Category Archive: Uncategorized

Ways to express fractions in Chinuk Wawa

Fractions are a challenge, in the majority of human languages that I have experience of. This has to do with culture and history. Some regions of the planet — not all — have… Continue reading

My native language (the Chinook)

Behring Sea Arbitration: Appendix to Counter-Case of Her Majesty’s Government. Pages 533-921 of “Fur Seal Arbitration: Proceedings of the Tribunal of Arbitration, Convened at Paris/Volume VIII” (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1895). This is… Continue reading

Crowdsourcing challenge: find the original of this Chinook Jargon letter

EDITED 10/25/2017: thanks to several goodhearted readers, I can now add the entire Chinuk Wawa text, at the end of this post. Bonus: it’s actually 2 letters! Look below. I’ve had the heck… Continue reading

Two old saws

A couple of persistent stories about Chinuk Wawa. From “The Story of Metlakahtla” by Henry S. Wellcome (London: Saxon & Co., 1887). It’s a narrative of how the missionary Reverend William Duncan came… Continue reading

My dad was a Chinook interpreter

Heck of a story. “Parks and Redwoods, 1919-1971: Oral history transcript” is “an interview” of Newton Bishop Drury (1889-1978) “conducted by Amelia Roberts Fry and Susan Schrepfer. It’s at the Bancroft Library of… Continue reading

The Halloweena Indians

(Image credit: YouTube) For another seasonally appropriate article, turn out the lights and draw close as I tell you about…the Halloweena Indians. Scary! On a cold day when white people were still outnumbered… Continue reading

Needle-hearted Coeur d’Alenes, a Native metaphor?

A sort of speculative piece for you today… (Image credit: tsiĥ-tomtom ‘shrewd’ is in Father St Onge’s Chinuk Wawa dictionary manuscript of 1892. That’s literally ‘sharp-heart’. In modern Grand Ronde tribal spelling… Continue reading

Seward’s second folly

…trying to use Chinook Jargon in Alaska in July of 1902! (Image credit: Wikipedia) “Reminiscences of a War-Time Statesman and Diplomat” is a family memoir by Frederick William Seward (New York: G.P. Putnam’s… Continue reading

Koho stick

Until & after my dictionaries (plural) of Chinuk Wawa are published, I want every last one of you to buy the Grand Ronde Tribes’ dictionary. At $29.95 it’s a very good deal, giving… Continue reading

Kah, kahkah, kahkah kah

Thus quoth the Raven: Ilo kah son wiht. (Image credit: Disclaimer: It’s not totally intentional that I keep writing things you can relate to Hallowe’en. But this is America, and I know… Continue reading