Friday, January 25, 2013

Tribal Names and Their Meanings

EDITOR'S NOTE: It is an unfortunate fact that most of the names native tribes are known by today were actually words given to those tribes by their enemies. It was not the name the tribe gave themselves. For example, the word "Iroquois" is a French variation of an Abenaki word which meant "rattlesnake." The term is used to represent the six aboriginal nations who united to form a confederacy. The result was what some people call "The Iroquois Confederacy." The correct designation should be Haudenosaunee, or the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. This "article" is a list of most commonly known tribal names and their meanings

The following list is in alphabetical order. Where known, the self-identifying name or names of the tribe or nation is listed in parentheses. Following the names are definitions of the meanings of those names. Please notify Native History Magazine of any needed corrections, clarifications, or additions. Research continues and the information will be updated as needed.

Abenaki (Abnaki, Alnonba) --- Those living at the sunrise (In the East, near coast)
Achomawi --- River
Acolapissa --- Those who listen and see
Adai (Nateo)
Ahtena --- Ice People
Akwesasne --- Land where the partridge "drums"
Alabama (Alibamu) --- I clear the thicket
Aleut (Alutiiq) ---
Anadarko (Nadaco) ---
Anishinibeg aka Chippewa and Ojibwe or Objibwa ---
Apache (Dine, Dineh, Tinde, Inde) --- Enemy (A Zuni word)
Apalachicola --- People of the other side
Apalachee --- People of the other side
Arapahoe (Inunaina or Atsina) ---
Arikara --- Horns or elk people, or corn eaters
Assiniboin (Hohe) --- Ones who cook using stones (ojibwa word)
Atakapa --- Man Eater
Athapaskan (Dene) ---
Atikamekw --- White fish
Atsina aka Gros Ventre (Haaninin) White clay people
Atsugewi --- Hat Creek Indians
Avoyel --- People of the rocks
Aztec (Nahuatl, Nahua) ---
Bannock (Panaiti) ---
Bayogoula --- People of the bayou
Bidai --- Brushwood (A Caddo word)
Blackfoot (Piegan, Peigan, Nitsi-Tapi, Sarcee)
Blood (Kainai or Kainaiwa) ---
Brule --- Burned thighs, also burned wood (skin description)
Caddo (Natchitoches, also Adai, Hasinai, Kadohodacho)--- True chiefs
Cayuga --- Place locusts were taken out, people at the mucky land
Cayuse --- Stones or rocks (A French-Canadian word)
Catawba (Esaw) ---
Chakchiuma --- Red crawfish people
Chehalis --- Sand
Cherokee (Ani-Yun-Wiya)--- Cave people ( A Choctaw word), people of different speech (Creek word)
Chetco --- Close to the mouth of the stream
Cheyenne (Dzi-Tsi-Stas) --- Red talkers (Dakota word)
Chickahominy --- Hominy people
Chickamauga --- Dwelling place of the chief (A Creek word)
Chippewa aka Ojibwa (Anishinabeg) ---
Chipwyan --- Pointed skins (A Cree word)
Chitimacha --- They have cooking vessels
Chontal --- Stranger (Nahuatl word)
Choula --- Fox
Chowanoc --- People at the south
Chumash --- People who make the shell bead money
Clakamas (Guithlakimas) ---
Clallam (S'Klallam, Nusklaim, Tlalem) --- Strong people
Clatsop --- Dried salmon
Cocopah (Xawitt Kunyavaei) --- River people
Coeur D'Alene (Skitswish) ---
Comanche (Detsanayuka, Kotsoteka, Nermernuh, Noconi) --- Anyone who wants to fight me all the time (ute word)
Coushatta (Kopano, Quevenes) ---
Cowichan (Khowutzun) --- Basking in the sun that warms your back or warm land
Cree (Kenistenoag, Iyiniwok) ---
Creek (Muskogee, Abihika, Abeika, Hitchit)
Crow --- Crow, sparrowhawk, bird people
Dakota --- Friend or ally
Deleware aka Lenni-Lenape (Wampanoag, Munsee, Unami, Unalachitgo)
Dine --- The Apaches' word for themselves
Erie --- Log tail or cat people (Iroquoian word)
Eskimo (Inuit, Inupiat, Inuvialuit, Yupik) ---
Fox (Mesquaki) --- Red earth people
Git' Lissums --- People of the Lissums
Gitksan --- People of the Northern Skena
Gros Ventre (Atsina, in the prairie region; Hidatsa, in the Missouri area) --- Big bellies, one who cooks with a stone, cooks by roasting
Hach Winik --- True people
Han --- Those who live along the river
Haudenosaunee (Hotinonshonni, Ongwanosionni) --- People of the Long House, We of the Extended Lodge
Havasupai (Suppai) --- People of the blue-green water
Hiute --- Bowmen
Honniasont --- Wearing something around the neck
Hopi (Hopitu, Hopitu Shinumu, Moqui, Hapeka) --- Peaceful ones or well-mannered people
Houma --- Red
Huchnom --- Mountain people
Hunkpapa --- Campers at the opening of the circle
Hupa --- Trinity River
Huron (Wendat, Wyandot) --- Ruffian, head of a boar (French)
Hwal'bay aka Hualapai --- People of the tall pines
Ihanktonwan --- Dwellers at the end (Ihanktonwana - little dwellers at the end)
Iowa (Pahodja) --- Sleepy ones (Dakota word)
Iroquois --- Real adders, rattlesnake, (See Haudenosaunee)
Jatibonicu --- People of the great sacred high waters (First spelling)
Jatibonuco --- Great people of the sacred high waters (Second spelling)
Jicaque --- Ancient person (Nahuatl word)
Jicarilla (Tinde) --- Little basket weaver (Spanish word)
Kainai --- Many chiefs
Kakwchak Porcupine people
Kan-hatki --- White earth
Kanienkahaka --- People of the place of flint
Kanza aka Kansa --- People of the south wind
Karok --- Upstream
Kato --- Lake
Kawchottine --- People of the great hares
Ketsei --- Going in wet sand
Kickapoo (Kiwigapawa) --- He stands about
Kiowa (Kwuda, Tepda, Tepkinago) --- Principal people
Klallam --- Strong people
Klamath (Eukshikni-Maklaks, Auksni) --- People of the lake
Kickitat (Qwulhwaipum) ---
Kootenai (Kuronoqa, Kutenai, Ansanka) ---
Kotsoteka --- Buffalo eaters
Kutcha-kutchin --- Those who live on the flats
Kwuda --- People coming out
Lakota --- Friend or ally
Latgawa --- Those living in the uplands
Lenni Lenape --- Genuine men
Lillooet --- Wild onion
Lipan (Naizhan) --- Warriors of the mountains
Lumbee (Cheraw) ---
Machapunga --- Bad dust
Mahican aka Mohican, Mohegan --- Wolf
Maucioa (Pipatsji) ---
Makah (Kwenetchechat) --- Cape people
Maliseet --- Broken talkers
Mandan (Numakaki, Metutahanke) ---
Massachuset --- At the hills
Mdewankantonwan --- Dwellers of the spirit lake
Menominee --- Wild rice men
Miami (Twightwis, twahitwa, Wayatanoke) --- People on the peninsula, cry of the crane, pigeon
Michigamea --- Great water
Mi'kmaq aka Micmac --- family, friend, turtle
Miniconjou --- Planters by water
Missouri --- Great Muddy, people with wooden canoes
Moapa (Moapariats) --- Mosquito creek people
Moatokni --- Southerners
Modoc aka Mohave (Tzinamaa, Ahamakav) --- Southerners
Mohave aka Modoc --- Three mountains
Mohawk (Kanienkahaka) --- Possessors of the flint, coward or man eater (Abenaki words)
Mohegan aka Mahican, Mohican --- Wolf
Moneton --- Big water people
Munsee (Minasinink) --- At the place where the stones are gathered together
Nahane --- People of the west
Narragansett --- People of the small point
Nanticoke --- People of the tidewaters
Natsit-Kutchin --- Those who live off the flats
Navajo --- Cultivated field in an arroyo (Tewa word)
Nez Perce (Neemeepoo, Kamuinu, Sahaptin) ---
Nipmuck --- Freshwater fishing place
Nisga'a (Git'Lissums) --- People of the Nass River
Nokoni --- Those who turn back
Nooksack --- Mountain men
Nootka --- Along the coast
Ogallala (Okandanda) --- Scatters their own
Ojibwa --- To roast till puckered up
Okanago (Isonkuaili) ---
Okelousa --- Blackwater
Okmulgee --- Where water boils up
Omaha --- Upstream people or people going against the current
Oneida --- Aa boulder standing up, or the people of the standing stone
Onondaga --- People on top of the hills
Opata --- Hostile people (Pima word)
Osage (Wakon, Wazhazhe Pahatsi) ---
Ottawa --- To trade
Otto (Chewayray) --- Lechers
Pahodja --- Dusty ones
Paiute (Numa) ---
Pakiutlema --- People of the gap
Pamunkey --- Rising upland
Pantch-Pinunkansh --- Men altogether red
Papagos (Tohono-Odham, Akchin) --- Desert people, the bean people
Papinashuash --- The ones who like to laugh
Pascagoula --- Bread people
Passamaquoddy (Peskedemakddi) --- Plenty of pollock (pollock is a fish)
Paugusset --- Where the narrows open out
Pawnee (Pariki, Chahiksichahiks, Awah) --- Horn people, look like wolves, men of men,
Penateka --- Honey eaters
Pennacook --- Down hill
Penobscot (Pannawanbskek) --- people of the forks on the white rocks, the descending ledge, of the stone place
Pensacola --- Hair people
Peoria --- Carrys a pack on his back
Pequot --- Fox people, destroyers
Piegan --- Scabby robes
Piekuakamit --- The ones from the flat lake
Pikani --- Poor robe
Pilthlako --- Big swamp
Pima (A'atam) --- River people
Pojoaque --- Drinking place
Potawatomi --- People of the place of fire, keepers of the fire, fire people
Powhatan --- Falls in a current of water
Pshwanwapam --- Stony ground
Puyallup --- Shadow
Quahadi --- Antelope
Quapaw (Ouaguapas) --- Downstream people
Quinnipiac --- Long water country
Red River Metis (Slotas) ---
Sac aka Sauk (Meshkwakihug) --- People of the yellow earth, people of the outlet
Salish (Okinagan) --- Flatheads
Sans Arc (Itazipco) --- Without bows (French)
Sarcee (Tsuu-T'ina) ---
Schaghticoke --- At the river forks
Sekani --- dwellers on the rocks
Seminole --- Separatist, runaways, peninsula people
Seneca --- Keepers of the Western Door, Place of stone, people of the standing rock, Great hill people
Serrano (Cowangachm, Mohineyam) ---
Shawnee --- South or southerners
Shoshone --- Snake
Sihasapa Sioux --- Blackfoot
Siksika --- Blackfoot
Sioux --- Snake (French)
Sisitonwan --- Dwellers of the fish ground
Skokomish (Twana) --- River people
Susquehanna (Susquehannock) ---
Taino --- We, the good people
Takelma --- Those living along the river
Tanima --- Liver eaters
Tangipahoa --- Corn gatherers
Tantawats --- Southern men
Tatsanottine --- People of the copper water
Tawakoni --- River bend among red hills
Tejas --- Friendly
Tenawa --- Downstream
Tennuth-Ketchin --- Middle people
Teton --- People of the Mountains (French)
Tewa --- Moccasins
Thlingchadinne --- Dog-flank people
Tinde --- Dwellers of the prairie
Titonwan --- Dwellers of the plains
Tonawanda --- Confluent stream
Tonkawa (Tonkaweya, Titskanwatich) --- They all stay together, the most human of people
Tsattine --- Lives among the beavers
Tsetsaut --- People of the interior
Tsimshian --- People of the river
Tsuu t'ina --- Great amount of people
Tubatulabal --- Pinenut eaters (Shoshone word)
Tuscarora (Skarure) --- Hemp gatherers, shirt wearing people
Two Kettle (Oohenonpa) --- Two boilings
Unalachtgo --- Tidewater people
Ute (Noochi) ---
Vunta-Ketchin --- Those who live among the lakes
Wahpekute --- Shooters in the leaves
Wahpetonwan --- Dwellers among the leaves
Wailaki --- North language
Wakokai --- Blue heron breeding place
Walapai --- Pine tree people
Wallawalla --- Little river
Wampanoag (Pokanoket) --- Eastern people
Wappo --- Brave, couragous
Waptailmin --- People of the narrow river
Wasco --- Cup, people who have the cup
Wichita (Kitikiti'sh) --- Big arbor (Choctaw word), raccoon eyes
Winnebago --- Filthy water people
Wiwohka --- Roaring water
Wyandot --- People of the peninsula
Yakama --- Runaway, the pregnant people, people of the narrows
Yamparika --- Root eaters
Yavapai --- (Mohave Apache) People of the sun, crooked mouth people
Yoncalla ---
Yuchi --- Located yonder
Yuki --- Stranger
Yuma (Chisa) ---
Yurok --- Downstream
Zuni (Ashiwi, Ashiwani) ---

US Tribes Map