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A Weasel By Another Name

Unfortunately every culture has to endure the antics of the Weasel – even the southern Oregon Indian tribe, the Klamaths. According to the Dictionary of Klamath Language, the Klamath name for Weasel, or more specifically the Weasle, is Tchashkai. The Tchashkai’s curious pranks and tricks are often alluded to by Native Americans, and in fact the Klamaths even named a minor deity after the Tchashkai, and there is a section on the Southside of Crater Lake named in honor of the Weasel God. Of course this small amount of nearly useless information probably leads to a couple big questions. First and foremost, why am I reading the Dictionary of Klamath Language? Well, it came recommended on Amazon when I bought Funny Sioux Sayings. Also, I am considering developing a Klamath version of the book, Warriors, Workers, Whiners, and Tshashkais. It would be the only new Klamath language book introduced in a hundred years, and I have a feeling the language is due for a renaissance. Anything to sell a few more books.

One might also wonder why a culture would name anything after a Weasel. I’m certainly not familiar enough with Klamath Indian culture to comment specifically on the Tshashkai, but in our world there is a Nixon library, and the Nobel Peace Prize is named after the man that invented dynamite.

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