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California Native Animal Words

Here are the American Indian names of six native animals of California. We have given their names in three different Indian languages: Hupa, Kumeyaay (Diegueno), Mojave, and Shoshone.

Two of these Native California languages are related to the Yuman language family, and the other two are not. Can you guess which languages are relatives by looking at the animal names on this page? (Hint: Not every word will sound similar even in closely related languages, so you will need to look at several different animals to figure it out!) You can find the answer on this page: Yuman languages.

California Native Animal Names


Hupa: k'ilixun (pronounced k-ih-li-khun)
Kumeyaay: ekwak (pronounced uh-kwock)
Mojave: 'aqwaq (pronounced uh-kwock)
Shoshone: deheya' (pronounced duh-huh-yah)

Hupa: xontehłtaw (pronounced khone-telth-tow)
Kumeyaay: hatpaa (pronounced hut-pah)
Mojave: hukthar (pronounced huck-thar)
Shoshone: izhape' (pronounced ee-zhah-puh)

Hupa: tł'ohme:we (pronounced tl-oh-me-we)
Kumeyaay: hellyaaw (pronounced helth-yow)
Mojave: haly'aw (pronounced hall-yow)
Shoshone: daa'bu (pronounced dah-boo)

Hupa: ło'n (pronounced thlone)
Kumeyaay: mekaay (pronounced muh-kye)
Mojave: 'avee (pronounced ah-vay)
Shoshone: bo'nai (pronounced boh-nye)

Hupa: ło:q'ya:n (pronounced thloke-yawn)
Kumeyaay: ishpaa (pronounced ish-pah)
Mojave: 'aspa (pronounced us-pah)
Shoshone: kwinaa (pronounced kwee-nah)

Hupa: k'iwiłda'ułchwin (pronounced k-ih-wilth-dah-ulth-chwin)
Kumeyaay: ha'aak (pronounced huh-ock)
Mojave: 'aqaaq (pronounced uck-ock)
Shoshone: haih (pronounced high)

Return to our California Native American homepage.