Indian language * American Indian tribes * American Indian culture

Pennsylvania Native Animal Words

Here are the American Indian names of six native animals of Pennsylvania. We have given their names in five different Indian languages: Lenape, Munsee, Oneida, Seneca, and Shawnee.

Three of these Native Pennsylvania languages are related to the Algonquian language family, and the other two are related to the Iroquoian 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 will need to look at several different animals to figure it out!) You can find the answer on these pages: Algonquian languages and Iroquoian languages.

Pennsylvania Native Animal Names


Lenape: màxkw (pronounced makh-w)
Munsee: máxkw (pronounced makh-w)
Oneida: ohkwa:lí (pronounced oh-kwah-lee)
Seneca: nyakwai' (pronounced nyock-why)
Shawnee: mkwa (pronounced muh-kwah)

Lenape: tëme (pronounced tuh-may)
Munsee: wíixcheew (pronounced weekh-chay-o)
Oneida: othahyu:ní (pronounced oh-tah-yoo-nee)
Seneca: tha:yö:nih (pronounced tah-yoon-nee)
Shawnee: mhweewa (pronounced muh-way-wa)

Lenape: škakw (pronounced shkock-w)
Munsee: shkaakwus (pronounced shkock-wuss)
Oneida: ani:tas (pronounced ah-nee-tas)
Seneca: se:nö:h (pronounced say-noon)
Shawnee: šekaakwa (pronounced she-kah-kwa)

Lenape: chëmamës (pronounced chuh-mah-muss)
Munsee: móoshkiingw (pronounced moash-keeng-w)
Oneida: kwa'yha (pronounced kwah-yun-ha)
Seneca: kwa'yö:' (pronounced kwah-yone)
Shawnee: petakine'θi (pronounced pay-tah-kee-nay-thee)

Lenape: nàmès (pronounced nah-mase)
Munsee: namées (pronounced nah-mase)
Seneca: këjöh (pronounced ken-joan)
Oneida: ktsi' (pronounced kun-jee)
Shawnee: nameeθa (pronounced nah-may-tha)

Lenape: amëwë (pronounced ah-muh-wuh)
Munsee: áamweew (pronounced ahm-way-o)
Seneca: o'nöhkö:t (pronounced oh-noan-koat)
Oneida: tsinuhnehklis (pronounced jee-noo-neh-kleese)
Shawnee: hamo (pronounced hah-mo)

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