Nika tiki muck-a-muck

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(Image credit: Collections Canada)

Frederick Dally (1838-1914) was a British photographer in frontier British Columbia (1862-1870) who had an eye for unique souvenirs.

He got this one by using Chinuk Wawa:

dally nika tiki

After being at work all day I felt hungry so I called out to the Klootchmen in the canoe, ‘Nika tiki muck-a-muck!!’ Ans. Klootch. So off they paddled and brought back some dried clams strung on a withe which were sweet and good!! and I kept a few and brought them to England with me.

— from page 67 of “Photography of the Indian: Concept and Practice on the Northwest Coast” by Alan Thomas (BC Studies 52 (Winter 1981-1982):85).

That’s náyka tíki mə́kʰmək, “I want to eat” or “I want food”. Both are valid interpretations. Both would get Dally the same result!

What do you think?

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