T at waduxq anecdote about C^idukw

David Robertson drobert at TINCAN.TINCAN.ORG
Fri Mar 5 23:23:56 UTC 1999

'Now those people from far off who had come to feast, those C^idu*kw
(Chinook) people from the mouth of the Columbia River, they saw that new
woman, how good-looking she was, and they said, "We don't want to kill
anybody, but we'll get that woman!"  Well, they went out in the woods,
stole out of the village, and grabbed her.  They were going to kill her
husband, but he ran away.  The Chinook people quarreled who should have
her, but their chief gave her to one of them.  "Here, she's your wife."
So they took her [c. 1790-1800].'

This is from "Twana Narratives:  Native Historical Accounts of a Coast
Salish Culture,"  by William W. Elmendorf (Seattle:  University of
Washington Press, 1993), page 256.

Please note that the Twana lived around the area now known as the
Skokomish  Reservation, i.e. the vicinity of the Skokomish River and Hood
Canal (the western branch of Puget Sound).

I assume that these C^idukw people traveled by canoe to T at waduxq land.  I
further assume that this would make it likely the Chinooks had contact
with the Juan de Fuca peoples (Nuu-chah-nulth, for example).  So this
looks like an argument for possible pre-European origin of Chinook /
Nootka Jargon.

However, it's been pointed out to me that the Shoalwater
or Willapa Bay Chinooks lived relatively close *by land* to the Twana.
Overland contact cannot be ruled out, though I don't yet know for
certain of any such between these two groups.  Non-maritime travel from
the Columbia River, or travel by canoe from there to the territory of the
more northerly Chinooks (followed by overland travel), would eliminate my
hypothesized contact with Nootkans.

Just a thought.  Lush san!


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