Indians up for “removal” at the pleasure of any US president…which, if any of them grasped its implications from the treaty translators’ Chinuk Wawa, could tend to reinforce the rumors flying among them that they were about to be sent to the land of the dead…

ARTICLE 7.
úkuk sínamakwst íkta ɬáska wáwa
this seven thing they talk

‘The seventh thing that was discussed.’

The President may hereafter, when in his opinion the interests of the Territory
pus áɬqi bástən háyás(h)-papá yáka tə́mtəm ɬúsh pus kákwa,
if later American big-father he think good if so,
‘If the American great father thinks it should be so,’

shall require, and the welfare of said Indians be promoted, remove them from
ɬúsh pus yáka wáwa úkuk s(h)áwásh-tílixam pus ɬáska ɬátwa
good if he tell these Indian-people in.order.to they go
‘it will be all right for him to tell these Indian people to go’

said reservation to such other suitable place or places within said Territory as
kʰapa íkta chxí ílihi kʰapa úkuk Territory of Washington,
to some new place in this Territory of Washington,
‘to some new place in this Territory of Washington,’

he may deem fit, on remunerating them for their improvements and the
pus yáka pʰéy ɬáska kʰapa kʰánawi-íkta háws pi ɬúsh-ílihi ɬáska mámuk kʰapa úkuk
if he pay them for every-kind house and good-land they make on that
‘if he pays them for whatever buildings and land cultivation they have created on the’

s(h)áwásh-ílihi úkuk pípa chxí álta wáwa, pi wə́x̣t
Indian-land this paper newly now talk, and also
‘Indian land that this paper has just mentioned, and also’

expenses of their removal; or may consolidate them with other friendly tribes
yáka pʰéy chíkʰəmin pus ɬáska ɬátwa kʰapa chxí ílihi; pi pus háyás(h)-papá yáka tə́mtəm
he pay money in.order.that they go to new land; and if great-father he think
‘he will pay the cost for them to go to the new place; and if the great father thinks’

ɬúsh pus kákwa, wə́x̣t ɬúsh pus yáka mamuk-míɬayt úkuk s(h)áwásh-tílixam
good if so, also good if he make-be.located these Indian-people
‘it should be so, it will also be all right for him to put these Indian people’

kʰanumákwst x̣lúyma ɬúsh-tə́mtəm s(h)áwásh-tílixam.
together other good-heart Indian-people.
‘together with other good-hearted Indian people.’

or bands. And he may further, at his discretion, cause the whole or any portion
pi wə́x̣t, pus bástən háyás(h)-papá yáka tə́mtəm ɬúsh pus kákwa, ɬúsh pus yáka mamuk-
and also, if American great-father he think good if so, good if he make-
‘And also, if the American great father thinks it should be so, he can’

ɬátwa yakwá tílixam pus nánich úkuk s(h)áwásh-ílihi pi mamuk-t’sə́m háyuú tənəs-sítkum
go here people in.order.to look this Indian-land and make-mark many little-piece
‘send here some people to take a look at this Indian place and mark many portions’

of the lands hereby reserved, or of such other lands as may be selected in lieu
úkuk s(h)áwásh-ílihi
this Indian-land
‘of this Indian place’

thereof, to be surveyed into lots, and assign the same to such individuals or
pus pá(t)lach Ø kʰapa kʰanawi-íxt s(h)áwash
in.order.to give it to any-one Indian
‘to give them to every Indian’

families as are willing to avail themselves of the privilege, and will locate
tíki míɬayt
want be.located
‘who wants to live’

thereon as a permanent home, on the same terms and subject to the same
kʰapa íxt úkuk tənəs-sítkum ílihi kʰapa kwánisəm, dlét kákwa
on one these little-part land for always, exactly as
‘on one of these portions of land permanently, the same as’

regulations as are provided in the sixth article of the treaty with the Omahas,
yáka mámuk kʰapa úkuk sayá s(h)áwásh-tílixam ɬáska mamuk-ním < Omahas >,
he do with those distant Indian-people they make-name Omahas,
‘he has done with those faraway Indian people called Omahas,’

so far as the same may be applicable. Any substantial improvements heretofore
pus wík hayas-q’ə́l pus mámuk dlét kákwa yakwá. kʰánawi-íkta háws pi ɬúsh-ílihi
if not very-hard in.order.to do just so here. all-kind house and good-land
‘if it is not too hard to do just like that here. Any kind of building and cultivation’

made by any Indians, and which he shall be compelled to abandon in
úkuk s(h)áwásh-tílixam ɬáska mámuk kʰapa úkuk s(h)áwásh-ílihi kʰapa < Hoods
these Indian-people they make on this Indian-land at Hoods
‘that these Indian people have made on this Indian place at Hoods’

Canal >, pi ɬáska másh Ø qʰánchi(x̣) háyás(h)-papá yáka wáwa ɬáska pus ɬátwa kʰapa
Canal, and they leave it when great-father he tell them in.order.to go to
‘Canal, and have left when the great father tells them to go to’

wə́x̣t chxí ílihi,
again new place,
‘still another new place,’

consequence of this treaty, shall be valued under the direction of the President,
dlét yáka pʰéy ɬáska
truly he pay them
‘he will really pay them’

and payment made therefor accordingly.
qʰánchi(x̣)-háyú chíkʰəmin yáka tə́mtəm ɬúsh pus pá(t)lach.
how-much money he think good in.order.to give.
‘however much money he thinks is good to give.’

You can understand the English official wording as saying that the Indians can be moved around indefinitely and without notice. Do you feel that the Chinuk Wawa gives that same impression?

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