1862: Siletz chiefs’ speeches for back-translation into CW (Part 3 of 6)

nayka wáwa drét háyú mási kʰapa David Gene Lewis, PhD.


Chetco people, 1856 (image credit: Wikipedia)

Many thanks to Dr. David Gene Lewis, tribal researcher, for sharing this material on his site.

I felt it deserved attention from those of us who speak Chinuk Wawa.

Care to back-translate the following Siletz chief’s speech to CW? This can be done.

William, chief of the Chetcoes

I say what old Bill has said. He is old and talks straight (truth). We are treated like slaves, and not as we were promised. We want to go home, or have what was promised. The goods you [promised] to us in the little ship was not given to us. I don’t know what became of them. We get one cup full of flour for one days work. We are slaves. Nine of my people have died last winter from hunger and cold. I do not like the agent to abuse my people. We are willing to stay here and believe we can make our own living if we are furnished with things to work with. We should have one wagon, and two yoke of cattle per each tribe. Our women are packed like mules. They have all the potatoes and pack all the wood. They packed most of the things the ship brought from the Depot to the agency (a distance of six miles), and get one cup of flour for a days work. We do not want to be slaves. We want to work for ourselves. This is my mind.

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
What do you think?