ASSAULT: Full Moon gives evidence in Chinook

full moon barkerville

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And here’s another example of Chinese immigrants probably speaking Chinuk Wawa with Indigenous people.

It’s at least possible to read the following article’s typically 1870s tone as mildly sympathetic to the woman…

assault 01


Hugh, an Indian, was charged with grievously assaulting a klootchman rejoicing in the name of Full Moon.

John Bowron testified that on Saturday last he received information that an Indian had been beating a klootchman; went to the woman’s house and found her with her head cut and bleeding; was told that the Indian had been beating her with a stone, and would have killed her had he not been stopped. Prisoner had run away up the hill; went in search of and arrested him. 

assault 02

Full Moon, whose head looked big enough to justify her appellation if her beauty did not, gave evidence in Chinook to the effect that she and the prisoner lived in the same house, and on Saturday two Indians — a Lillooet and a Hydah — came there with half a bottle of whiskey; this was soon consumed by the social party, when the Hydah generously produced a dollar and a half and gave it to prisoner to get some more liquor; prisoner went out and returned with a bottle; this was soon emptied; the visitors left, and all she remembered was that prisoner knocked her down and beat her on the head, but did not know whether he used a stick or a stone or anything else.

Prisoner being asked what excuse he could offer for such ungallant behaviour to a lady, threw all the blame on the other two siwashes. If they had not come to the house with liquor, and afterwards given him the money to buy more, he would not have got drunk, and consequently there would have been no fight. He got the liquor from a Chinaman.

assault 03

Hugh was sentenced to seven days’ imprisonment with hard labor in irons, and to pay Full Moon ten dollars, compensation for the damage to her beauty.

— from the Barkerville (BC) Cariboo Sentinel of July 22, 1871, page 3, column 4

What do you think?qʰáta máyka tə́mtəm?