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South Dakota Native Animal Words

Here are the American Indian names of six native animals of South Dakota. We have given their names in three different Indian languages: Cheyenne, Lakota, and Ponca.

Two of these Native South Dakota 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: The Siouan languages.

South Dakota Native Animal Names


Cheyenne: hó'nehe (pronounced ho-neh-heh)
Lakota: sunkmanitu tanka (pronounced shoonk-mah-nee-too tahn-kah)
Ponca: shantanga (pronounced shahn-tahn-gah)

Cheyenne: hotóva'a (pronounced ho-to-vah-ah)
Lakota: tatanka (pronounced tah-tahn-kah)
Ponca: tenuga (pronounced teh-noo-gah)

Cheyenne: náhkohe (pronounced nah-koh-heh)
Lakota: mato (pronounced mah-toh)
Ponca: manchu (pronounced mahn-choo)

Cheyenne: vóhkoohe (pronounced voh-koh-heh)
Lakota: mastinca (pronounced mosh-teen-chah)
Ponca: mashchinge (pronounced mosh-cheen-geh)

Cheyenne: no'kéeho (pronounced no-kay-ho)
Lakota: zica (pronounced zee-chah)
Ponca: chinga (pronounced cheen-gah)

Cheyenne: ve'keso (pronounced veh-keh-so)
Lakota: zintkala (pronounced zeent-kah-lah)
Ponca: wazhinga (pronounced wah-zheen-gah)

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