Chapter 10: Spirit Names and Religious Vocabulary

by Dr. Frank Waabu O'Brien, Aquidneck Indian Council

This short treatise stems from the research of the Massachusett-Narragansett Revival Program, a project for the reconstruction of the extinct American Indian languages of southeastern New England. Our intention is to make these works available to a wide audience. In this paper, we document Algonquian historical and reconstructed names for “spirits” of lower New England Indians. The 17th & 18th century “New-England” Colonial missionary records indicate a maximum of about 38 such extant names:

I brought home lately from the Nanhiggonsicks the names of 38 of their Gods … all that they could remember. (Roger Williams, quoted in Bragdon, 1996, p. 186).

Only about a dozen “spirit names” were recorded for posterity by Mr. Williams in his famous 17th volume. We introduce over 100 spirit names in this paper. My reconstructive creation-rules are based on exemplary syntactical structures in Chapter XXI, pp. 122 ff. of Roger Williams’ A Key into the Language of America [1643], and known rules of grammar. A Key has been deemed a very reliable source for one or more dialects of the Narragansett language, spoken in Rhode Island and understood throughout New England (G. Aubin, 1972) . Obviously, there is no linguistic or epistemological model for discrepancy-validation since no living speakers of the language exist.

In the author’s opinion, the true upper limit of spirit names is unbounded [based on oral tradition, tangential missionary reports, and doxological considerations]. I have worked from this axiom. No Westernized “semantic model” is here postulated, but a 4-domain multidimensional structure (Nature, Animals, People and Activities) embracing the Natural, Preternatural and Supernatural realms, is possibly useful in the presentation of the finite ordering. At this stage, the presentation is alphabetical by English.

Ceremonial practitioners could add additional names by consulting any number of works; e.g., the authors’ book, Introduction to the Narragansett Language, and the papers listed above, and Prof. Aubin’s Ph.D. phonology dissertation, might be helpful.

New England Algonquian Religious Vocabulary

Algonquian

English

Comment

Kautántowit (Narr.)

Keihtánit (Wampanoag)

Keihtán

Great Spirit

Kautántowwit the great South-West, to whose House all souls goe, and from whom came the Corne, Beanes, as they say. (Roger Williams, 1643)

  Keihtánit wunniyeu= "The Great Spirit smiles"

  Keihtán anawat = "The Great Spirit Commands

  Keihtán auntau = "The Great Spirit speaks"

Manit∞

Spirit

Spirit in general

  wunniyeu manit = "The Spirit is happy"

  Mannitoo oo= "God exists" ( "The first two syllabils stand for God, the Latter asserts his existence," Mayhew, 1722)

Manitt∞g

Manittôwock (Narr.)

Spirits (plural)

wutche cummanittówock manaûog ("your many Gods," Roger Williams, 1643)

Keesuckquànd

Sun Spirit

 

Kēsukanit

God of Day

 

Nanepaûshat

Moon Spirit

 

Chekesuwànd

West Spirit

 

Wompanànd

East Spirit

 

Wunnanamèanit

North Spirit

 

Sowwanànd

South Spirit

 

Wetuómanit

House (wetu) Spirit

 

Squàuanit

Womans Spirit

 

Muckquachuckquand

Childrens Spirit

 

Paumpágussit

Sea Spirit

pum, pummoh = "the sea (ocean)"

Tisquantum (squantum)

Good Spirit (?)

Musquantum manit= God is angry."

  See Wunnand

Abbomocho (Hobbomock, Chepi)

The Healing Spirit

The Spirit of Death, night, northeast wind, the dark and the underworld. To the English Hobbomock meant the Devil, Evil Spirit

Yotáanit

Fire Spirit

When I argued with them about their Fire-God [Yotáanit]: can it, say they, be but this fire must be a God, or Divine power, that out of a stone will arise in a Sparke, and when a poore naked Indian is ready to starve with cold in the House, and especially in the Woods, often saves his life, doth dresse all our Food for us, and if he be angry will burne the House about us, yea if a spark fall into the drie wood, burnes up the Country ? (though this burning of the Wood to them they count a Benefit, both for destroying of vermin, and keeping down the Weeds and thickets). (Roger Williams, 1643)

 

Nashauanit

The Spirit of the Creator

 

Woonand

Wunnand

Woonanit

The Spirit of Goodness

wunni, woon = "good"

Mattand

Mattanit

 

The Spirit of Evil

matta = "evil, bad"

  • Evil spirit = Matche Manit∞,

Matche Mundoo

Nisquanem

The Spirit of Mercy

 

Wunnashauonk

His Spirit, her Spirit

 

Nammanittoom

Nummanittoom

My Spirit

 

Manittóo[9]

It is a spirit

 
Manìt [10]

Spirit, “God”

 

Manittówock

Spirits, “Gods”

 

Nummusquanamúckqun[11] manit?

The Great Spirit is angry with me?  

Musquàntum manit

The Great Spirit is angry

 

Powwaw[12]

Priest   

 

Taupowaüog

Wise men and old men[13]

 

Cowwéwonck[14]

Soul

 

Míchachunck[15]

Soul

 

Kautántowwit[16]

Great Spirit, place of Great Spirit, from who comes their foods of corn and beans and squash (3-sister crops)

 

As pummssin[3]

He is not yet departed

 

Neene

He is drawing on (now he is about to cross over)

 

Paúsawut kitonckquêwa

He cannot live long

 

Chachéwunnea

He is near death

 

Nipwìmâw

He has crossed over

 

Kitonckquêi

He is dead[4]

 

Katitonckquêban[5]

They are dead and gone

 

Sequttôi[6]

He, she is in Black (wears black face-soot for mourning)

 

Séqut

Black face-soot for mourning

 

Michemeshâwi

He, she is gone forever

 

Mat wònck kunnawmòne

You shall never see him, her again

 

Mishaúntowash !

You—speak out !

 

Nanántowash !

You—speak plainly !

 

Tuppaûntash !

You—consider my words !

 

Yeush nokkóneyeuukish[28]

These are ancient things

 

Wunnétu ntá

My heart speaks the truth

 

Paúsuck naûnt manìt[19]

There is only one God[20]

 

Cummusquanamûckqun[21] manìt

God is angry with you (singular)

 

Cuppauquanúckqun[22]

He will destroy you (singular)

 

Wuchè cummanittówock manâuog[23]

Because of your many gods

 

Wáme pìtch chíckauta mittaùke

The whole world before long shall be burnt

 

Manìt ánawat

God commands

 

Cuppittakúnnamun wèpe[24] wáme

That all men now repent[25]

 

Keihtan[1] Ánawat

These entries are reconstructed based on the Narragansett language given in Roger Williams’ A Key into the Language of America [1643], a very reliable source for one or more dialects of the Narragansett language. About a dozen spirit names were recorded there; the balance is based on first-order reconstructive hypotheses. A handful of terms are derived from Abenaki, Pequot-Mohegan, Ojibway and Natick-Massachusett.

Algonquian

English

Mattand auntau[29]

Bad Spirit Speaks

Mosquand auntau

Bear Spirit Speaks

Tummòquand[30] auntau

Beaver Spirit Speaks

Nóosuppusand auntau

Beaver[31] Spirit Speaks

Psúkand auntau

Bird Spirit Speaks

Moowatoqussand auntau

Black Cloud Spirit Speaks

Suckaweatchimánit auntau

Black Corn Spirit Speaks

Moashímand[32] auntau

Black fox Spirit speaks

Móaskuquand[33] auntau

Black snake Spirit Speaks

Moattôqussand auntau

Black wolf[34] Spirit Speaks

Mishquèsand auntau[35]

Blood Spirit Speaks

Peshaueweatchimánit auntau

Blue Corn Spirit Speaks

Mohockquand[36] auntau

Body Spirit Speaks

Múckquáchucksanit auntau

Boy Spirit Speaks

Neematánit auntau

Brother Spirit Speaks

Mishquáwtuckquand [37] Auntau

Cedar[38] Tree Spirit Speaks

Chícksand[39] auntau

Chick Spirit Speaks

Muckquachuckquànd auntau

Children’s Spirit Speaks

Anéqussand[40] auntau

Chipmunk Spirit speaks

Mattâqussand auntau

Cloud Spirit Speaks

Waûtuckquessand[41] auntau

Conie Spirit speaks

Eweatchimánit auntau

Corn Spirit Speaks

Côwsnuckanit auntau

Cows[42] Spirit Speaks

Kaukontand auntau

Crow[43] Spirit Speaks

Pumukauquand[44] auntau

Dance Spirit Sings

Hobomock[45] auntau

Death Spirit Speaks

Abbomocho auntau

Death Spirit Speaks

Kuttíomppand[46] auntau

Deer[47] Spirit Speaks

Paucottâuwawand[48] auntau

Deer[49] Spirit Speaks

Nóonatchand[50] auntau

Deer (venison ) Spirit speaks

Ahtuquánd auntau

Deer[51] Spirit Speaks

Wawwúnnessand[52] auntau

Deer[53] Spirit Speaks

Aunànand auntau/quunêkesand auntau

Deer[54] Spirit Speaks

Qunnequáwessand auntau

Deer[55] Spirit Speaks

Anúmand auntau

Dog Spirit Speaks

Wompissácukanit auntau

Eagle Spirit Speaks

Aukeànd auntau

Earth Spirit Speaks

Quequananit[56] auntau

Earthquake Spirit Speaks

Wompanànd[57] auntau

East Spirit Speaks

Matche Manit∞ auntau

Evil Spirit Speaks

Moósquinand[58] auntau

Fawn Spirit Speaks

Squáshimmanit[59] auntau

Female animal[60] Spirit Speaks

Cowawànd auntau

Fir[61] Tree Spirit Speaks

Yotáanit[62] auntau

Fire Spirit Speaks

Occappand[63] auntau

Firewater[64] Spirit Speaks

Namausand auntau

Fish[65] Spirit Speaks

Meechanit auntau

Food Spirit Speaks

Touohkpmukanit auntau[66]

Forest   Spirit Speaks

Nunksquanit auntau

Girl Spirit Speaks

Wunnand   auntau

Good Spirit Speaks[67]

Nummissoomisanit auntau

Grandfather Spirit Speaks

Nokummusanit auntau

Grandmother Spirit Speaks

Péquawussand[68], [69] auntau

Gray fox Spirit speaks

Mogkamánit auntau

Great Fish Spirit Speaks

Mishánnekewanit[70], [71] auntau

Great squirrel Spirit speaks

Wushowunaneanit auntau

Hawk Spirit Speaks

Metáhnand auntau

Heart Spirit  Speaks

Naynayoûmewotanit auntau

Horse[72] Spirit Speaks

Nuttaunésand auntau

Little Daughter Spirit Speaks

Squásesanit auntau

Little Girl Spirit Speaks

Enewáshimmanit[73] auntau

Male animal[74] Spirit Speaks

Skeetompanit auntau

Man’s Spirit Speaks

Nĭnâtĭkanit[75] auntau

Maple Tree Spirit Speaks

Powawanit auntau

Medicine Man’s   Spirit Speaks

Monéquand auntau

Money Spirit   Speaks

Nanepaûshat auntau

Moon Spirit   Speaks

Munnánnockquánd auntau

Moon[76] Spirit Speaks

Moòsanit[77] auntau

Moose[78] Spirit Speaks

Wunnanamèanit auntau

North Spirit Speaks

Nkèkewand[79] auntau

Otter Spirit speaks

Ohomousanit auntau

Owl Spirit Speaks

Ohomousanit auntau

Owl Spirit Speaks

Papoòsanit auntau

Papoose Spirit Speaks

Wunnóhquand auntau

Peace Spirit   Speaks

Wuskówhànanit auntau

Pigeon Spirit Speaks

Cowawànd auntau

Pine[80] Tree Spirit Speaks

Aûsuppand[81] auntau

Raccoon   Spirit speaks

Sokennánd auntau

Rain Spirit Speaks

Seséquand auntau

Rattlesnake Spirit Speaks

Musquatoqussand auntau

Red Cloud Spirit Speaks

Musqueweatchimánit auntau

Red Corn Spirit Speaks

Mishquáshimand[82], [83] auntau

Red fox Spirit Speaks

Séipanit[84] auntau

River Spirit Speaks

Sachimanit auntau[85]

Sachem’s Spirit Speaks

Mísquamand auntau

Salmon Spirit Speaks

Paumpûgussit[86] auntau

Sea Spirit   Speaks

Kítthananit[87] auntau

Sea Spirit Speaks

Mattaquaband[88] auntau

Shark Spirit Speaks

Neetompasanit auntau

Sister[89] Spirit Speaks

 Púckand auntau

Smoke Spirit Speaks

Askúquand auntau

Snake Spirit Speaks

Sasasand[90] auntau

Snipe Spirit Speaks

Koonánd[91] auntau

Snow Spirit Speaks

Sowwanànd auntau

South Spirit Speaks

Nninnuàckquand auntau

Spirit of Indian People[92] Speaks

Nisquanemanit auntau

Spirit of Mercy Speaks

Nuttaúquand auntau

Spirit of my People Speaks

Nashauanit auntau

Spirit of the Creator Speaks

Annóckqussand auntau

Star Spirit Speaks

Hussúnnad auntau

Stone Spirit Speaks

Kaúposhanit[93]auntau

Sturgeon Spirit Speaks

Keesuckquànd[94] auntau

Sun Spirit   Speaks

Nimbauwand auntau

Thunder Spirit Speaks

 Wuttámmasannd auntau

Tobacco Spirit Speaks

Mehtuquánd auntau

Tree[95] Spirit Speaks

Tunnúppaquand auntau

Turtle Spirit Speaks

Matwaûquand auntau

War Spirit   Speaks

Nippe-anit auntau

Water[96] Spirit Speaks

Checkesuwànd auntau

West Spirit Speaks

Wetuómanit auntau

Wetu (House) Spirit Speaks

 Pôtopanit auntau

Whale Spirit Speaks

Wompatokqussand auntau

White Cloud Spirit Speaks

Pussoûghanit[97] auntau

Wildcat   Spirit speaks

Wabanànd auntau

Wind Spirit Speaks

Papònand auntau

Winter Spirit Speaks

Muckquand[98] auntau

Wolf Spirit Speaks

Squáuanit auntau

Woman’s Spirit Speaks

Ockgutchaunanit[99] auntau

Woodchuck[100] Spirit Speaks

Wesaueweatchimánit auntau

Yellow Corn Spirit Speaks



[1] As a Christian-Indian, I take Algonquian “Keihtan” in a dual-sense, without further qualification. Since God «» Keihtan created all, created was the subset of “Indian Spirits.” No metaphysical contradiction is evident in singing the praises of God «» Keihtan.   I take ánawat > auntau in meaning. Therefore, the existence of our Indian Spirits speaking is merely an instance of the proverbial Old Wine in New Bottles. I apologize for any inconvenience to the reader.

[3] Literally, He journeys yet, Passive Voice.

[4] Physical death.

[5] Passive Voice.

[6] A condition maintained for weeks, month, up to a year (if a great person, like Sachim).

[9] The Indian word is mannitoo-oo; the first two syllables mean “spirit”; the latter   asserts the true existence of its being (“it is !”); from—Experience Mayhew (1722), “Observations on the Indian Language” (p. 15). Roger Williams was told about 38 names for spirits. He records only about 12 in A Key (1643). 

[10] Some say pronounced either “mah-nuh-doo” or “muhn-doo”.

[11] Perhaps of form “He, she-us”; see Hagenau M.A. Thesis, 1962.

[12] Powwáw ~ A Priest   [“Medicine Man” , Spiritual Leader]; Powwaûog ~ Priests

        These doe begin and order their service, and Invocation of their Gods, and all the people follow, and joyne interchanageably in a laborious service, unto sweating, especially of the Priest, who spends himselfe in strange Antick Gestures, and Actions even unto fainting.

        In sickness the Priest comes close to the sick person, and performes many strange Actions about him, and threaten and conjures out the sickness. They conceive that there are many Gods or divine Powers within the body of a man: In his pulse, his heart, his Lungs, &c. (Roger Williams, 1643)

[13] “Taupowaüog.…they make solemne speeches and orations, or Lectures to them, concerning Religion, Peace, or Warre and all things” (Roger Williams, 1643, p. 128).

[14] Literally, “Sleeping, a sleeping”.

[15] Roger Williams translates this as literally “looking glass”; some dispute translation. Apparently there was a belief in two types of “souls” (Simmons, 1978). Cowwéwonck (“sleeping”) is the “dream soul” which traveled at night in dreams, and appeared as a light while one slept.  During illness, the dream soul left the body. Michachuck is the “clear soul” thought to reside in the heart, the “life force” of every person. The dream soul is believed to have returned to Kautántowwit’s house in the southwest after death to live a life very much as on earth. Evil persons were forced to roam forever for their punishment. Dreams and visions (with fasting) were undertaken to appeal to Manitou through the dream soul for a more successful life, protection, strength and balance or “centering”. See p. 135 for Williams' reference to "their souls".

[16] Or Keihtanit. The “Great Spirit” is Kautan, Kiehtan ("chief, greatest"). The southwest is the origin and final resting place of Indians in old traditions.

[17] The Dialogue is the Middle Passage as verbalized by the Missionary voice of Roger Williams—When the Tears Drowned The Sun.   The Era-of- !

[18] From A Key …. (1643, Chapter XXI, pp. 132-139).

[19] Notice how Williams is using the Narragansett word for “spirit” to explain the Christian abstract concept “God”. It must have been very confusing to the Native peoples.  Very few Indians converted to Christianity in this period.

[20] The Christian monotheistic meaning.

[21] This and the next line show the Objective Indicative Mode of the form k’***uckqun which is translated in A Key in the normalized form “He-us”. In fact it might actually be the form “He, she-you”, k’***uck.  Thus, based on “normalized form, ” “God is angry with you” might be Cummusquanamûck manìt. See Hagenau, M. A. Thesis, 1962

[22] See previous footnote re k’***uckqun & k’***uck. 

[23] “Because of your spirits--they are many”.

[24] This word is used as an accusation or demand or warning.

[25] “You repent—must—all” (Indicative mode).   Suggested Imperative mode: Cuppittakúnnike wèpe wáme ! (Type II, Imper; Indian Grammar Dict., 2000).

[27] Principally from—(a) Williams, Roger (1643) and reconstruction by author, (b) and other (c) sources including Western Abenaki (Day, 1995),   Pequot-Mohegan (Prince & Speck, 1904), Cotton (1707), Hagenau (1962), Aubin (1972), Trumbull (1903), Goddard and Bragdon (1988) & Oral Tradition.

[28] Bible, 1 Chr. 4, 22 (Trumbull, 1903, p. 94).

[29] Auntau = “he speaks” (phonetically said, “aundow”, nasalized) is a 3rd-person singular, indicative, animate, intransitive, TYPE U verb, transformed into a normalized TYPE III verb (see Moondancer, Indian Grammar Dictionary …., p. 17 [“speak”], and Grammar Table, following p. 114). Many of the names for spirits end in -and, -anit, and the like. My reconstructive  creation-rules are based on exemplary structures in A Key, Chapter XXI, pp. 122 ff. Obviously, there is no linguistic or epistemological model for discrepancy-validation since no speakers of the language exist.    The suffixes are apparently derived from the word manit, glossed as “above, superior, more than, beyond”.  Oral tradition tells us that many of the spirits communicated with the living through visions & dreams. The souls of men hunted at night the souls of animals in the forest.    Native peoples often invoked or called upon specific spirits—just as Roman Catholics call upon certain saints for protection, etc. One European’s understanding stated that Manitou signified a name given to “all that surpasses their understanding from a cause that they cannot trace” (Trumbull, 1866 edition). Of A Key).

[30] From verb, “He cuts trees”. Said “tuh-mahkw” because plural has qu sound (a general rule).

[31] [male?]

[32] Roger Williams mentions in A Key a black fox (no name recorded) which the natives prized and adored but could rarely catch.    Perhaps one way to say “black fox” is moáshim (literally, “black animal”) modeled on the form for “red fox”; plural mooshìmwock.

[33] Noun is “Black” + “snake”. Plural, moaskùgog. This word shows the process of combining two or more words into one word with the individual words becoming contracted.   Moaskug comes from “he is black” (mowêsu) + “snake” on previous line. The word mowêsu became contracted or shortened to mo. Thus, to construct a word “red snake”, we take animate form for “red” (mishquêsu) + snake, or mishquáskug. The most difficult aspect of analyzing compound words is locating the original contracted words; sometimes but a single letter representing the original root; cf. derivation for “cattle,” p. 102 or p. 144, “You will be hanged,” in Introduction to the Narragansett Language…., 2001.

[34] Fur much valued by Native peoples. Plural of “black wolf” is moattùqussuck.

[35] See Introduction to the Narragansett Language…., 2001 for following entry:

Mishquè or Néepuck

The blood

VII

51

 

[36] “The body” (mo- = “the”; -hock = “body, cover, shell”).

[37] “The red tree”—very sacred tree; its classification is “animate”—only cedar and pine trees and maple trees are “animate”.   Plural is perhaps mishquawtuckquâog.

[38] Red cedar, a very sacred tree.

[39] English word “chick” transferred.

[40] “Little colored squirrel” or “stripped squirrel” or “ground squirrel”.

[41] “He ducks between”?

[42] European import & English word with plural.

[43] A sacred bird, who from Oral Tradition, brought the corn, beans, and squash (“three sister” foods) from the southwest.

[44] In Natick, this word translates as “playing”.   The word for dance is pumukau (“He dances”) and pumukauog  (“They dance”), perhaps from stem pauchau (“he turns, branches”)

[45] Spirit of death, night, northeast wind, the dark, color black, and underworld. Abbomocho in the following line is a spelling variant.

[Hobomock or Abbomocho] they call upon to cure their wounds and diseases. When they are curable, he persuades them he sends the same for some conceived anger against them; but their calling upon him, can and doth help them; but when they are mortal and not curable in nature, then he persuades them Kiehtan is angry, and sends them, whom none can cure; insomauch as in that respect only they somewhat doubt whether be he simply good, and therefore in sickness never call upon him. (from Winslow, quoted in Bragdon, 1996, p. 189, In Wampanoag Cultural History, Chap. III, Religion).

[46] A great buck; "kutt = “great (large)”; -omp = “male”, perhaps said “kuh-tee-yahp” or "kuh-tie-yahp" (?)

[47] Great buck.

[48] “He moves and turns”.

[49] A buck.

[50] “Wet nose” or “Doe with a fawn”?

[51] “At the tree” or “he hunts", Also spelled ahtukq, attuck; ahtuhquog (plural). Pronounced “ah-tuhkw” (a qu sound like in queen is at end of word). This and many words ending in a k have the kw sound when the plural has this kw sound (one reason it is important to know the plural for a word). Possibly “fallow deer” or “white-tailed deer” is referred to by this word. Some meanings of “deer” include any animal of the family of hoofed, cud-chewing animals such as moose, and other animals not thought to be of this region (caribou, reindeer, etc.). A roe is a non-American small, swift deer. A hart is a male deer, esp. red in color after the 5th year life when the crown antlers are formed (also “stag”). A buck is male, and doe is female; fawn is under a year old.

[52] "Small, turning around to look”.

[53] Young (small) buck.

[54] A doe.

[55] Little young doe.

[56] Frequentative and imitative form (“shake-shake”). The repetition or duplication of the first syllable que is a common feature in the Algonquian Indian languages, referred to as frequentative or reduplication. It is a way of describing or emphasizing something that is going on repeatedly or habitually. For example, mameech = “s/he eats a lot” from meech = “s/he eats”

[57] "wah-bah-naND".

[58] “Smooth” & “female”

[59] “Female” + “animal". Plural, Squáshimwock.

[60] 4-legged.

[61] Or “pine”.

[62] It is most interesting to witness the explanation given by Narragansetts to Roger Williams on the metaphysical derivation of “spirits”:

“When I argued with them about their Fire-God [Yotáanit]: can it, say they, be but this fire must be a God, or Divine power, that out of a stone will arise in a Sparke, and when a poore naked Indian is ready to starve with cold in the House, and especially in the Woods, often saves his life, doth dresse all our Food for us, and if he be angry will burne the House about us, yea if a spark fall into the drie wood, burnes up the Country ? (though this burning of the Wood to them they count a Benefit, both for destroying of vermin, and keeping down the Weeds and thickets)”. (A Key, p. 125)

[63] Derived from p. 36, Understanding Algonquian Indian Words (2001). Apparently from word for “fire” (Yòte, Narragansett) , and root for “firm, hard, closed-up, blocked up” (-kup-)

[64] Old fashioned term for any strong alcoholic drink.

[65] See Chapter XIX, Introduction to the Narragansett Language…. for other fish.

[66] Toueu (towew) = "deserted, solitary" (as in touohkpmuk = "forest, ["a solitary place"]) in Natick

[67] Oral tradition speaks of the constant warring between wunnand and mattand, and the rituals and ceremonies to find the balance between these two forces in the natural, preternatural and supernatural realms of being and doing.

[68] Plural is Pequáwussuck. Why not said pequáshim, we do not know, but perhaps it is from another dialect; for example, in Pequot we see mucks for “wolf” (derived from mogkeóaas, meaning “great animal”, where -eoaa- is not spoken in the Pequot dialect). Different tribes sometimes had different names for the same animals; rivers, etc. even though they spoke closely related dialects of the same language.

[69] -awus = “animal”. Wonkus is a Natick word for “fox” (“he doubles, winds” + “animal”). This is the name of the family Uncas of the Mohegans (Speck, 1928). Wonkus was used to describe King Philip and his tactics—attack and double back.

[70] From its use in Pequot (Prince & Speck, 1904), we can perhaps say “red squirrel” as mishquánneke [add -s and you have “little...”].   The “Great Red Squirrel” is perhaps mishe-mishquánneke.

[71] “The large clawer”? Perhaps a kw sound at end.

[72] European import; sound of horse—naynay + “to carry”.

[73] “Male” + “animal”. Plural, Enewáshimwock.

[74] 4-legged.

[75] Ojibway (Baraga,1878, 1992).   Plural is nĭnâtĭkog (animate noun form). Only cedar and

pine/fir trees and maple trees are “animate”.   

[76] The moon or a star in general; root suggest “alone, by self, or island”.

[77] Moose ~ “He trims, smoothes” or “smooth dressed skin”. Apparently a 1-syllable word. The word moosi means “it is smooth, bald, bare”. We get Natick compound words from it like, moosompsk (“smooth stone”); moosontupan (“he is bald on the forehead”).

[78] Also called “Great Ox” or "red deer".  Some were 12-feet high.

[79] “He scratches, tears”.

[80] Or “fir”.

[81] “Hold with hands”; “face washer”?

[82] “mihs-kwah-shim” (we don't say “sh” in words with -sh- before a consonant).

[83] “Red animal”. Plural is mishquáshimwock.

[84] Common word in Algonquian with meaning "extended, stretched out". We say "zeeb".

[85] Does it make sense to create the “The Deceased Sachem’s Spirit Speaks” ~ Chepassôtamanit auntau, given that Oral Tradition forbids speaking of the dead?

[86] From pum, pummoh, “the sea”.

[87] “Great expanse”. Plural kittannash.

[88] Language source unknown; from Frank Waabu O’Brien [Moondancer] “Fish and Aquatic Animals,” Aquidneck Indian Council, 2003 (unpub).

[89] My Sister

[90] Western Abenaki in Day’s dictionary.

[91] Inferred meanings of “snow”: Sóchepo is probably "snow falling," maybe a wet, pelting type. Cône ( or Koon) is believed to be "snow on the ground" and corresponds to neighboring Pequot (Prince & Speck, 1904). In Pequot it's written gûn with û said like u in "rule".  In Pequot dialect, we tend to hear our c or k sound as a hard g as in "go". Muhpoo, I believe, is a light, soft, descending spirit. One may create spirit-speaking names for Sóchepo  & Muhpoo.

[92] People of our tribe; ninnu = s/he is a tribal member.   Other meanings of “Indian” include: Ninnimissinnûwock ~ Indian People not of our tribe; Eniskeetompaûwog ~ Indians in general

[93] Perhaps from “impenetrable back” These large fish were sometimes hunted at night by torchlight.

[94] "The power in the sky".

[95] See Chapter XVI, Introduction to the Narragansett Language …. for other trees.

[96] Other “water” names found in Frank Waabu O’Brien [Moondancer], “Fish and Aquatic Animals,” Aquidneck Indian Council, 2003 (unpub).

[97] Also, "panther, mountain lion," or animals making a hissing sound— "pussough".

[98] Pequot-based.

[99] “He goes under roots”, “he burrows”. Name given by Indians to the pig or swine of the English.

[100] Or “groundhog”.

Go on to Chapter 11: Guide to Historical Spellings and Sounds
Go back to the Algonquian Language Revival Table of Contents



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