Category Archive: Uncategorized

Quinault “son”, the Indian Shaker Church, Chinook Jargon and Lushootseed

Sometimes a whole story springs from a single word. In Ruth Modrow’s typewritten 1971 dictionary of Quinault, a Salish language of southwestern Washington’s coast, an entry caught my eye as I was looking for… Continue reading

The Old Fur Traders, Established 1670

If you have heard of the Chinook Jargon trade language, a.k.a. Chinuk Wawa, you are doubtless aware of the outsized importance attaching to the Hudsons Bay Company in our Pacific Northwest history. One… Continue reading

Klootch, a puppy bitch

Posted as an example of the antiquated slur “klootch“ (also spelled “klutch” or “klooch”). –from the Portland Morning Oregonian, April 23, 1904, page 5, column 5.  Here it’s the name of a female puppy… Continue reading

Radio news investigation: “When Was Chinook Jargon Prevalent In The Northwest?”

KUOW in Seattle has just published online an investigative news story titled “When Was Chinook Jargon Prevalent In The Northwest?“ It’s a carefully done, quite listenable feature in their Local Wonder series. Nixwa… Continue reading

Tilikums Ikt Potlatch

Strangest Places Dept.: I quote verbatim from San Francisco insurance-trade publication The Adjuster (volume 40, number 1; January 1910, page 14), adding [in brackets] my English translations. My comments follow afterward.     Tilikums Ikt… Continue reading

The Iron Klooch

[Not for the most sensitive ears.] If I had accesss to the Murray-Latta fonds at UBC Archives, the blueprints for the Iron Klooch would make a spectacular illustration here. That’s your basic Kellington… Continue reading

1890’s ladies’ diet advice in Chinuk Wawa

WW19CCTYTD? (What would a 19th-century celibate tell you to do?) “Mgr. Kneipp‘s Hygienic Instructions” ALTA KOPA KLUCHMIN, PUS WIK SAIA Now, for the lady, when it’s almost time  IAKA TLAP IAKA TANAS. for… Continue reading

The medicine man argues back…in church!

{Edited to specify: it’s not the medicine man who’s doing the arguing here, it’s someone who supports him.} When you grasp how, in Kamloops Wawa, liplit “the priest” mentioned in the third person is the same… Continue reading

Chinuk Wawa shorthand writers of Spahomin

I can guarantee you that this photo shows a large number of Chinuk Wawa shorthand writers.  (Kamloops Wawa #125 (1895), page 19.)  The local chief, John Chilliheetza, was himself a skilled practitioner, and he… Continue reading

What do you do when your church has no bell?

What do you do when your church has no bell? This was the situation in a couple of Secwepemc communities of British Columbia that was reported in Kamloops Wawa #126 (March 1895), page… Continue reading