1866: Hiyou blankets and multilingual Settlers
We continue to find untranslated pidgin words and quotations in West Coast newspapers of the later frontier era…
Memorial potlatch, Songhees reserve (Victoria), 1908 (image credit: Royal BC Museum)
…And I’m sticking with the idea that this shows us most readers understood Chinuk Wawa (as well as Chinese Pidgin English, etc.).
I found the following on a nice UVic historical website:
There was to be a grand potlatch [giveaway] at Nanaimo this week among Indians of various tribes between Fort Rupert/Victoria; Jun 16, 3…upwards of 1,000 siwashes [Indians] were present. Hiyou [many] blankets and other iktas [things; possessions] were potlatched [given] and general festivities prevailed which at one time threatened to end in a grand row till constable Stuart interfered…
[Victoria (BC) Colonist, 1866-06-02, p. 3]