In the small portion of this book that I’ve accessed so far, there’s a nice Chinuk Wawa anecdote.
Volume 1 of Clarence Bagley’s “History of King County, Washington” (Seattle, WA: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1929) tells this frontier episode on page 144:
An American, who had a limited knowledge of Chinook and who was curious to know what the old lady was about, asked her:
“Icta mika mamock?” [“What are you doing?”]
“Nika mamock wool kapo [sic] sock,” [“I’m making wool for socks”] replied the squaw, signifying that she was carding the wool preparatory to weaving it into socks. But the game still went on. The savage song of the siwashes and monotonous sound of the tom-tom continued to disturb the repose of the residents of Renton and make the advance of night a thing to be dreaded. It is interesting to note that this is only the second game played within the last sixty years that ended in a draw. At a game between the Black and Cedar River tribes, the date of which is not known, the Indians played for four days and five nights, at the expiration of which time they were completely exhausted and the game was declared a draw.
There’s also a story about “Boston muck-a-muck” puzzlingly copied from a book I’ve already written about by Edward Clayson Sr. “The Patriarch”, which doesn’t take place in King County. So go read that if you’re interested.
Love those old Pacific Northwest history books!
What do you think?
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