Earth Science

What’s in a Name, Nodding Onion?

There are at least a couple different conceptions of the role of women in landscape in these parts. In English, a language that observes this place, she is the “onion” that lowers her head, and raises and lowers it in the wind. She is all about prettiness and contemplation and bashful flirting.

In nsyilxcen, a language of humans in this place, she is xlíwa?, the one that shakes free and falls out. She is all about seed and how to gather it. In both conceptions, there is grace and mystery. Isn’t it time to teach native languages in school? It would break down the divisions between our subjects, admirably.

3 replies »

  1. Hi Harold –

    It’s been about a million years since we met at the BC Book Prizes – but it’s been fun to pick up and follow your blog starting when you posted the story about Paul Terbasket’s apricot tree. I so appreciate and identify with your connection to the landscape.

    Can’t recall if we’ve talked about this, but me and David met the Terbasket family when we did a commissioned book project back in the early 2000s when Betty was still alive. We’ve been blessed to be friends of the family ever since.

    I’m currently working with Kelly on a workshop where she is telling the story of the apricot tree. She tells me that you shared your research with her several years back – but she’s having a hard time finding it. It would be marvellous if you’ve got it handy and can share with us again.

    Thanks! and warmest wishes to you. -s _________________________ Sandra Shields • Writer/ Editor T 604.826.6226 • C 604.302.9982 email• • note middle “L”



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