Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Slumach's gallows curse: fill in the blanks

In August 2000 Mike Cleven posted a message on the Chinook page. I have tried to send an e-mail to Mike asking for his approval to post part of his text, but my messages were returned. So, I’ll just assume that he would agree until he tells me that he doesn't.

Some of you may know the legend of Slumach and his legendary gold mine, and the curse he supposedly uttered just before his death. [...]

"The curse put on the mine by Slumach has been reported as "Nika memloose, mine memloose." The interpretations of this curse vary, but all centre around the idea that "when I die, mine dies" or "when I die, so does my mine." Some have tried to enlarge the translation by adding words to the effect of "and all who search for my mine will die, also." There is no reliable proof whatsoever that Slumach uttered this
or any other curse at any time. The most reliable reports say that he went to his death without saying a word." [...]

I thought I'd throw it out to the group to finish off the curse with the supposed tag line; the mine-hunting theorists who've expanded on the account of the curse most likely spoke no Chinook, but I think we can all see that "nika memloose, mine memloose" doesn't include a hint of "and all who...etc."; mind you he could have been misquoted and "nika memloose, mika memloose" is a bit closer to the mark, maybe "nika memloose, mika (or yaka) memloose ticky mine" or some such.

But for the hell of it, why doncha'all try and come up with yer own phraseologies for what might have followed "nika memloose, mine memloose........."

[Unfortunately “the group” did not take up the challenge]

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