Alex Code, Manager of the PoCo Heritage Museum, has joined our weekly learning sessions and has demonstrated a remarkable facility with Chinook Wawa. (See Alex’s video Sametl here).
He has also learned the script used for the Kamloops Wawa newspaper that was published in the late 1800s and early 1900s and was widely read by native people in the interior and to some extent on the coast.
Alex and friends have published a humorous version called Kaltash Wawa (Kaltash or Cultus means ’not very good’).
Chinook Dictionary by Shaw https://archive.org/details/chinookjargonhow00shawuoft
This is an excellent piece developed by the Grande Ronde Tribes of Oregon on words and etymologies https://lingpapers.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2018/02/2010_Zenk_Johnson_Hamilton.pdf
BC Chinook Wawa is inspired by the example of the Kamloops Wawa newspaper that was published in the later part of the 1800s and the early 1900s. Using a type of French shorthand, the newspapers, letters and advertisements from those days constitute the largest body of Chinook Wawa writing.
The internationally recognized expert on Kamloops Wawa is linguist David Robertson. Visit his site at https://chinookjargon.com/
Robertson has studied this documentation for years and is a tremendous resource for many other aboriginal languages as well.
You can see an example of the Kamloops Wawa writing here:
This is the front page of the Kamloops Wawa newspaper from January 8, 1893, written in the script above. See if you can translate some of it!
Also see Kaltash Wawa a 21st century spoof of Kamloops Wawa. (Kaltash or Cultus means “Not Very Good”)