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Helk’eminem Calendar [Halkomelem]

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Reference #: 1573

Status: Sold

List Price: $30.00

“Before the arrival of non-Indians to the Southeastern Vancouver Island (around 1790), the Cowichan and Saanich Indian People had names that approximated the days, months and seasons of the year.”

Victoria Indian Cultural Education Centre, Victoria, n.d. (but 1977); unpaginated, printed on rectos only. Oblong quarto, staple-bound in green card covers. Near Fine.

With a design by Al Anderson and Vancouver Island poet and historian, the late Charles Lillard, this is an uncommon and important effort to publish material in a native tongue. The full year covered by the calendar is 1978, in what we suspect was a very small print run. After the pages depicting each month, there follows a listing of their names in English, Saanich and Cowichan. The latter are given in the native tongue together with a literal translation and source-word. These are “approximate” in that the Native calendar was lunar. One then finds single-page charts of the ‘Times of the Day’, ‘Astronomical Terms’, and ‘Days of the Week’.

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