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Pitabek Cree and Dene font

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Pitabek is based on the original French Catholic missionary font first used in the Fort Albany Cree « Catéchisme, recueil de prières et de cantiques… » in 1854. This first book was published by the « Imprimerie de Louis Perrault », and was typeset by Joseph Guibord (a rather interesting person in Canadian history). By around 1900, this typeface was supplanted by a similar font. The font’s name, « Pitabek » comes from the Cree word for Fort Albany.

This font belongs to the kā-ayisawēyaki style. This style is most notable for its tall n- and l-series, mid-line finals, a round period, and large character widths. The original typeface never contained long vowel dots or western Cree ‘r’ and ‘l’ syllabics. The font designer, Christopher Harvey, added these characters to meet the needs of the modern languages.

Generally speaking, the missionary books of the 1800’s and early 1900’s used a “modern” (didone) Latin font for French or English words to go along with the syllabics. Not an obvious pairing, but the two together certainly give an atmosphere to a document.

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Homepage Format & features License Review reference Koji page pkgdb page
Languagegeek TTF with OpenType tables GPLv3 with font exception
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Style Faces Scripts
Sans Serif Other R B I BI Other Latin Greek Cyrillic Other
Variable Monospace Variable Monospace
Plains Cree, Swampy Cree, Oji-Cree, Western Ojibway, Chipewyan, Dogrib, Slavey, Beaver


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