Hi-yu Jesus and halo muck-a-muck

A post-frontier Settler writer characterizes the prevailing mood in Indian country…

klamath church

The Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Bly, Oregon (image credit: Wikipedia)

Read on.

hiyu jesus

JOS. EMERY, THE AGENT. — Joseph Emery, the new Indian agent, arrived at Klamath agency Saturday from Salinas, Cal. He departed Sunday for Yainax where he will commence an inventory of government property. Mr. Emery is a man of the gospel and will not tolerate indolence among the Indians. They must attend church and they must cultivate their farms, an order of things which do [sic] not take well with a large number of them. It means that they must be good, moral men and make their own living, the Indian construction of which is “Hi-yu Jesus and halo muck-a-muck.” [1] But a change in the management of the reservation has been most desirable. It has come, and Mr. Emery will be found the right man in the right place. — Klamath Falls Republican.

— from the Albany (OR) State Rights Democrat of September 11, 1896, page 4, column 6

“Hi-yu Jesus and halo muck-a-muck.” [1] In Grand Ronde spelling, which would be pretty appropriate considering the western Oregon location, this would be háyú djísəs (pi) hílu mə́kʰmək, ‘lots of Jesus and/but no food’. I’m guessing this is a pretty fair summation of Indigenous attitudes about Christianity and, more particularly, the US government’s paternalistic policy of handing Indian-reservation management over to missionaries. 

What do you think?