1893?: An “ol rawn” awesome li’l book

sugarcane church illo

Sugarcane Reserve church (opened 1895), one of those where today’s book may have been used (image credit: Williams Lake Tribune)

Quadrilingual and full of awesome info about BC Chinuk Wawa!

For a note about that awesomeness, see the end of today’s article.

Lots of churches got built and blessed in southern interior BC Indigenous communities at Father Jean-Marie-Raphael Le Jeune’s urging from about 1890 to about 1920.

So many, that he created a little-known Chinuk Pipa Chinuk Wawa guidebook for folks to plan and follow along during the consecration ceremonies, which often were a major event involving a visit from a Catholic bishop based in Vancouver or even farther away.

My transcription of the cover page below puts Chinuk Wawa into bold, and (French-accented) Latin and Salish in plain type.

So here’s your sample:

Benediction of a church cihm_14616_0005

of a Church.>

I. Liplit mituit klahani kopa Sondi
liplét mítxwit łáx̣ani kʰupa sánti-
priest stand outside of Sunday-

‘The priest stands outside the’

haws, pi iaka styuil:
háws, pi yaka st’íwiʔəł:
house, and he pray:
‘church, and he prays:’

Aksionis nostras ItS….. 
[pi]r Kristom dominom nostrom. 
= Amin. [Latin, “Actiones Nostras” prayer, asking for God’s help in an undertaking]

II. Aspirshis mi… [Latin, “Asperges Me” prayer, to go with the ritual sprinkling of holy water on the congregation]
“Konkanshama ItS.” [Secwépemc Salish translation of the preceding, very frequently sung in the Kamloops area]
Kanawi kuli kopa klahani, ol rawn Sondi haws
kʰánawi kúli kʰupa łáx̣ani, ál* ráwn sánti-háws
all travel in outside, all round Sunday-house 

‘Everyone moves along outside, all around the church(,)

[pi] kilapai kopa kah ilip klaska mitlait.
[pi] k’ílapay kʰupa qʰáx̣ íləp łaska míłayt.
[and] return to where first they be.located.

‘[until] returning to where they started.’

III. Liplit wawa:
liplét wáwa:
priest say:
‘The priest says:’

Orimyus. [Latin, “Let us pray.”] = Fliktamyus shinyua. [Latin, “Let us take a knee.”]  
= Livati. [Latin, “Rise.”]
Domini Diyus ItS…. [Latin, perhaps the “Lord God Almighty” prayer] Pir omnia 
sikyula sikyulorom. 
= Amin. [Latin, “Unto the ages of ages. Amen.”]

— from the cover of “Benediction of a Church” by Father J.M.R. Le Jeune O.M.I. (Kamloops?: no publisher named, 1893?)

Note on awesomeness: the prepositional expression ol rawn above, from local spoken English ‘all (a)round’, is…

  • …new to our knowledge of the Jargon.
  • …but 99% sure to be authentic, because…
    • …Le Jeune always wrote to be understood by his readers, who had been illiterate until a couple of years before this book came out.
      …and we do already know rawnd ’round’ (adjective) from BC & southern CW.
  • …totally in line with BC Chinuk Wawa’s tendency to take in newer, more precise expressions from English to use alongside older, vaguer ones (e.g. kanawi kah klahani kopa — ‘everywhere outside of’ — might be the older way to say ‘all around’ in this dialect).
  • …a neat demonstration that BC CW didn’t just borrow nouns & verbs (which are often the first & easiest things to take in from a foreign language), but also prepositions, as well as things like adjectives and conjunctions, from locally spoken English.

What do you think?