unbound folded pages
St. Olaf College
Rammaytush is made of wax rubbings from a series of bronze plaques set into the sidewalk of King Street between 3rd Street and 4th Street in downtown San Francisco. The main plaque features an ignorant interpretive text, that has been edited within the book, followed by about 100 other small plaques with English transcriptions and translations of words from Ramaytush, the language of the Ramaytush tribe of the Ohlone people, some of the first known human inhabitants of what is now called San Francisco.
“While the original plaques are randomly ordered, I have constructed poetry concrete and formed poetry from these words as part of a meditation on, and in respect to, the Ramaytush Ohlone tribe, whose people inhabit the Bay area and other parts of Turtle Island.
I thank the Ramaytush Ohlone people for the use of their language, and though mistakes were made in the texts of these plaques, I thank the linguist Richard Levy for his work on the Ramaytush Ohlone language and I thank the San Francisco Art Commission for the Waterfront Transportation Projects for putting the plaques in the sidewalk. And to the people who have been stealing the plaques, well… fuck you, you should be ashamed of yourselves.”
Learn more about the Ramaytush Ohlone peoples here.