Native American Words in Longfellow's Hiawatha

As defined by the Native Language of the Americas website: http://www.native-languages.org/
Though Hiawatha is an Iroquois hero, Longfellow's poem is set in Minnesota, and most of the Native American words he uses in it come from the Minnesota Indian languages Ojibwe (Chippewa) and Dakota Sioux. The story Longfellow relates, too, is primarily based not on the Iroquois legend of Hiawatha but rather on the Chippewa legend of Nanabozho, a rabbit spirit who was the son of the west wind and raised by his grandmother.






Comparative list of American Indian words recorded by Longfellow
Longfellow's
record word

Meaning ascribed
by Longfellow

Source Language
Original Word
Meaning
Adjidau'mo
the red squirrel
Ojibway
ajidamoo (na, pl. -g)
Red Squirrel
Ahdeek'
the reindeer
Ojibway
adik (na, pl. -wag)
Caribou
Ahkosewin
Fever
Ojibway
aakoziwin (ni, pl. -an)
illness
Ahmeek'
the beaver
Ojibway
amik (na, pl. -wag)
Beaver
Annemee'kee
the thunder
Ojibway
animikii (na, pl. -g)
Thunderbird
Apuk'wa
a bulrush
Ojibway
apakwe (na, pl. -yag)
Cattail
Bemah'gut
the grape-vine
Ojibway
biimaakwad (ni, pl. -oon)
Bittersweet, Vine
Baim-wa'wa
the sound of the thunder
Ojibway
bimwewe (vii)
be heard making a sound
Black-robe chief
the Pale-face
the Prophet

Ojibway
mekadewikwanayewi-ogimaa (na, pl. -g)
Bishop
(lit. Black-robed Chief)

Bukadawin
Famine
Ojibway
bakadewin (ni, pl. -an)
hunger
Chemaun'
a birch canoe
Ojibway
jiimaan (ni, pl. -an)
Canoe, Boat

Chetowaik'
the plover
?
?
?
Chibia'bos
a musician; friend of Hiawatha;
ruler of the Land of Spirits

Ojibway
Jiibayaabooz (na, pl. -oog)
Spirit Rabbit
Dahin'da
the bull frog
Ojibway
dende (na, pl. -g)
Bullfrog
Dead-man's Strawberry
(not glossed)
Ojibway
jiibemiijimi-ode'imin (ni, pl. -an)
type of poisonous mushroom
(lit.strawberry of the 'Food of the Dead')

Dush-kwo-ne'-she
or Kwo-ne'-she
the dragon fly
Ojibway
oboodashkwaanishiinh
(na, pl. oboodashkwaanishiinyag)

Dragonfly
Esa
shame upon you
Ojibway
ise (pc)
for shame
Ewa-yea'
lullaby
?
?
?
Gitche Gu'mee
The Big-Sea-Water,
Lake Superior

Ojibway
gichi-gami (ni, pl. -in)
great lake/sea,
Lake Superior

Gitche Man'ito
the Great Spirit,
the Master of Life

Ojibway
Gichi-manidoo (na, pl. -g)
Great Spirit, God
Gushkewau'
the darkness
Ojibway
gashkii' (vta);
gashkii'waa (vta, ind.)

make someone be pitch-dark;
be pitch-dark

Hiawa'tha
the Prophet, the Teacher, son of Mudjekeewis,
the West-Wind and Wenonah, daughter of Nokomis

Onondaga
Hayowent'ha (name)
He Who Combs
Ia'goo
a great boaster and story-teller
?
?
?

Inin'ewug
men, or pawns in
the Game of the Bowl

Ojibway
inini (na, pl. -wag)
man
Ishkoodah'
fire,
a comet

Ojibway
ishkode (ni, pl. -n)
fire
Jee'bi,
a ghost, a spirit
Ojibway
jiibay (na, pl. -ag)
corpse, ghost,
spirit of the dead

Joss'akeed
a prophet
Ojibway
jaasakiid (na, pl. jaasakiijig)
Jessokid, "Juggler",
Seer of jiisakii (shaking-tent)

Kabibonok'ka
North-Wind
Ojibway
Gaa-biboonokaa
Winter-maker,
(lit. that who is full of winter)

Ka'go
do not
Ojibway
gego (pc)
do not
Kahgahgee'
the raven
Ojibway
gaagaagi (na, pl. -wag)
Raven
Kaw
no
Ojibway
gaa (pc)
no, not
Kaween'
no indeed
Ojibway
gaawiin, gaa-wiin (pc)
no, not, not indeed
Kayoshk'
the sea-gull
Ojibway
gayaashk (na, pl. -wag)
Gull, Seagull,
Tern

Kee'go
a fish
Ojibway
giigoonh (na, pl. giigoonyag)
Fish
Keeway'din
the Northwest wind,
the Home-wind

Ojibway
giiwedin (ni, pl. -oon)
north,
north wind

Kena'beek
a serpent
Ojibway
ginebig (na, pl. -oog)
Snake
Keneu'
the great war-eagle
Ojibway
giniw (na, pl. -ag)
Golden Eagle,
war eagle

Keno'zha
the pickerel
Ojibway
ginoozhe (na, pl. -g)
Northern Pike
Ko'ko-ko'ho
the owl
Ojibway
gookooko'oo (na, pl. -g)
Owl
Kuntasoo'
the Game of Plumstones
Dakota
kantasu'
plum stone
Kwa'sind
the Strong Man
Ojibway?
?
?
Kwo-ne'-she, or
Dush-kwo-ne'-she,

the dragon-fly
Ojibway
oboodashkwaanishiinh,
dashkwaanishiinh (na, pl. -shiinyag),
kwaanishiinh

Dragonfly
Mahnahbe'zee
the swan
Ojibway
maanaabizi (na, pl. -wag)
Red Swan, Mute Swan
Mahng
the loon
Ojibway
maang (na, pl. -wag)
Loon
Mahnomo'nee
wild rice
Ojibway
manoomin (ni, pl. -an)
Wild rice
Ma'ma
the woodpecker
Ojibway
meme (na, pl. -g)
Woodpecker
Me'da
a medicine-man
Ojibway
Mide (na, pl. -g)
Indian of the Grand Medicine
Meenah'ga
the blueberry
Ojibway
miin (na, pl. miinan);
miinagaawanzh (na, pl. miinagaawanzhiig)

Blueberry [berry];
Blueberry [bush]

Megissog'won, the great Pearl-Feather
a magician, and the Manito of Wealth
Ojibway
Miigisigwan (name)
Pearl-feather
Meshinau'wa
a pipe-bearer
Ojibway
mizhinawe (na, pl. -g)
pipe-bearer
Minjekah'wun
Hiawatha's mittens
Ojibway
minjikaawan (na, pl. -ag)
mitten
Minneha'ha
Laughing Water; wife of Hiawatha;
a water-fall in a stream running into
the Mississippi between Fort Snelling
and the Falls of St. Anthony

Dakota
mni-haha
waterfall
Minne-wa'wa
a pleasant sound, as of the wind in the trees
Ojibway
minowewe (vai/vii)
make a good sound
Mishe-Mo'kwa
the Great Bear
Ojibway
Mishi-makwa
Great Bear
Mishe-Nah'ma
the Great Sturgeon
Ojibway
Mishi-name
Great Sturgeon
Monda'min
Indian corn
Ojibway
mandaamin (ni, pl. -an)
Maize, corn
Moon of Bright Nights
April
Ojibway
waasagwane-giizis
lunar March-April
(lit. Brightening Moon)

Moon of the Falling Leaves
September
Ojibway
Binaakwii-giizis (na, pl. -oog)
Lunar month of
September-October
(lit. Fall[ing-leaves] Moon)

Moon of Leaves
May
Ojibway
Zaagibagaa-giizis (na, pl. -oog)
May,
(lit. Leaf-budding Moon)

Moon of Strawberries
June
Ojibway
Ode'imini-giizis (na, pl. -oog)
June,
(lit. Strawberry Moon)

Mudjekee'wis
the West-wind; father of Hiawatha
Ojibway
majiikiwis (na, pl. -ag)
first-born son
Miskodeed'
the Spring-Beauty, the Claytonia Virginica
Ojibway
?
?
Mudway-aush'ka
sound of waves on a shore
Ojibway
madweyaashkaa (vii)
they (waves) are heard breaking on the shore
Mushkoda'sa
the grouse
Ojibway
mashkodese (na, pl. -g)
Ruffed Grouse
Nah'ma
the sturgeon
Ojibway
name (na, pl. -wag)
Sturgeon
Nah'ma-wusk
spearmint
Ojibway
namewashk (ni, pl. -oon)
Spearmint
Na'gow Wudj'oo
the Sand Dunes of Lake Superior
Ojibway
negaw-wajiw
sand dune
Nee-ba-naw'-baigs
water-spirits
Ojibway
nibiinaabe (na, pl. -wag)
waterling,
merman

Nenemoo'sha
sweetheart
Ojibway
niinimoshenh (na, dep., pl. niinimoshenyag)
my sweetheart
Nepah'win
sleep
Ojibway
nibaawin (ni, pl. -an)
sleep,
act of sleeping

Noko'mis
a grandmother
mother of Wenonah

Ojibway
nookomis (na, dep., pl. -ag)
my Grandmother
No'sa
my father
Ojibway
noose (na, dep., voc.)
[my] Father!
Nush'ka
look! look!
Ojibway
inashke (pc)
Look!
Odah'min
the strawberry
Ojibway
ode'imin (ni, pl. -an)
Strawberry
Okahha'wis
the fresh-water herring
Ojibway
okeyawis (na, pl. -ag)
Herring
Ome'mee
the pigeon
Ojibway
omiimii (na, pl. -g)
Passenger Pigeon,
Pigeon

Ona'gon
a bowl
Ojibway
onaagan (ni, pl. -an)
Bowl, Dish
Opechee'
the robin
Ojibway
opichi (na, pl. -wag)
Robin
Osse'o
Son of the Evening Star
?
?
?
Owais'sa
the blue-bird
Ojibway
ozhaawanowesi (na, pl. -wag)
Eastern Bluebird
Oweenee'
Wife of Osseo
?
?
?
Ozawa'beek
a round piece of brass or copper
in the Game of the Bowl

Ojibway
ozaawaabik (ni, pl. -oon)
Brass,
Copper

Pah-puk-kee'na
the grasshopper
Ojibway
bapakine (na, pl. -g)
Grasshopper, Locust
Pau'guk
death
Ojibway
?
Flying-skeleton Death Spirit
Pau-Puk-Kee'wis
the handsome Yenadizze, the son of Storm Fool
Ojibway
?
?
Pone'mah
hereafter
Ojibway
baanimaa (pc)
later, afterwards
Pe'boan
Winter
Ojibway
biboon (vii)
be Winter
Pem'ican
meat of the deer or
buffalo dried and pounded

Cree
pimihkân (ni, pl. -an)
Pemmican
People of the wooden vessel
(not glossed)
Ojibway
wemitigoozhi (na, pl. -wag)
French
(lit. Those of Wooden-Crafts)

Pezhekee'
the bison
Ojibway
bizhiki (na, pl. -wag)
Buffalo
Pishnekuh'
the brant
Ojibway
apishi-nika (na, pl. -g)
Grey Goose
Puggawau'gan
a war-club
Ojibway
bagamaagan (ni, pl. -an)
war-club,
cudgel

Puk-Wudj'ies
little wild men of the woods; pygmies
Ojibway
bagwajiwinini (na, pl. bagwajiwininiwag)
wild man
Sah-sah-je'wun
rapids
Ojibway
zaasijiwan (vii)
it (river) flows with a ripple
Segwun'
Spring
Ojibway
ziigwan (vii)
be Spring
Sha'da
the pelican
Ojibway
zhede (na, pl. -g)
Pelican
Shahbo'min
the gooseberry
Ojibway
zhaaboomin (na, pl. -ag)
Gooseberry
Shah-shah
long ago
?
?
?
Shaugoda'ya
a coward
Ojibway
zhaagode'e (vai)
be cowardly,
(lit. be weak-hearted)

Shawgashee'
the craw-fish
Ojibway
azhaageshii (na, pl. -yag)
Crawfish
Shawonda'see
the South-Wind
Ojibway
zhaawandezi (vai)
be from the south
Shaw-shaw
the swallow
Ojibway
zhaashaawanibiish (na, pl. -ag)
Tree Swallow
Taquamenaw
(unspecified river)
Ojibway
?
?
Shesh'ebwug
ducks; pieces in the
Game of the Bowl
Ojibway
zhiishiib (na, pl. -ag)
Duck
Shin'gebis
the diver, or grebe
Ojibway
zhingibis (na, pl. -ag)
Least Grebe
Showain'neme'shin
pity me
Ojibway
zhawenim (vta);
zhawenimishin (vta, 2s>1s)

to pity someone;
you have pity on me

Shuh-shuh-gah'
the blue heron
Ojibway
zhashagi (na, pl. -wag)
Great Blue Heron
Soan-ge-ta'ha
strong-hearted
Ojibway
zoongide'e (vai)
be courageous,
(lit. be strong-hearted)

Subbeka'she
the spider
Ojibway
asabikeshii (na, pl. -yag)
Spider
Sugge'me
the mosquito
Ojibway
zagime (na, pl. -g)
Mosquito
To'tem
family coat-of-arms
Ojibway
doodem
Clan,
Totem

Ugh
yes
Ojibway
enh (pc)
yes (male usage)
Ugudwash'
the sun-fish
Ojibway
agwadaashi (na, pl. -wag)
Sunfish
Unktahee'
the God of Water
Dakota
Unktehi
Snake-shaped Water Spirit
Wabas'so
the rabbit,
the North

Ojibway
waabooz (na, pl. -oog)
Rabbit
Wabe'no
a magician, a juggler
Ojibway
waabano (na, pl. -wag)
Indian of the Magical Dawn Society
Wabe'no-wusk
yarrow
Ojibway
waabanowashk (ni, pl. -oon)
Yarrow
Wa'bun
the East-Wind
Ojibway
waaban (vii)
be the east, be dawn
Wa'bun An'nung
the Star of the East,
the Morning Star

Ojibway
waaban-anang (na)
Morning star
Wahono'win
a cry of lamentation
Ojibway
waa'oonowin (ni, pl. -an)
howl
Wah-wah-tay'see
the fire-fly
Ojibway
waawaatesi (na, pl. -wag)
Firefly
Waubewy'on
a white skin wrapper
Ojibway
waabiwayaan (na, pl. -ag)
white-skin wrapper
Wa'wa
the wild goose
Ojibway
wewe (na, pl. -g)
Snow Goose
Waw-be-wa'wa
the white goose
Ojibway
waabi-wewe (na, pl. -g)
white Snow Goose
Wawonais'sa
the whippoorwill
Ojibway
waa'oonesii (na, pl. -g)
Whip-poor-will
Way-muk-kwa'na
the caterpillar
Ojibway
wemakwaayaanenh (na, pl. wemakwaayaanenyag)
brown Caterpillar
Weno'nah
the eldest daughter; Hiawatha's
mother, daughter of Nokomis

Dakota
winona
first-born daughter
White-man's Foot
(unknown flower)
Ojibway
-waabishkikizid
(na, pl.waabishkikizijig)

white-man's foot
(homophone towhite-foot)

Yenadiz'ze
an idler and gambler;
an Indian dandy

Ojibway
wiinaadizi (vai);
waanaadizid (na, pl. waanaadizijig)

to behave unchastely;
dandy

not listed in the "Vocabulary" section of Longfellow's appendix
2s>1s = second person singular subject forward action to first person singular object
dep. = dependent
ind. = independent order
na = animate noun
ni = inanimate noun
pc = particle
pl. = plural
vai = verb, animate subject intransitive
vii = verb, inanimate subject intransitive
voc. = vocative
vta = verb, animate subject transitive to animate object