“Camas stick” revisited!
Dedicated to the memory of Pauline Pascal Flett (1926-2020), whose love of and work for her Spokane Salish language put me on the path to being a professional linguist.
I’ve previously suggested, and am now going to claim more strongly, that “camas stick” is a previously unrecognized Chinuk Wawa phrase.
Even the great early CW dictionary maker George Gibbs — albeit elsewhere than his famous 1863 dictionary — supplies us with evidence for this claim, with his < kamass stick > / < kamas stick >.
Here’s what I consider to be plenty more evidence that this phrase needs to be added to our dictionaries of the Jargon…
Among the Chinookans:
From southwest Oregon’s Takelma people:
From southeast Washington’s Cayuse tribe:Again from southwest Oregon, the Klamaths:
From southwest Oregon too, Rogue River country:
Also from southwest Oregon, Klamaths again:
From northwest Oregon, Willamette Valley:From Idaho, the Bannock people:
From coastal Washington Territory, the Nisqually Salish people:
[Editing to add another example, found the day after publication: William Fraser Tolmie’s 1837 list of Klickitat Sahaptian tree names, courtesy of Jack Nisbet (personal communication): “Vine maple…Kliketats make their Kamass sticks of the branches”.]
Briefly putting all of that together, kamas-stik is looking like a commonly used phrase of frontier-era Chinuk Wawa for what I know in local English as a “digger”.