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Nebraska Native Animal Words

Here are the American Indian names of six native animals of Nebraska. We have given their names in three different Indian languages: Lakota, Omaha-Ponca, and Pawnee.

Two of these Native Nebraska languages are related to the Siouan 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: Siouan languages.

Nebraska Native Animal Names


Lakota: sunkmanitu tanka (pronounced shoonk-mah-nee-too tahn-kah)
Omaha-Ponca: shantanga (pronounced shahn-tahn-gah)
Pawnee: skiri (pronounced skih-ree)

Lakota: tatanka (pronounced tah-tahn-kah)
Omaha-Ponca: tenuga (pronounced teh-noo-gah)
Pawnee: táraha' (pronounced tah-rah-hah)

Lakota: mato (pronounced mah-toh)
Omaha-Ponca: manchu (pronounced mahn-choo)
Pawnee: kuúruks (pronounced koo-rooks)

Lakota: mastinca (pronounced mosh-teen-chah)
Omaha-Ponca: mashchinge (pronounced mosh-cheen-geh)
Pawnee: párus (pronounced pah-russ)

Lakota: zica (pronounced zee-chah)
Omaha-Ponca: chinga (pronounced cheen-gah)
Pawnee: ckipis (pronounced tskip-eese)

Lakota: zintkala (pronounced zeent-kah-lah)
Omaha-Ponca: wazhinga (pronounced wah-zheen-gah)
Pawnee: nikuucki (pronounced nih-koots-kee)

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