Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Almost Every Place, Every Rock, Had a Name."

This is a quote from Marie Saclamana, an elder in my community. I would like to use that for the title of the article I'm working on about the density of King Island placenames. I went through and counted the names on Monday night, but realized that I'd ended up counting some names twice. So, last night, I double-checked the list. Drum roll, please!

There are 158 names for 164 places. In general, there are some instances where there are two places for one name. There's one instance in which there were three names (I think, but I need to call and double-check) for one place. But taking that all into account, there are 158 names for an island that's 3.5 square miles. That's a relatively dense place for names.

And, of the 164 places, 83 are rocks and another 17 are cliffs. Granted, King Island is a basalt rock that juts up out of the ocean and so there's just a lot of rocks on the landscape. But I think the fact that half of the named places are rocks is significant.

Marie was right, wasn't she?, when she said that almost "every rock" had a name! Thanks, Aakauraq!

No comments: