Hidden discoveries: Extinct animals & creole-pidgin ethnozoology (Part 3)

franklin grouse

Tyee Kulla Kulla (image credit: Montana Outdoors)

Shifting to quite common species, we learn on page 221 of the mid-1850s railroad survey about the Franklin’s grouse…

…a.k.a. the Tyee (‘chief’) grouse (the latter is a local English name I hadn’t known of):

“This bird, by the Indians, has the jargon name, ‘Tyee Kulla Kulla‘ or the ‘chief bird,’ or perhaps more correctly the gentleman bird.”

That is, a bird that’s able to dress like someone who’s well-to-do.

Unlike the two previous “new” zoological-name entries in this series (‘moose’ and ‘grizzly bear’), this táyí kə́ləkələ is not claimed to be a locally extinct species (at the time it was documented).

But it is a new phrase to us in Chinuk Wawa studies. Add it to your dictionaries, which I’ll wager don’t yet have a word for ‘grouse’.

Stay tuned for even more!

What have you learned?