First Peoples

The Face of a Mountain

The face of a cliff, that’s what gets said.

It’s accurate enough, except that the understanding of it has suffered a knock to the side of the head, because what’s understood is “a face, like a human face, on a cliff.” Welcome to Canadian English! It’s full of correspondences that aren’t quite.

Puddin’head Mountain, Keremeos

What is meant (outside of Canadian English) is that cliffs have faces, and humans have faces, and they’re not the same. One doesn’t follow another. Only one has human attributes. The other is made out of memory. It is a door you can pass through.

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