Category Archives: History

Words for smallpox

Given that we are dealing currently with a pandemic it does bring to mind previous ones. Smallpox was one of many viruses introduced from Eurasia to the Americas during colonization. It was one of the more devastating. While numerous introduced … Continue reading

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Translating for film; or, You’ll Never Work In This Town Again

Jed Smith Documentary: I picked up a book of essays about translating Native American speech and stories, “Born in the Blood” edited by Brian Swann. One of the essays is “In the Words of Powhatan: Translation across Space and … Continue reading

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Sea Serpents

Sea Serpents appear in stories around the world – and not only in the ocean but in large lakes as well, perhaps most famously of contemporary ‘lake monster’ stories is “Nessie” of Loch Ness. All along the Pacific Northwest coast, … Continue reading

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Whatever happened to Minnehaha

Unlike the previous stories, this one is not about a mythological being (or, since many believe in the existence of bigfoot I might say, presumed mythological), but about a real person. I first wrote about Minnehaha’s mysterious disappearance in 2013. It’s time … Continue reading

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Wild Beings of the Wood

This was first published 2/4/13. The eshon (rhymes with the English word ‘ashen’) was a dangerous entity that lurked in lonely places in the hills.  They are distinct from the Giant People/Forest people written about yesterday, as they are not regarded as malevolent. … Continue reading

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Shuutlits (Forest Fires) and the Willanch Monster

This was first posted October 13 2015. I’ve edited a little from the original. For millennia, coastal Oregon Indian people often set fires to manage the landscape to encourage the growth of desired plants– annually in camas and tarweed (Madia) fields, and … Continue reading

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Jim Buchanan’s testimony at Chemawa

This is the full document I mentioned yesterday. It’s a transcript of Jim Buchanan testifying before some Congressional reps visiting Chemawa in 1932. Frank Drew acted as interpreter. In 1990 Dr. Beckham added some editorial notes in square brackets (this … Continue reading

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