Language of Trade

Halq'emeylem words about trade and exchange are extensive and indicative of the complexity of pre-contact economic activities. There are different words for reciprocal gift exchange, potlatch exchange, labour exchange, market exchange, gambling exchange, raiding and warfare acquisition, and even compensation for medical and spiritual services. There are also words to describe the social distance between persons, ranging from closest friends, family, and acquaintances, to unrelated individuals, and how they relate to each other in terms of trade.

In the past, a trade language known as Chinook Jargon was used all along the West Coast. Chinook Jargon resulted from a wide variety of indigenous words, and was utilized as a contact language among the many isolated indigenous groups of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Following the arrival of European newcomers, Chinook Jargon began to contain English, French, and other words brought to the region by immigrants.

English | Français
© SFU MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY AND ETHNOLOGY, 2008/2009. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED | Site Credits | Feedback Form | Downloads | Sitemap