Tarasco Language – Find of the Week

Today’s “Find of the Week” features a short list of words in the Tarasco Language. The Tarasco language (also known as Tarascan or Purépecha) is an American Indian language with origins in Mexico. This list was found at the front of the field book and contains three words. Each with a phonetic pronunciation and the meaning of the word. Although we looked through the whole of the field book, we were unable to find any further mention of the Tarasco language or why the surveyor made notes of these words. The field book is dated from late 1916 to early 1920 and includes survey notes from around the area of Corpus Christi, Texas. The list reads:

In the Tarasco Language: 
Píupíu – pée-oo-pée-oo = Gallito 
Chupiéri – chew-pee-á-ree = Fire + light, etc. 
Itzn – Eetzn   zn almost one sound = Water 

It is interesting to note that the first word listed isn’t actually translated into English, but is translated into the Spanish word for “cocky”, most likely referring to a rooster.