Who is Tamástslikt’s audience? Most often, it is both the general public and the tribal heirs. Sometimes it turns out to be one or the other, but Tamástslikt wants to address both. For example, have you come across the yellow Tamástslikt map at Mission Market or other outlets? There is now a brand-new 2011 version of the Homeland Heritage Corridor Map hot off the press, thanks to the USDA Rural Development and the CTUIR GIS-GPS planning department and others.

Perhaps you picked up one of the older yellower maps and saw that it included Nichtyowway as the Mission place name; titled LaGrande as QapQapa; Walla Walla as Pashxa; Pasco as Pashxú; Koatsutspa near Sacajawea state park, and Whitman Mission as Weyíiletpuu. It listed Imatalam across from the ancient Umatilla village site. N’chi Wana was the Columbia River, and Pikúunen was the Snake River.

Those tribal place names are not on the new map. Because the scope of the map grew larger to encompass Farewell Bend and Lewiston, it would have become overly crowded with tribal place names piled on top of English names. The new map names Tiléelpe, small cliffs place, as Pendleton; Wilalikaas or jack rabbit place in the Pilot Rock area; and Wiwéeletitpe for Cove, although Cove is not listed. Tukwéenenme is the Tucannon River, and Háawpala is the southern Snake River. The Walla Walla River is barely visible except that bit near Milton called Nushnupa, like a nose. Wallula is not shown.

While the new map lists some tribal place names, they are mostly traditional campsites and other features that are rather out of the way. So hang on to that old yellow map if you want a free reference to local tribal place names. It might become a collector’s item. It reminds us of the clutch of fresh-faced young interns who created it: Feather Sams-Huesties, Jennifer Karson Engum, and Tama Tochihara Moses.

In addition to the travels of Lewis & Clark down and up the rivers, the new map has added new features, the Oregon Trail, the Whitman cut-off, Frenchtown, and the state park Iwetemláykin at Wallowa Lake. It is primarily a map for guiding travelers to heritage attractions, so there it is.

And what of our tribal audience? Watch for the publication of the Tamástslikt tribal place names atlas, Chaw Pawá Láakni (they are not forgotten) by Oregon Historical Society and UW Press that will map all the tribal place names one could desire, come the summer of 2012.

Also soon to be released is a new audio “driving tour” CD, companion to the heritage corridor map. You will hear many tribal voices on it, describing traditional grounds and telling stories about our country from Farewell Bend and northwestward.

How does one pronounce the place names on the new map? Linguists had a fine old time adapting the totally unsuitable English alphabet to fit native language sounds. The written –ee- makes the ‘a’ sound as in ‘cat.’ Linguistically ‘cat’ would be spelled ‘keet’ in the Americanist International Phonetics System. Only ‘k’ makes the ‘k’ sound, not like English where ‘c’ can also say ‘k’. In IPA, ‘c’ only makes the sound ‘ts’ a prevalent Sahaptin sound. ‘Cats’ would be spelled ‘keec’. Tamástslikt would be Tamásclikt. The written –ii- makes the phonetic ‘ee’ sound as in ‘whee’ we’re having some fun now. ‘Whee’ would be spelled hwii. If you want to spell ‘why’ in IP, it would be ‘hway’. ‘-Ay’ makes the long-I sound as in ‘my’. ‘I’ only makes the short ‘i’ sound as in ‘give.’ ‘X’ can be a soft x or a very spittled ‘x’– ‘gh’ sound as in clearing one’s throat. A place name may end in –pa or –pe meaning ‘place of’, and they both make the same sound, -pa. Enough now. Míshitakway, forevermore.

THE INTERNS, photo courtesy CUJ/DDick

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  1. Jennifer Karson Engum says:

    Thanks immensely for the “fresh-faced young” attribute!! This is a great read and now I finally know when the Atlas is RE-scheduled to arrive 😉

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