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Indiana Native Animal Words

Here are the American Indian names of six native animals of Indiana. We have given their names in three different Indian languages: Miami, Seneca, and Shawnee.

Two of these Native Indiana languages are related to the Algonquian language family, and the other one is 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: Algonquian languages.

Indiana Native Animal Names


Miami: mahkwa (pronounced mah-kwuh)
Seneca: nyakwai' (pronounced nyock-why)
Shawnee: mkwa (pronounced muh-kwah)

Miami: mahweewa (pronounced mah-way-wa)
Seneca: tha:yö:nih (pronounced tah-yoon-nee)
Shawnee: mhweewa (pronounced muh-way-wa)

Miami: moohswa (pronounced moo-swah)
Seneca: neokë' (pronounced nay-oh-ken)
Shawnee: petakine'θi (pronounced pay-tah-kee-nay-thee)

Miami: anikwa (pronounced ah-neek-wah)
Seneca: jo'kta:kö' (pronounced jook-tah-koon)
Shawnee: hanikwa (pronounced hah-neek-wah)

Miami: kiihkoneehsa (pronounced kee-ko-nay-sah)
Seneca: këjöh (pronounced ken-joan)
Shawnee: nameeθa (pronounced nah-may-tha)

Miami: aamaawia (pronounced ah-mah-wee-ah)
Seneca: o'nöhkö:t (pronounced oh-noan-koat)
Shawnee: hamo (pronounced hah-mo)

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