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Native Languages of the Americas:
Arapaho (Arapahoe, Inuna-Ina)

Language: Arapaho (also spelled Arapahoe or Arrapahoe) is an Algonquian language spoken by 1000 people, most of them in Wyoming. It is a polysynthetic language with long, complex verbs and fairly free word order. Gros Ventre is considered an Arapaho dialect by most linguists--though the two tribes maintain distinct identities, the languages are primarily mutually comprehensible. Most Arapaho and Gros Ventre speakers are elderly, but the Arapaho tribe is working to revitalize the language by teaching it to younger Arapahos.



People: It is uncertain where the word 'Arapaho' came from--they called themselves Inuna-Ina (Hinonoeino), 'our people'--but this tribe self-identifies as Arapaho now. There are two major Arapaho tribes: the Northern Arapaho, who number about 6000 and are concentrated in Wyoming, and the Southern Arapaho, who are united with their longtime allies the Cheyenne into the Cheyenne-Arapaho Nation in Oklahoma, with a combined 11,000 members. The Gros Ventre tribe of Montana was originally an emigrant group of Arapaho Indians, and their languages and cultures are closely related.

History: Though the Sioux, Shoshone, and Pawnee knew them as formidable warriors, history tends to label the Arapaho Indians a "peaceful people" because they did not fight the Americans. Unfortunately, their strategy of making treaties with the invaders rather than fighting them did not bring them to any better end. The increasing influx of settlers into areas promised to the Arapaho by treaty forced them away from their traditional lands, disrupted the buffalo routes, and ultimately split the Arapaho tribe in half, a split that still exists today. The Southern Arapaho joined the Cheyenne, where they together became victims of the most egregious massacre in American history, the Sand Creek massacre of 1864 (in which one Colonel Chivington deliberately attacked a reservation of peaceable Cheyenne and Arapaho people under US protection and killed more than 150 men, women, and children despite their repeated attempts to surrender. "Nits," he famously proclaimed, "breed lice.") Meanwhile, the Northern Arapaho fled to what is now Wyoming and petitioned their old foes the Shoshone for a home there. Finally, the Arapaho had made a treaty which would be honored: the land granted to them by the Shoshone remains theirs to this day.




Arapaho Language
Arapaho language samples and resources.

Arapaho Culture and History
Information and links about the Arapaho Indians.

Arapaho Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to common questions about the Arapahos.

Arapaho Legends
Introduction to Arapaho mythology.



Arapaho Language Resources

Our Online Language Materials

Arapaho Vocabulary:
    List of vocabulary words in the Arapaho language, with comparison to words in other Algonquian languages.
Arapaho Pronunciation Guide:
    How to pronounce Arapaho words.
Arapaho Animal Words:
    Illustrated glossary of animal words in the Arapaho language.
Arapaho Colors:
    Worksheet showing color words in the Arapaho language.
Arapaho Animate Nouns:
    Lesson on Arapaho animate and inanimate nouns.

Arapaho Dictionaries, Audio Tapes and Language Resources

The Arapaho Language:
    Comprehensive Arapaho grammar textbook.
Arapaho Historical Traditions:
    Legends, oral histories, and other texts in the Arapaho language with English translations.
Arapaho Dialects:
    1916 book about the Arapaho language.
Bambi in Arapaho * Bambi in Arapaho * Bambi Speaks Arapaho:
    This is a version of Disney's movie 'Bambi', dubbed in Arapaho.
Native American Dictionaries:
    Arapaho and other American Indian dictionaries and language materials for sale.

Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions

Northern Arapaho Language:
    Alphabet, pronunciation, and Arapaho songs and stories from the Wind River Tribal College.
Arapaho Alphabet and Pronunciation:
    Phonological inventory of the Arapaho language, with a sample text.
Hello Oklahoma: Arapaho Tribe:
    Arapaho alphabet, greeting, and sample text.
The Phonological History of Arapaho * Northern Arapaho Language Shift:
    Arapaho linguistics abstracts
Arapaho Language Tree:
    Theories about Arapaho's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Arapaho Language Structures:
    Arapaho linguistic profile and academic bibliography.

Literature and Texts in the Arapaho Language

Arapahoe:
    Arapaho language samples.
Arapaho Description * Arapaho Phonology * Arapaho Text:
    Scanned-in Arapaho language texts from the Rosetta Project.

Arapaho Language Preservation and Usage

Arapaho Language Lodge:
    Stephen Greymorning's chronology of the Arapaho Indian language revitalization efforts.
The Arapaho Immersion Program * Running the Gauntlet of an Indigenous Language Program:
    Essays by Stephen Greymorning on Arapaho language preservation efforts.
Blue Sky People:
    Interview with Arapaho elder Laura Shakespear about Arapaho language maintenance.
House of Languages: Arapaho
     Information about Arapaho language usage.
Ethnologue: Arapaho:
    Demographic information about Arapaho.

Arapaho Proper Names

Arapaho Place Names:
    A linguistic study of Arapaho placenames in Colorado.
Indian Names and Meanings:
    Our new fundraiser offering names for dogs and other animals in Native American languages (including Arapaho).

Additional Resources, Links, and References

   Wikipedia: Arapaho:
    Encyclopedia articles about the Arapaho language.
   La Lengua Arapaho:
   Information about the Arapaho language in Spanish, including a language map.
   Langue Arapaho:
   Information about the Arapaho language in French.
   Arapaho Language:
   Arapaho links.
  Arapaho Tribe:
  Arapaho Indian books.



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