Used boots ad
Did you know? Want ads were a thing, in the earliest days of Chinuk Wawa literacy…
To my mind it’s in line with the informal character of this language that the first ads aimed at Indigenous readers were written by other Indigenous individuals.
Maybe you’ve never heard of the Shugirkin Tintin, “The Sugarcane Bell”.
This was an even smaller newspaper than Kamloops Wawa — usually a couple or four pages as I recall — from the Williams Lake area farther north.
It was an insert into Kamloops Wawa.
The Tintin is important beyond its size, because it brings us the words of various Secwepemc people, such as today’s ad writer Moise (French for ‘Moses’).
Hint: The letter “C” in the following stands for a Chinuk Pipa letter that sounded like “ts”…
ANKATI SKUKUM BUC
ánqati skúkum búts
formerly excellent boots
‘THEY USED TO BE FINE BOOTS.’
Ankati naika skukum tomtom kopa naika buc: alta naika sik tomtom
Ánqati náyka skúkum-tə́mtəm kʰupa nayka búts: álta náyka sík-tə́mtəm
formerly I strong-heart about my boots: now I hurt-heart
‘I used to be proud of my boots: now I’m sad that’
naika buc chako tanas pi naika lipii aias, kakwa naika tiki oihoi
náyka búts chaku-tənás* pi nayka lipyé (h)áyás, kákwa náyka tíki (h)úyhuy
my boots become-small and my feet big, so I want trade
‘my boots have gotten small and my feet are big, so I want to trade’
naika buc kopa siapul pi buchir naif. Pus klaksta tiki makuk
nayka búts kʰupa siyápuł pi búchər*-náyf. Pus łáksta tíki mákuk
my boots for hat and butcher knife. if someone want buy
‘my boots for a hat and a butcher knife. If anyone wants to buy’
naika buc, tlus aiak iaka wawa kopa naika.
nayka búts, (t)łus (h)áyáq yáka wáwa kʰupa náyka.
my boots, good soon (s)he talk to me.
‘my boots, they should talk to me.’
Naika Mois Shaks*, ankati mitlait kopa Shushwap.
Náyka Móys Djáks*, ánqati míłayt kʰupa Shúshwap.
I Moise Jacks*, formerly live at Shuswap.
‘I’m Moise Jacks*, who used to live at Shuswap [Lake].’
— from Shugirkin Tintin, in Kamloops Wawa #126 (March 1895), page 37
I’ll just point out one interesting detail there that’d be easy to miss.
1890s Kamloops-region Chinuk Wawa uses plenty of English loanwords.
Some are obvious, like “butcher knife”.
But another one is Moise’s skukum!
He’s using this old Jargon word (originally meaning ‘powerful, strong’) the way that post-pioneer era English speakers use it, to mean ‘excellent, fine’.
What have you learned?
What do you think?