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Arikara Language (Sanish, Arikari, Arickaree)
Language: Arikara is a Caddoan language of the
Great Plains, originally spoken in North and South Dakota. It is a
tone language with complex
Today, the Arikara Indians share a reservation with the Mandan
and Hidatsa tribes. The Arikara language has been in decline
and is spoken today by only a few dozen elders in North Dakota, but some young people are working to keep their ancestral
Names: The origins of the tribal name Arikara are not entirely known. It was probably originally a place name or the
name of a particular band in the language of a neighboring tribe; it resembles Pawnee words for "male deer" and "horns."
Their own name for themselves is Sáhniš, which means "the people." In the past, they were
often known as the Ree Indians, and sometimes as the Pandani or Star-rah-he.
Alternate spellings of these names include Arikari, Arikaree, Arickaree, Aricara, Aricaree,
Arikkara, Ricara, Racari, Ricaree, Riccaree, Sanish, Sahnish, Sahnis, Tanish, Ris, Rus, Padani, and Starrahhe.
The Arikara reservation used to be known as Fort Berthold, but today the people prefer to call their shared community the
Three Affiliated Tribes or the Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Nation.
Arikara language samples and resources.
Arikara Tribe Culture and History
Information and links about the life of the Arikara Indians past and present.
Introduction to Arikara mythology.
Arikara Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to frequently asked questions about the Arikaras, their language and culture.
Our Arikara Language Materials
Our list of vocabulary words in the Arikara language, with comparison to words in other Caddoan languages.
Arikara Pronunciation Guide:
Learn how to pronounce Arikara words.
Arikara Animal Words:
Illustrated glossary of animal words in the Arikara language.
Arikara Body Parts:
Online and printable worksheets showing parts of the body in Arikara.
Worksheet showing color words in Arikara.
Worksheet showing how to count in Arikara.
Tribes in North Dakota: Tribes in South Dakota:
Map showing the area where Arikara was historically spoken.
Arikara Dictionaries, Audio Tapes and Language Resources
Traditional Narratives of the Arikara Indians Traditional Narratives From Alfred Morsette:
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Two-volume set of legends and stories in the Arikara/Sahnish language, with English translation.
A collection of legends and stories in Arikara and related languages.
Native American Dictionaries:
Arapaho and other American Indian dictionaries and language materials for sale.
Arikara Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions
English to Sanish Language Dictionary:
Arikara language materials from the Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish tribal college.
Arikara (Sáhniš) Language Program:
Homepage of a tribal initiative to create Arikara language materials, including an online phrasebook.
Arikara Language Tree:
Theories about Arikara's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
World Language Structures: Arikara:
Arikara linguistic profile and academic bibliography.
Plains Indian Vocabularies:
Early 20th-century wordlists of Mandan, Arikara and Atsina.
Arikara Proper Names
Names in Arikara:
Examples of Arikara names with audio clips.
Indian Names and Meanings:
Our fundraiser offering names for dogs and other animals in Native American languages (including Arapaho).
Arikara Language Preservation and Usage
House of Languages: Arikara
Information about Arikara language usage.
Demographic information about Arikara from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Links, References, and Additional Information
Endangered Languages Project: Arikara:
Bibliography of Arikara language resources.
Encyclopedia article on the Arikara language.
La Lengua Arikara Langue Arikara:
Information about the Arikara language in Spanish and French.
Arikara links pages.
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