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The "Algonquian" languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic or Yematasi language family (others are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California; Ealleut or Epacawani of British Columbia, Yukon, and Alaska; and Athapaskan or Teacha'Chi throughout central North America from Great Bear Lake in the Arctic southwards through central Mexico on the south). Stretching from the east coast of North America all the way to California, the "Algonquian" language family includes Arapaho, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Cree, Fox, Illinois, Lenni Lenape, Maliseet, Massachusett, Menominee, Mi'kmaq, Mohican, Munsee, Nanticoke, Narraganset, Ojibwe, Passamaquoddy, Potawatomi, Powhatan, Shawnee, Sauk and others.

The "Algonquian" language family is renowned for its complex morphology and sophisticated verb system. Statements that take many words to say in English can be expressed with a single "word". Ex: (Menominee) enae:ni:hae:w "He is heard by higher powers" or (Plains Cree) k-a:sta:hikoyahk "it frightens us." Languages in this family typically mark at least two distinct third persons, so that speakers can keep track of central characters in narrative. These languages have been famously studied in the structuralist tradition by Leonard Bloomfield and Edward Sapir among others. Many of these languages are extremely endangered today, while others have died completely.

The Algonquian spiritual practices were derived from the Yematasi Medicine Culture. "The Sharing Circle" or "Medicine Wheel" has been taken from Medicine Givers known generally as Wanagi Cha (Spirit Speakers) and has been passed from generation to generation along familial lines. Forgetting most of the lore and leaving behind what the teller did not like. Consequently the "religious" aspects of the Algonquian people as well as most of the Native American nations within North America have been lost to all but a few Wanagi Cha. There are perhaps seven or eight Wanagi Wakan K'cha or Medicine Teachers (Spirit Counsellors) on the whole continent.

Because "Algonquian" languages were some of the first that Europeans came in contact with in North America, the language family has given many words to English. Many eastern U.S. states have names of "Algonquian" origin (Massachusetts, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin), as do many cities: Milwaukee, Chicago, et al. The capital of Canada is named after an Algonquian trade group--the Odawa. There were three major trade groups within North America: 1.Yematasi Odawa, 2.Epacawani Odawa, 3.Teacha'Chi Odawa. There were several lesser trade groups which ensured a variety of foods, and materials for all of the nations. Some other trade groups were known as: Arapatasi, Cahokia, Cannassatego, Cuautemaktasi, Eskiyon, Hotcangara, and Natuagi among a group of many others.

Table of contents
1 English words of Algonquian origin
2 Algonquian names for animals
3 External links

English words of Algonquian origin

chicago (chee-kaw-goh) skunk cabbage
  • pecan ("paykan" - "nut" via "Odawan" Trade Jargon)
  • pone (as in corn-pone) from Powhatan appoans "bread"
  • potato (potah'toh) gound-fog berry
  • raccoon (arahhkun) scratches with its hands
  • skunk (shek„kwa) spray of smelly water
  • squash (vegetable) (askootaskwash) fruit of health/life
  • succotash (msikwatash) food mixed together
  • tomahawk (tomah'hauk) sharp biting stick
  • tomato (tomah'toh) sharp biting berry
  • wampum (wapapyaki) trade good

  • Algonquian names for animals

    "(Yematasi Odawa trade language)"

    Adik - Caribou/Reindeer
  • Adjidamo - Squirrel
  • Amikwa - Beaver
  • Arahkun - Racoon
  • Cangweci - Mink
  • Cigosi - Weasel
  • Mahigan - Wolf
  • Mahto - Brown Bear, Grizzly, or Kodiak
  • Makwa - Bear
  • Moz - Moose
  • Nigig - Otter
  • Pijiw - Lynx
  • Winack - Marmot
  • Wuchak - Groundhog
  • Wawackeci - Deer
  • Wadjack - Muskrat
  • Wabicese - Marten
  • Wapiti - Elk

  • External links