1903: Nuučaan’uɬ sealers plan a party, until…

It’s not made clear whether any of the Chinuk Wawa words below were spoken on the scene…


An actual party at Clayoquot (image credit: KnowBC)

But given the time and the location, virtually everyone knew CW, which is why the newspaper editor didn’t exert the effort to translate them below.

Plus, the way the article phrases things is pretty redundant, so even a non-Jargon speaker can figure out what’s being said.

In any event, here’s a colorful and kind of fun incident from the West Coast of Vancouver Island:

Sealing Schooner Carrie C W [really! — DDR], which reached port yesterday, brought 856 skins taken in Behring [Bering] Sea. She left Clayoquot with the Victoria and had a rough passage to port, encountering the heavy blow of yesterday en route in. When Carrie C W left the Behring Sea it was believed by her crew that she was top-liner of the fleet, an honor which goes to Schooner Libbie of Captain Will Heater, which has 940 skins.

The hunters of Schooner Carrie C W were well pleased with themselves when they reached Clayoquot. Other Schooners they heard from had 400, 500 and catches in that neighbourhood, so they thought they would celebrate.

The Siwashes [Indians] held a wa-wa [consultation] and it was resolved that there would be a jubilee in the rancherie [Indian village] at Clayoquot, so one of the hunters went to the Captain to seek powder for the cannon of the village. They were going to have a bang-up celebration — maybe a potlatch [here ‘feast’] in honour of the “hyas klosh” [excellent] catch.

They took the powder ashore, loaded up the old cannon — and all the tribesmen of Clayoquot were invited to the celebration — and then Queen City came in from the Northwest coast.

Captain Townsend reported that the sealing Schooner Libbie was at Clayoquot with 940 skins – and the celebration was off.

[Victoria (BC) Colonist, 1903-11-06]

What do you think?