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Missouri Native Animal Words

Here are the American Indian names of six native animals of Missouri. We have given their names in four different Indian languages: Illini, Missouria, Osage, and Sac-Fox.

Two of these Native Missouri languages are related to the Algonquian language family, and the other two belong to the Siouan language family. 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 may need to look at several different animals to figure it out!) You can find the answer on these pages: Algonquian languages and Siouan languages.

Missouri Native Animal Names


Illini: mahkwa (pronounced mah-kwuh)
Missouria: mato (pronounced mah-toh)
Osage: wasape (pronounced wah-sah-pay)
Sac-Fox: mahkwa (pronounced mah-kwah)

Illini: mahweewa (pronounced mah-way-wa)
Missouria: shunta (pronounced shoon-tah)
Osage: shonke (pronounced shone-kay)
Sac-Fox: mahwêwa (pronounced mah-way-wah)

Illini: moohswa (pronounced moo-swah)
Missouria: tachi (pronounced tah-chee)
Osage: tta (pronounced tah)
Sac-Fox: peshekisia (pronounced pay-shay-kee-see-ah)

Illini: eehsipana (pronounced ay-see-pah-nah)
Missouria: minke (pronounced meen-kay)
Osage: mikka (pronounced meek-kah)
Sac-Fox: êsepana (pronounced ay-say-pah-nah)

Illini: kiihkoneehsa (pronounced kee-ko-nay-sah)
Missouria: ho (pronounced hoe)
Osage: ho (pronounced hoe)
Sac-Fox: nemêsa (pronounced nay-may-sah)

Illini: mishikinaka (pronounced mih-shih-kih-nah-kah)
Missouria: ketan (pronounced kay-tahn)
Osage: kke (pronounced kay)
Sac-Fox: meshihkêha (pronounced may-shee-kay-hah)

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