TENAS WAWA--The Chinook Jargon Voice "Sawmill John"

Episode 12

John was aware of the S'Klallams' neutrality during the Puget Sound Indian wars of 1856. Reflecting back on his experience with the Cayuse and the encounter with the northern Indians the previous October, he was curious about the S'Klallams and their early relations with whites. The S'Klallams were reputed to be fierce and warlike, but John's experience with these people showed no evidence to support this belief.

John: "Ahnkuttie, tkope tillikum pe S'Klallam tillikum kwanesum sihks?" "Past, white people and S'Klallam people always friend?"
Jim: "Halo kwanesum!" "Not always!"
John: "Kunsih S'Klallam tillikum elip kumtux tkope tillikum?" "When S'Klallam people first know white man?"
Jim: "Nesaika elip nanitch tkope man kopa ship, klonas lakkit tahtlum pe kwinnum yeah ahnkuttie." "Us first see white man on ship, maybe forty-five year past."
John: "S'Klallam pe tkope man chako sihks okoke sun?" "S'Klallam and white man become friend that day?"
Jim laughed.
Jim: "Wake . . . wake! Kunsih elip King Chautsh ship chako Ka-kai-its, ship cannon pooh S'Klallam town. Tenas hiyu tillikum chako memaloose. "No . . . no! When first English ship come Discovery Bay, ship cannon shoot S'Klallam village. Some people die.
 "Klonas klone tahtlum yeah ahnkuttie, King Chautsh tillikum mamook huy-huy house. Okoke huy-huy house yahul Pote Bankooba. Yaka siah stehwa kopa okoke hyas stalo Boston tillikum yahul 'Columbia.' Kimta, King Chautsh tillikum mamook huy-huy house yahul Pote Langley kopa okoke hyas stalo stopilo. Boston tillikum yahul yaka 'Play-za.'" "Maybe thirty year past, English people make trading post. That trading post called Fort Vancouver. It far south on that big river America people call 'Columbia.' After, English people make trading post called Fort Langley on that big river north. America people call it 'Frazier.'"
Jim waved his hand to the south and north.
Jim: "Ikt sun, ship chako Kai-kai-its. S'Klallam tillikum yahwa tum-tum okoke ship klonas pooh cannon kopa town. S'Klallam tillikum klatawa hyak mamook piah kopa ship pe mamook memaloose hiyu klaska. Kimta, hiyu King Chautsh man kopa canim pe ship klatawa yahwa. Hyas pait. "One day ship come Port Discovery. S'Klallam people there believe that ship maybe shoot cannon at village. S'Klallam people go fast, burn ship and kill many them. After, many English man in canoe and ship go there. Big fight.
"S'Klallam tillikum kwanesum klatawa kopa Pote Langley pe huy-huy. Nesaika kowkwutl klatawa Pote Bankooba, yaka delate siah." "S'Klallam people always go Fort Langley and trade. Us unable go Fort Vancouver, it very far."
John: "So, mesaika lolo animal skin kopa Pote Langley pe huy-huy? "So, you carry animal skin to Fort Langley and trade?"
Jim: "Delate! Eena, nenamooks, chetwoot, tish koko, hyas pus-pus. King Chautsh tillikum tikegh elackie, keschi elackie halo mitlite yukwa. Nesaika elip iskum King Chautsh iktas yahwa. Paseesie, la hash, opitsah, musket, ketling, tzum sail, klapite pe hiyu huloima iktas." "True! Beaver, land otter, bear, fox, cougar. English people want sea otter, but sea otter not live here. Us first get English things there. Blanket, axe, knife, musket, kettles, calico, thread, and many other things."
John: "King Chautsh tillikum, klaska halo klatawa kopa stick illahee pe iskum animal?" "English people, them not go to forest and get animal?"
Jim: "Hmmmm . . . wake hiyu." "Hmmmm . . . not many."
John: "S'Klallam tillikum pait King Chautsh tillikum weght?" "S'Klallam people here fight English people also?"
Jim: "Ikt laly. Ikt sun, lakkit King Chautsh man chako yukwa kopa Naxw-kyit kopa la pee. Naika klonas tahtlum pe kwinnum yeah ole. Okoke lakkit man, klaska mitlite pack pahtl animal skin. Klaska wawa kopa tyee, naika chope. Okoke lakkit man, klaska tikegh iskum canim pe mokst S'Klallam man pe klatawa Pote Langley. Klaska tikegh huy-huy pe kimta chako kilapai. Klaska wawa klaska halo mitlite chikamin, keschi potlatch kloshe chikamin kunsih klaska chako kilapai. "One time. One day four English man come here to Naxw-kyit on foot. Me maybe fifteen year old. That four man, them have pack full animal skin. Them talk to chief, me grandfather. That four man, them want get canoe and two S'Klallam man and go Fort Langley. Them want trade and after return. Them talk them not have money, but give good money when them return.
"Naika chope, yaka tum-tum okoke King Chautsh man kloshe. Chope, yaka wawa 'okay.' Yaka wawa naika pe kahpo klatawa kunamokst klaska kopa chee sun. "Me grandfather, him think this English man good. Grandfather, him talk 'okay.' Him talk me and brother go with them in morning.
"Well, polaklie chako. Naika chope potlatch okoke King Chautsh man mukamuk. Konaway tillikum moosum. Kunsih sun elip chako saghalie, King Chautsh man mahsh pack kopa canim pe nesaika klatawa." "Well, night come. Me grandfather give this English man food. Everyone sleep. When sun begin come up, English man throw pack in canoe and us go."
John: "Fort Langley, yaka siah, wake?" "Fort Langley, that far, no?"
Jim: "Ah-ha. Klone sun kopa canim, spose wind kloshe. Okoke sun kloshe stehwa wind poh. Nesaika mitwhit sail pe canim klatawa kloshe. Konaway King Chautsh man sit kopa canim pe wawa hiyu, kunamokst. Naika pe kahpo halo kumtux klaska la lang. "Yes. Three day in canoe, if wind good. That day good south wind blow. Us stand sail and canoe go good. All English man sit in canoe and talk much together. Me and brother not understand them language.
"Kunsih polaklie chako, nesaika haul canim saghalie kopa nauits pe mamook camp. Naika pe kahpo halo wawa Chinook kloshe. King Chautsh man, klaska halo wawa Chinook kloshe weght. Klaska elip wawa peshak, kahkwa klaska solleks. Klaska wawa kopa nesaika kahkwa nesaika elite. Klaska kwanesum wawa 'Mamook piah!' 'Mamook mukamuk!' 'Iskum piah ekskaun!' . . . Klaska potlatch nesaika nem kahkwa 'kamooks' pe 'pelton.' Nesaika halo kwan. Kloshe kunsih konaway okoke King Chautsh man moosum, naika pe kahpo moosum. "When night come, us canoe pull up on beach and make camp. Me and brother not talk Chinook good. English man, them not talk Chinook good also. Them begin talk bad, like them angry. Them talk to us like us slave. Them always talk, 'Make fire!' 'Make food!' 'Get firewood!' . . . Them give us name like 'dog' and 'stupid.' Us not happy. Good when all that English man sleep, me and brother sleep.
"Kunsih sun elip chako saghalie, konaway tillikum mukamuk hyak, mahsh iktas kopa canim pe nesaika klatawa. Wake wind chako okoke sun pe snass whim. Hiyu snass. "When sun begin come up, everybody eat fast, throw things in canoe and us go. No wind come that day and rain fall. Much rain.
"Konaway tillikum mamook isick. King Chautsh man, klaska halo wawa. Kimta sitkum sun, wind chako, keschi snass halo kopet. Nesaika mitwhit sail pe canim klatawa kloshe. King Chautsh man halo mamook isick. Klaska solleks. Klaska sit kopa canim pe wawa peshak. Polaklie chako pe nesaika haul canim saghalie kopa nauits. Ikt King Chautsh man, yaka tikegh naika kahpo iskum piah ekskaun. Okoke King Chautsh man kwuthl naika kahpo pe yahul yaka 'kamooks.' "Everyone do paddle. English man, them not talk. After half day, wind come, but rain not stop. Us stand sail and canoe do good. English man not do paddle. Them angry. Them sit in canoe and talk bad. Night come and us haul canoe up on beach. One English man, him want me brother get firewood. That English man push me brother and call him 'dog'!
"Ikt King Chautsh man, yaka tikegh naika mamook piah, keschi konaway iktas kahkwa chuk. Okoke man, yaka yahul naika 'pelton' pe skookum chukkin naika kopa opoots. Yaka kowkwutl mamook piah weght. "One English man, him want me make fire, but everything wet. That man, him call me 'stupid' and strong kick me on butt. Him unable make fire also.
"Okoke polaklie, nesaika halo mitlite piah. Nesaika halo mukamuk. Konaway tillikum moosum cole. Kunsih chee sun chako, nesaika klatawa weght. Okoke sun kloshe. Wake snass pe kloshe stehwa wind. Canim klatawa hyak. Kimta sitkum sun, nesaika ko Play-za stalo.    "That night us not have fire. Us not eat. Everyone sleep cold. When new day come, us go again. That day good. No rain and good south wind. Canoe go fast. After middle day, us arrive Frazier River.
"King Chautsh man, klaska halo tikegh klatawa Pote Langley kopa canim. King Chautsh man, klaska tikegh klatawa kopa la pee. Klaska wawa klaska chako kilapai kimta kwinnum sun. Klaska wawa kloshe spose naika pe kahpo mitlite kopa canim. Naika kahpo, yaka wawa nesaika halo tikegh mitlite kopa canim kwinnum sun, kehwa nesaika halo mitlite mukamuk. Nesaika tikegh klatawa Pote Langley. Ikt King Chautsh man chako delate solleks.
"English man, them not want go Fort Langley in them canoe. English man, them want go on foot. Them talk them return after five day. Them talk good if me and brother stay at canoe. Me brother, him talk us not want stay at canoe five day because us not have food. Us want go Fort Langley. One English man become very angry.
"Naika wawa klonas kloshe spose naika pe kahpo klatawa kilapai kopa nesaika town. Okoke man kwuthl naika kopa illahee pe wawa spose nesaika klatawa, chope halo iskum chikamin. "Me talk maybe good if me and brother return to us village. That man push me on ground and talk if us go, grandfather not get money.
"King Chautsh man, klaska klatawa kopa la pee Pote Langley pe nesaika mitlite kopa canim. Nesaika delate halo kwan. "English man, them go on foot to Fort Langley and us stay at canoe. Us not very happy.
"Kimta tenas laly, siwash tillikum chako kopa canim. Klaska mitlite hiyu dly samon kopa klaska canim. Klaska klatawa kopa Pote Langley pe huy-huy. Klaska potlatch nesaika samon. Nesaika mamook piah pe mukamuk. Naika pe kahpo mamook dly nesaika paseesie pe konaway nesaika iktas. "After little time, Indian people come in canoe. Them have much dry salmon in canoe. Them go Fort Langley and trade. Them give us salmon. Us make fire and eat. Me and brother make dry us blanket and all us thing.
"Nesaika mitlite yahwa kwinnum sun. King Chautsh man, klaska chako pe ikt man, yaka mitlite siwash klootzman. "Us stay there five day. English man, them come and one man, him have Indian wife.
"Konaway tillikum sopena kopa canim pe nesaika klatawa. Konaway sun kloshe. Wake snass. Wind halo poh, keschi alta, sinnamokst tillikum mamook isick. Canim klatawa kloshe. "Everyone jump in canoe and us go. Every day good. No rain. Wind not blow, but now, seven people do paddle. Canoe go good.
"Konaway polaklie kunsih nesaika mamook camp, King Chautsh man wawa peshak. Naika tum-tum okoke lakkit man, klaska mesachie, nawitka. "Every night when us make camp, English man talk bad. Me believe that four man evil, indeed.
"Nesaika ko Naxw-kyit kimta klone sun. King Chautsh man, klaska tikegh klatawa stehwa kopa la pee hyak. Naika chope, yaka wawa, 'Ka naika chikamin?' "Us arrive Naxw-kyit after three day. English man, them want go far south on foot, fast. Me grandfather, him talk, 'Where me money?'
"Ikt King Chautsh man, yaka wawa, 'Nesaika halo potlatch maika chikamin. Okoke mokst siwash man, klaska cultus. Klaska pelton pe klaska halo mamook!' King Chautsh man, klaska klatawa. "One English man, him talk, 'Us not give you money. That two Indian man, them useless. Them stupid and them not work!' English man, them go.
"Naika chope nanitch klaska klatawa. Chope, yaka elip chako solleks. Chope, yaka wawa, 'Okoke King Chautsh man, yaka wawa delate, mesaika halo mamook?' "Me grandfather look them go. Grandfather, him talk, 'Okoke English man, him talk true? You not work?'
"Naika pe kahpo wawa nesaika ekahnum kopa chope. Alta, chope chako delate solleks. "Me and brother talk us story to grandfather. Now, grandfather become very angry.
"Kunsih polaklie chako, yaka hokomelth hiyu S'Klallam man pe klatawa kopa canim. Klaska klatawa klawha pe halo wawa. Klaska tikegh klap King Chautsh man camp. Winnapie klaska kumtux kopa eye piah. "When night come, him gather many S'Klallam man and go in canoe. Them go slow and not talk. Them want find English man camp. Soon them see fire.
"Naika chope pe konaway S'Klallam man haul canim saghalie kopa nauits pe klatawa klawha kopa la pee. Klaska halo mamook la tlah. Kunsih klaska wake siah camp, klaska kopet pe nanitch kopa camp youtlkut laly. Kunsih konaway King Chautsh man moosum, klaska coolie pe mamook memaloose konaway King Chautsh man. Klaska iskum konaway klaska iktas. Naika chope iskum tzum pepah klak ikt man kapote. Naika chope iskum klootzman pe yaka chako elite." "Me grandfather and all S'Klallam man pull canoe up on beach and go slow on foot. Them not make sound. When them near camp, them stop and look at camp long time. When all English man sleep, them run and kill all English man. Them take all them things. Me grandfather, him take letter from one man coat. Me grandfather, him take woman and she become slave."
John listened intently to this account, and when Jim finished, he shivered and gave Jim a wry smile.
John: "Spose S'Klallam man mamook kunamokst naika, naika potlatch yaka chikamin hyak!" "If S'Klallam man work with me, me pay him money fast!"
Both men burst into laughter.

To be continued...


(Copyright © 1994 by Duane Pasco)

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