The Iroquois Book of Rites
by Horatio Hale
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

46. Satyenawat, "withheld." This chief, in the Canadian list, is of the Snipe clan; in Mr. Morgan's Seneca list, he is of the Bear clan. His comrade in the class, Shakenjowane, is, in both lists, of the Hawk clan. Shakenjowane (Onon., Shakenjona), "large forehead."

There has apparently been some derangement here in the order of the classes. In Mr. Morgan's list, and also in one furnished to me at Onondaga Castle, the two chiefs just named belong to different classes. The variance of the lists may be thus shown:—

The Book of Rites. The Seneca and Onondaga Lists. Second Seneca Class. Satyenawat Kanokarih Shakenjowane Shakenjowane. Third Seneca Class. Kanokarih Satyenawat Nisharyenen Nisharyenen.

Satyenawat and Kanokarih have changed places. As the Book of Rites is the earlier authority, it is probable that the change was made among the New York Senecas after a part of their nation had removed to Canada.

47. Kanokarih (Onon., Kanokaehe), "threatened." Nisharyenen (Onon., Onishayenenha), "the day fell down."

One of the interpreters rendered the latter name, "the handle drops." The meaning of the word must be considered doubtful. The first of these chiefs is of the Tortoise clan, and the second is, in Canada, of the Bear clan. In Mr. Morgan's list he is of the Snipe clan. The disruption of the Seneca nation, and the introduction of new clans, have thrown this part of the list into confusion.

48. Onghwakeghaghshonah, etc. The verses which follow are repeated here from the passage of the Book which precedes the chanted litany. (See ante, Section 28.) Their repetition is intended to introduce the names of the two chiefs who composed the fourth and last class of the Seneca councillors. Yatehhotinhohhataghkwen, "they were at the doorway," or, according to another version, "they made the doorway." The chiefs are represented as keeping the doorway of the "extended mansion," which imaged the confederacy. Kanonghkeridawyh, (Onon., Kanonkeitawi,) "entangled hair given." This chief, in Canada, is of the Bear clan; in New York, according to Morgan's list, he is of the Snipe clan. Teyoninhokarawenh, (Onon., Teyoninhokawenh,) "open door." In both lists he is of the Wolf clan.

Mr. Morgan (in his "League of the Iroquois," page 68,) states that to the last-named chief, or "sachem," the duty of watching the door was assigned, and that "they gave him a sub-sachem, or assistant, to enable him to execute this trust." In fact, however, every high chief, or royaner (lord), had an assistant, or war chief (roskenrakehte-kowa, great warrior), to execute his instructions. The Book of Rites shows clearly that the two chiefs to whom the duty of "guarding the doorway" was assigned were both nobles of the first rank. Their office also appears not to have been warlike. From the words of the Book it would seem that when new tribes were received into the confederacy, these two councillors had the formal office of "opening the doorway" to the new-comers—that is (as we may suppose), of receiving and introducing their chiefs into the federal council.

In another sense the whole Seneca nation was deemed, and was styled in council, the Doorkeeper (Ronhohonti, pl., Roninhohonti) of the confederacy. The duty of guarding the common country against the invasions of the hostile tribes of the west was specially committed to them. Their leaders, or public representatives, in this duty would naturally be the two great chiefs of the nation, Kanyateriyo and Shadekaronyes. The rules of the League, however, seem to have forbidden the actual assumption by the councillors of any executive or warlike command. At least, if they undertook such duties, it must be as private men, and not in their capacity of nobles—just as an English peer might serve as an officer in the army or as an ambassador. The only exceptions recognized by the Iroquois constitution seem to have been in the cases of Tekarihoken and Skanawati, who were at once nobles and war-chiefs. (See ante, pages 78 and 159.) The two great Seneca chiefs would therefore find it necessary to make over their military functions to their assistants or war-chiefs. This may explain the statement made by Morgan ("League of the Iroquois," p. 74) that there were two special "war-chiefships" created among the Senecas, to which these commands were assigned.

49. Onenh watyonkwentendane kanikonrakeh. The condoling chant concludes abruptly with the doleful exclamation, "Now we are dejected in spirit." Enkitenlane, "I am becoming poor," or "wretched," is apparently a derivative of kitenre, to pity, and might be rendered, "I am in a pitiable state." "We are miserable in mind," would probably be a literal version of this closing ejaculation. Whether it is a lament for the past glories of the confederacy, or for the chief who is mourned, is a question which those who sing the words at the present day would probably have a difficulty in answering. It is likely, however, that the latter cause of grief was in the minds of those who first composed the chant.

It is an interesting fact, as showing the antiquity of the names of the chiefs in the foregoing list, that at least a fourth of them are of doubtful etymology. That their meaning was well understood when they were borne by the founders of the League cannot be questioned. The changes of language or the uncertainties of oral transmission, in the lapse of four centuries, have made this large proportion of them either obsolete or so corrupt as to be no longer intelligible. Of all the names it may probably be affirmed with truth that the Indians who hear them recited think of their primitive meaning as little as we ourselves think of the meaning of the family names or the English titles of nobility which we hear or read. To the Iroquois of the present day the hereditary titles of their councillors are—to use their own expression—"just names," and nothing more. It must not be supposed, however, that the language itself has altered in the same degree. Proper names, as is well known, when they become mere appellatives, discharged of significance, are much more likely to vary than the words of ordinary speech.


1 a. Yo onen onen wen ni sr te, "oh now—now this day." It will be noticed that this address of the "younger brothers" commences in nearly the same words which begin the speeches of the Canienga book. This similarity of language exists in other parts of the two books, though disguised by the difference of dialect, and also by the very irregular and corrupt spelling of the Onondaga book. To give some idea of this irregularity, and of the manner in which the words of this book are to be pronounced, several of these words are subjoined, with the pronunciation of the interpreter, represented in the orthography of the Canienga book:

Words as written. As pronounced by La Fort.

wen ni sr te wennisaate ho gar a nyat hogaenyat son tar yen sontahien na ya ne nayeneh o shon ta gon gonar osontagongona gar weear har tye gawehehatie on gwr non sen shen tar qua ongwanonsenshentakwa ga nen ar ta (or, ga nen ar ti) ganenhate kon hon wi sats konthonwitsas o wen gr ge ohwengage nar ya he yr genh nayehiyaken.

The letter r, it will be seen, is not a consonant. In fact, it is never heard as such in the modern Onondaga dialect. As used by La Fort, its office is either to give to the preceding vowel a the sound which it has in father, or by itself to represent that sound. The a, when not followed by r, is usually sounded like a in fate, but sometimes keeps the sound of a in far. The e usually represents the English e in be, or, when followed by n, the e in pen. The i and y are commonly sounded as in the word city. The g is always hard, and is interchangeable with k. The t and d are also interchangeable.

While the syllables in the original are written separately, the words are not always distinguished; and it is doubtful if, in printing, they have in all cases been properly divided. The translation of the interpreter, though tolerably exact, was not always literal; and in the brief time at our command the precise meaning of some of the words was not ascertained. No attempt, therefore, has been made to form a glossary of this portion of the text.

In the original the addresses of the "younger brothers" are divided into sections, which are numbered from one to seven, and each of which, in the ceremony, is called to mind by its special wampum-string, which is produced when the section is recited. As the first of these sections is of much greater length than the others, it has been divided in this work, for the purpose of ready reference, into sub-sections, which are numbered 1a, 1b, and so on.

1 b. Nenthaotagenhetak, "by the ashes," or "near the hearth." The root-word is here agenhe, the Onondaga form of the Canienga word akenra, ashes, which is comprised in the compound form, jiudakenrokde, in Section 27 of the Canienga book. It will be seen that the spokesman of the younger nations is here complying strictly with the law laid down in that section. He "stands by the hearth and speaks a few words to comfort those who are mourning."

1 c. "It was valued at twenty." The interpreters explained that by "twenty" was understood the whole of their wampum, which constituted all their treasure. A human life was worth the whole of this, and they freely gave it, merely to recall the memory of the chief who was gone. Among the Hurons, when a man had been killed, and his kindred were willing to renounce their claim to vengeance on receiving due satisfaction, the number of presents of wampum and other valuables which were to be given was rigidly prescribed by their customary law. [Footnote: Relation of 1648, p. 80.] From this custom would easily follow the usage of making similar gifts, in token of sympathy, to all persons who were mourning the loss of a near relative,

1 d. "Because with her the line is lost." The same sentiment prevailed among the Hurons. "For a Huron killed by a Huron," writes Father Ragueneau in the letter just quoted, "thirty gifts are commonly deemed a sufficient satisfaction. For a woman forty are required, because, as they say, the women are less able to defend themselves; and, moreover, they being the source whence the land is peopled, their lives should be deemed of more value to the commonwealth, and their weakness should have a stronger support in public justice." Such was the reasoning of these heathen barbarians. Enlightened Christendom has hardly yet advanced to the mark of these opinions.

I e. "Where the grave has been made," &c. The recital of Father Ragueneau also illustrates this passage. "Then followed," he writes, "nine other presents, for the purpose, as it were, of erecting a sepulchre for the deceased. Four of them were for the four pillars which should support this sepulchre, and four others for the four cross-pieces on which the bier of the dead was to rest. The ninth was to serve as his pillow."

2. "I will make the sky clear to you." In this paragraph the speaker reminds the mourners, in the style of bold imagery which the Iroquois orators affected, that continued grief for the dead would not be consonant with the course of nature. Though all might seem dark to them now, the sky would be as clear, and the sun would shine as brightly for them, as if their friend had not died. Their loss had been inevitable, and equally sure would be the return of the "pleasant days." This reminder, which may seem to us needless, was evidently designed as a reproof, at once gentle and forcible, of those customs of excessive and protracted mourning which were anciently common among the Huron-Iroquois tribes.

3. "You must converse with your nephews," &c. The "nephews" are, of course, the chiefs of the younger nations, who are here the condolers. The mourners are urged to seek for comfort in the sympathy of their friends, and not to reject the consolations offered by their visitors and by their own people.

4. "And now you can go out before the people, and go on with your duties," &c. This, it will be seen, corresponds with the injunctions of the Canienga book. (See Section 27, ante, p. 127): "And then they will be comforted, and will conform to the great law."

6. "Then the horns shall be left on the grave," &c. The same figure is here used as in the Canienga book, Section 23 (ante, p. 125). It is evident that the importance of keeping up the succession of their councillors was constantly impressed on the minds of the Iroquois people by the founders of their League.

7. "And the next death will receive the pouch." The "mourning wampum," in modern days, is left, or supposed to be left, with the kindred of the late chief until another death shall occur among the members of the Council, when it is to be passed on to the family of the deceased. This economy is made necessary by the fact that only one store of such wampum now exists, as the article is no longer made. It is probable that in ancient times the wampum was left permanently with the family of the deceased, as a memorial of the departed chief.

"Where the fire is made and the smoke is rising," i.e., when you receive notice that a Condoling Council is to be held in a certain place. The kindled fire and the rising smoke were the well-understood images which represented the convocation of their councils. In the Onondaga book before referred to (ante, p. 152) a few pages were occupied by what might be styled a pagan sermon, composed of exhortations addressed to the chiefs, urging them to do their duty to the community. The following is the commencement of this curious composition, which may serve to illustrate both the words now under consideration and the character of the people. The orthography is much better than that of La Fort's book, the vowels generally having the Italian sound, and the spelling being tolerably uniform. The translation was made by Albert Cusick, and is for the most part closely literal: The discourse commences with a "text," after the fashion which the pagan exhorter had probably learned from the missionaries:—

Naye ne iwaton ne gayanencher:

Onen wahagwatatjistagenhas ne Thatontarho. Onen wagayengwaeten, naye ne watkaenya, esta netho tina enyontkawaonk. Ne enagenyon nwatkaonwenjage shanonwe nwakayengwaeten netho titentyetongenta shanonwe nwakayengwaeten, ne tokat gishens enyagoiwayentaha ne oyatonwetti.

Netho hiya nigawennonten ne ongwanencher ne Ayakt Niyongyonwenjage ne Tyongwehonwe.

Ottinawahoten ne oyengwaetakwit? Nayehiya, ne agwegeh enhonatiwagwaisyonk ne hatigowanes,—tenhontatnonongwak gagweki,—oni enshagotino-ongwak ne honityogwa, engenk ne hotisgenrhergeta, oni ne genthonwisash, oni ne hongwagsata, oni ne ashonsthateyetigaher ne ongwagsata; netho niyoh tehatinya agweke sne sgennon enyonnontonnyonhet, ne hegentyogwagwegi. Naye ne hatigowanens neye gagwegi honatiiwayenni sha oni nenyotik honityogwa shanya yagonigonheten. Ne tokat gishen naye enyagotiwatentyeti, negaewane akwashen ne honiyatwa shanityawenih.


"The law says this:

"Now the council-fire was lighted by Atotarho. Now the smoke rises and ascends to the sky, that everybody may see it. The tribes of the different nations where the smoke appeared shall come directly where the smoke arises, if, perhaps, they have any business for the council to consider.

"These are the words of our law,—of the Six Nations of Indians.

"What is the purpose of the smoke? It is this—that the chiefs must all be honest; that they must all love one another; and that they must have regard for their people,—including the women, and also our children, and also those children whom we have not yet seen; so much they must care for, that all may be in peace, even the whole nation. It is the duty of the chiefs to do this, and they have the power to govern their people. If there is anything to be done for the good of the people, it is their duty to do it."

7 b. "Now I have finished! Now show him to me!" With this laconic exclamation, which calls upon the nation of the late chief to bring forward his successor, the formal portion of the ceremony—the condolence which precedes the installation—is abruptly closed.




The meaning of the term Kanonsionni, and of the other names by which the several nations were known in their Council, are fully explained in the Introduction. But some account should be given of the names, often inappropriate and generally much corrupted, by which they were known to their white neighbors. The origin and proper meaning of the word Iroquois are doubtful. All that can be said with certainty is that the explanation given by Charlevoix cannot possibly be correct. "The name of Iroquois," he says, "is purely French, and has been formed from the term hiro, 'I have spoken,' a word by which these Indians close all their speeches, and koue, which, when long drawn out, is a cry of sorrow, and when briefly uttered, is an exclamation of joy." [Footnote: History of New France, Vol. i, p. 270.] It might be enough to say of this derivation that no other nation or tribe of which we have any knowledge has ever borne a name composed in this whimsical fashion. But what is decisive is the fact that Champlain had learned the name from his Indian allies before he or any other Frenchman, so far as is known, had ever seen an Iroquois. It is probable that the origin of the word is to be sought in the Huron language; yet, as this is similar to the Iroquois tongue, an attempt may be made to find a solution in the latter. According to Bruyas, the word garokwa meant a pipe, and also a piece of tobacco,—and, in its verbal form, to smoke. This word is found, somewhat disguised by aspirates, in the Book of Rites—denighroghkwayen,—"let us two smoke together." (Ante. p. 114, Section 2). In the indeterminate form the verb becomes ierokwa, which is certainly very near to "Iroquois." It might be rendered "they who smoke," or "they who use tobacco," or, briefly, "the Tobacco People." This name, the Tobacco Nation (Nation du Petun) was given by the French, and probably also by the Algonkins, to one of the Huron tribes, the Tionontates, noted for the excellent tobacco which they raised and sold. The Iroquois were equally well known for their cultivation of this plant, of which they had a choice variety. [Footnote: "The Senecas still cultivate tobacco. Its name signifies 'the only tobacco,' because they consider this variety superior to all others."—Morgan: League of the Iroquois, p. 375.] It is possible that their northern neighbors may have given to them also a name derived from this industry. Another not improbable supposition might connect the name with that of a leading sept among them, the Bear clan. This clan, at least among the Caniengas, seems to have been better known than any other to their neighbors. The Algonkins knew that nation as the Maquas, or Bears. In the Canienga speech, bear is ohkwari; in Onondaga, the word becomes ohkwai, and in Cayuga, iakwai,—which also is not far from Iroquois. These conjectures—for they are nothing more—may both be wrong; but they will perhaps serve to show the direction in which the explanation of this perplexing word is to be sought.

The name of Mingo or Mengwe, by which the Iroquois were known to the Delawares and the other southern Algonkins, is said to be a contraction of the Lenape word Mahongwi, meaning the "People of the Springs." [Footnote: E. G. Squier: "Traditions of the Algonquins," in Beach's Indian Miscellany, p. 28.] The Iroquois possessed the headwaters of the rivers which flowed through the country of the Delawares, and this explanation of the name may therefore be accepted as a probable one.

The first of the Iroquois nations, the "oldest brother" of the confederacy, has been singularly unfortunate in the designations by which it has become generally known. The people have a fine, sonorous name of their own, said to be derived from that of one of their ancient towns. This name is Kanienke, "at the Flint." Kansen, in their language, signifies flint, and the final syllable is the same locative particle which we find in Onontake, "at the mountain." In pronunciation and spelling, this, like other Indian words, is much varied, both by the natives themselves and by their white neighbors, becoming Kanieke, Kanyenke, Canyangeh, and Canienga. The latter form, which accords with the sister names of Onondaga and Cayuga, has been adopted in the present volume.

The Huron frequently drops the initial k, or changes it to y. The Canienga people are styled in that speech Yanyenge, a word which is evidently the origin of the name of Agnier, by which this nation is known to the French.

The Dutch learned from the Mohicans (whose name, signifying Wolves, is supposed to be derived from that of their leading clan) to call the Kanienke by the corresponding name of Maqua (or Makwa), the Algonkin word for Bear. But as the Iroquois, and especially the Caniengas, became more and more a terror to the surrounding nations, the feelings of aversion and dread thus awakened found vent in an opprobrious epithet, which the southern and eastern Algonkins applied to their obnoxious neighbors. They were styled by these enemies Mowak, or Mowawak a word which has been corrupted to Mohawk. It is the third person plural, in the sixth "transition," of the Algonkin word mowa, which means "to eat," but which is only used of food that has had life. Literally it means "they eat them;" but the force of the verb and of the pronominal inflection suffices to give to the word, when used as an appellative, the meaning of "those who eat men," or, in other words, "the Cannibals." That the English, with whom the Caniengas were always fast friends, should have adopted this uncouth and spiteful nickname is somewhat surprising. It is time that science and history should combine to banish it, and to resume the correct designation. [Footnote: William Penn and his colonists, who probably understood the meaning of the word Mohawk forbore to employ it. In the early records of the colony (published by the Pennsylvania Historical Society) the nation is described in treaties, laws, and other public acts, by its proper designation, a little distorted in the spelling,—Canyingoes, Ganyingoes, Cayinkers, etc.]

The name Oneida, which in French became Onneyoutk or Onneyote, is a corruption of a compound word, formed of onenhia, or onenya, stone, and kaniote, to be upright or elevated. Onenniote is rendered "the projecting stone." It is applied to a large boulder of syennite, which thrusts its broad shoulder above the earth at the summit of an eminence near which, in early times, the Oneidas had planted their chief settlement.

As has been already stated, Onondaga is a softened pronunciation of Onontake, "at the mountain,"—or, perhaps, more exactly, "at the hill." It is probable that this name was unknown when the confederacy was formed, as it is not comprised in the list of towns given in the Book of Rites. It may be supposed to have been first applied to this nation after their chief town was removed to the site which it occupied in the year 1654, when the first white visitors of whom we have any certain account, the Jesuit Father Le Moyne and his party, came among them,—and also in 1677, when the English explorer, Greenhalgh, passed through their country. This site was about seven miles east of their present Reservation. I visited it in September, 1880, in company with my friend, General John S. Clark, who has been singularly successful in identifying the positions of the ancient Iroquois towns. The locality is thus described in my journal: "The site is, for an Indian town, peculiarly striking and attractive. It stretches about three miles in length, with a width of half a mile, along the broad back and gently sloping sides of a great hill, which swells, like a vast oblong cushion, between two hollows made by branches of a small stream, known as Limehouse creek. These streams and many springs on the hillside yielded abundance of water, while the encircling ridges on every side afforded both firewood and game. In the neighborhood were rich valleys, where—as well as on the hill itself—the people raised their crops of corn, beans, pumpkins, and tobacco. There are signs of a large population." In the fields of stubble which occupied the site of this ancient capital, the position of the houses could still be traced by the dark patches of soil; and a search of an hour or two rewarded us with several wampum-beads, flint chips, and a copper coin of the last century. The owner of the land, an intelligent farmer, affirmed that "wagon-loads" of Indian wares,—pottery, hatchets, stone implements, and the like—had been carried off by curiosity seekers.

The name of the Cayugas (in French Goyogouin) is variously pronounced by the Iroquois themselves. I wrote it as I heard it, at different times, from members of the various tribes. Koyukwen, Koiukwe, Kwaiukwen, Kayukwe. A Cayuga chief made it Kayukwa, which is very near the usual English pronunciation of the word. Of its purport no satisfactory account could be obtained. One interpreter rendered it "the fruit country," another "the place where canoes are drawn out." Cusick, the historian, translates it "a mountain rising from the water." Mr. Morgan was told that it meant "the mucky land." We can only infer that the interpreters were seeking, by vague resemblances, to recover a lost meaning.

The Senecas, who were called by the French Tsonontouan or Sonnontouan, bore among the Iroquois various names, but all apparently derived from the words which appear in that appellation, —ononta, hill, and kowa or kowane, great. The Caniengas called them Tsonontowane; the Oneidas abridged the word to Tsontowana; the Cayugas corrupted it to Onondewa; and the Onondagas contracted it yet farther, to Nontona. The Senecas called themselves variously Sonontowa, Onontewa, and Nondewa. Sonontowane is probably the most correct form.

The word Seneca is supposed to be of Algonkin origin, and like Mohawk, to have been given as an expression of dislike, or rather of hostility. Sinako, in the Delaware tongue, means properly "Stone Snakes;" but in this conjunction it is understood, according to the interpretation furnished to Mr. Squier, to signify "Mountain Snakes." [Footnote: "Traditions of the Algonquins," in Beach's Indian Miscellany, p. 33.] The Delawares, it appears, were accustomed to term all their enemies "snakes." In this case they simply translated the native name of the Iroquois tribe (the "Mountain People"), and added this uncomplimentary epithet. As the name, unlike the word Mohawk, is readily pronounced by the people to whom it was given, and as they seem to have in some measure accepted it, there is not the same reason for objecting to its use as exists in the case of the latter word,—more especially as there is no absolute certainty that it is not really an Iroquois word. It bears, in its present form, a close resemblance to the honorable "Council name" of the Onondagas,—Sennakehte, "the title-givers;" a fact which may perhaps have made the western nation more willing to adopt it.



The words Ohio, Ontario and Onontio (or Yonnondio)—which should properly be pronounced as if written Oheeyo, Ontareeyo, and Ononteeyo—are commonly rendered "Beautiful River," "Beautiful Lake," "Beautiful Mountain." This, doubtless, is the meaning which each of the words conveys to an Iroquois of the present day, unless he belongs to the Tuscarora tribe. But there can be no doubt that the termination io (otherwise written iyo, iio, eeyo, etc.) had originally the sense, not of "beautiful," but of "great." It is derived from the word wiyo (or wiio) which signifies in the Seneca dialect good, but in the Tuscarora, great. It is certain that the Tuscaroras have preserved the primitive meaning of the word, which the Hurons and the proper Iroquois have lost. When the French missionaries first studied the languages of these nations, traces of the original usage were apparent. Bruyas, in the "Proemium" to his Radices Verborum Iroquaorum, (p. 14), expressly states that jo (io) in composition with verbs, "signifies magnitude." He gives as an example, garihaioston, "to make much of anything," from garihea, thing, and io, "great, important." The Jesuit missionaries, in their Relation for 1641, (p. 22) render Onontio "great mountain," and say that both Hurons and Iroquois gave this title to the Governor of that day as a translation of his name, Montmagny.

Ontario is derived from the Huron yontare, or ontare, lake (Iroquois, oniatare), with this termination. It was not by any means the most beautiful of the lakes which they knew; but in the early times, when the Hurons dwelt on the north and east of it and the Iroquois on the south, it was to both of them emphatically "the great lake."

Ohio, in like manner, is derived, as M. Cuoq in the valuable notes to his Lexicon (p. 159) informs us, from the obsolete ohia, river, now only used in the compound form ohionha. Ohia, coalescing with this ancient affix, would become ohiio, or ohiyo, with the signification of "great river," or, as the historian Cusick renders it, "principal stream."

M. Cuoq. in his "Etudes Philologiques" (p. 14) has well explained the interesting word Rawenniio, used in various dialectical forms by both Hurons and Iroquois, as the name of the deity. It signifies, as he informs us, "he is master," or, used as a noun, "he who is master." This, of course, is the modern acceptation; but we can gather from the ancient Huron grammar, translated by Mr. Wilkie, (ante, p. 101) that the word had once, as might be supposed, a larger meaning. The phrase, "it is the great master," in that grammar (p. 108) is rendered ondaieaat eOarontio or eOauendio. The Huron nd becomes in Iroquois nn. EOauendio is undoubtedly a form of the same word which appears in the Iroquois Rawenniio. We thus learn that the latter word meant originally not merely "the master," but "the great master." Its root is probably to be found in the Iroquois kawen, or gawen (Bruyas, p. 64), which signifies "to belong to any one," and yields, in combination with oyata, person, the derivatives gaiatawen, to have for subject, and gaiatawenston, to subject any one.



Mr. Morgan, in his work on "Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family" (p. 151), fixes the date of the formation of the Iroquois league at about the middle of the fifteenth ^ century. He says: "As near as can now be ascertained, the league had been established about one hundred and fifty years when Champlain, in 1609, first encountered the Mohawks within their own territories, on the west coast of Lake George. This would place the epoch of its formation about A. D. 1459." Mr. Morgan, as he informed me, deduced this conclusion from the testimony of the most intelligent Indians whom he had consulted on the subject. His informants belonged chiefly to the Seneca and Tuscarora nations. Their statements are entirely confirmed by those of the Onondaga record-keepers, both on the Syracuse Reservation and in Canada. When the chiefs at Onondaga Castle, who, in October, 1875, met to explain to me their wampum records, were asked how long it had been since their league was made, they replied (as I find the answer recorded in my notes) that "it was their belief that the confederacy was formed about six generations before the white people came to these parts." Hudson ascended the river to which he gave his name in September, 1609. A boat from his ship advanced beyond Albany, and consequently into the territories of the League. "Frequent intercourse," says Bancroft, in his account of this exploration, "was held with the astonished natives of the Algonquin race; and the strangers were welcomed by a deputation from the Mohawks." If we allow twenty-five years to a generation, the era of the confederacy is carried back to a period a hundred and fifty years before the date of Hudson's discovery,—or to the year 1459. This statement of the Onondaga chiefs harmonizes, therefore, closely with that which Mr. Morgan had heard among the other nations.

I afterwards (in 1882) put the same question to my friend, Chief John Buck, the keeper of the wampum-records of the Canadian Iroquois. He thought it was then "about four hundred years" since the League was formed. He was confident that it was before any white people had been heard of by his nation. This opinion accords sufficiently with the more definite statement of the New York Onondagas to be deemed a confirmation of that statement.

There are two authorities whose opinions differ widely, in opposite directions, from the information thus obtained by Mr. Morgan and myself. David Cusick, in his "Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations," supposes that the League was formed "perhaps 1000 years before Columbus discovered America." His reasons for this supposition, however, do not bear examination. He makes Atotarho the hereditary title of a monarch, like Pharaoh or Caesar, and states that thirteen potentates bearing that title had "reigned" between the formation of the confederacy and the discovery of America by Columbus. The duration of each of these reigns he computes, absurdly enough, at exactly fifty years, which, however, would give altogether a term of only six hundred and fifty years. He supposes the discovery of America to have taken place during the reign of the thirteenth Atotarho; and he adds that the conquest and dispersion of the Eries occurred "about this time." The latter event, as we know, took place in 1656. It is evident that Cusick's chronology is totally at fault. As an Iroquois chief was never succeeded by his son, but often by his brother, it is by no means improbable that thirteen persons may have held successively the title of Atotarho in the term of nearly two centuries, between the years 1459 and 1656.

On the other hand, Heckewelder, in his well-known work on the "History, Manners and Customs of the Indian Nations." cites a passage from a manuscript book of his predecessor, the Rev. C. Pyrlaeus, formerly missionary among the Mohawks, from which a comparatively recent date would be inferred for the confederation. The inference, however, is probably due to a mistake of Heckewelder himself. The passage, as it stands in his volume, [Footnote: P. 56 of the revised edition of 1875, published by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.] is as follows:—

"The Rev. C. Pyrlaeus, in his manuscript book, p. 234, says: 'The alliance or confederacy of the Five Nations was established, as near as can be conjectured, one age (or the length of a man's life) before the white people (the Dutch) came into the country. Thannawage was the name of the aged Indian, a Mohawk, who first proposed such an alliance.'"

The words which Heckewelder has here included between parentheses arc apparently explanations which he himself added to the original statement of Pyrlaeus. The first of these glosses, by which an "age" is explained to be the length of a man's life, is doubtless correct; but the second, which identifies the "white people" of Pyrlaeus with the Dutch, is probably wrong. The white people who first "came into the country" of the Huron-Iroquois nations were the French, under Cartier. It was in the summer of 1535 that the bold Breton navigator, with three vessels commissioned to establish a colony in Canada, entered the St. Lawrence, and ascended the great river as far as the sites of Quebec and Montreal. He spent the subsequent winter at Quebec. The presence of this expedition, with its soldiers and sailors of strange complexion and armed with terrible weapons, must have been known to all the tribes dwelling along the river, and would naturally make an epoch in their chronology. Assuming the year 1535 as the time when the white people first "came into the country," and taking "the length of a man's life" at seventy-five years (or three generations) we should arrive at the year 1460 as the date of the formation of the Iroquois League. [Footnote: There is an evident difference between the expression used by my Onondaga informants and that which is quoted by Heckewelder from Pyrlaeus. The latter speaks of the time before the white people "came into the country;" the Onondagas referred to the time before they "came to these parts." The passage cited from Bancroft seems to indicate that the white men of Hudson's crew presented no novel or startling aspect to the Mohawks. The French had been "in the country" before them.]

The brief period allowed by Heckewelder's version is on many accounts inadmissible. If, when the Dutch first came among the Iroquois, the confederacy had existed for only about eighty years, there must have been many persons then living who had personally known some of its founders. It is quite inconceivable that the cloud of mythological legends which has gathered around the names of these founders—of which Clark, in his "Onondaga," gives only the smaller portion—should have arisen in so short a term. Nor is it probable that in so brief a period as has elapsed since the date suggested by Heckewelder, a fourth part of the names of the fifty chiefs who formed the first council would have become unintelligible, or at least doubtful in meaning. Schoolcraft, who was inclined to defer to Heckewelder's authority on this point, did so with evident doubt and perplexity. "We cannot," he says, "without rejecting many positive traditions of the Iroquois themselves, refuse to concede a much earlier period to the first attempts of these interesting tribes to form a general political association." [Footnote: "Notes on the Iroquois p. 75,"]

In view of all the facts there seems no reason for withholding credence from the clear and positive statement of the Iroquois chroniclers, who place the commencement of their confederate government at about the middle of the fifteenth century.



While many of the narratives of preternatural events recounted by Clark, Schoolcraft and others, in which the name of Hiawatha occurs, are merely adaptations of older myths relating to primitive Iroquois or Algonkin deities, there are a few which are actual traditions, though much confused and distorted, of incidents that really occurred. Among these is the story told by Clark, of the marvelous bird by which Hiawatha's only daughter was destroyed. Longfellow has avoided all reference to this preposterous tale; but to Mr. Clark, if we may judge from the fullness and solemnity with which he has recorded it, it appeared very impressive. [Footnote: "Onondaga" Vol. I, p. 25.] According to his narrative, when the great convention assembled at the summons of Hiawatha, to form the league of the Five Nations, he came to it in company with his darling and only daughter, a girl of twelve. Suddenly a loud rushing sound was heard. A dark spot appeared in the sky. Hiawatha warned his daughter to be prepared for the coming doom from the Great Spirit, and she meekly bowed in resignation. The dark spot, rapidly descending, became an immense bird, which, with long and pointed beak and wide-extended wings, swept down upon the beautiful girl, and crushed her to atoms. Many other incidents are added, and we are told, what we might well believe, that the hero's grief for the loss so suddenly and frightfully inflicted upon him was intense and long protracted.

That a story related with so much particularity should be utterly without foundation did not appear probable. It seemed not unlikely that a daughter of Hiawatha might have been killed at some public meeting, either accidentally or purposely, and possibly by an Indian belonging to one of the bird clans, the Snipe, the Heron, or the Crane. But further inquiry showed that even this conjecture involved more of what may be styled mythology than the simple facts called for. The Onondaga chiefs on the Canadian Reserve, when asked if they had heard anything about a strange bird causing the death of Hiawatha's daughter, replied at once that the event was well known. As they related it, the occurrence became natural and intelligible. It formed, indeed, a not unimportant link in the chain of events which led to the establishment of the confederacy. The catastrophe, for such it truly was, took place not at the great assembly which met for the formation of the league, but at one of the Onondaga councils which were convened prior to that meeting, and before Hiawatha had fled to the Caniengas. The council was held in an open plain, encircled by a forest, near which temporary lodges had been erected for the Councillors and their attendants. Hiawatha was present, accompanied by his daughter, the last surviving member of his family. She was married, but still lived with her father, after the custom of the people; for the wife did not join her husband in his own home until she had borne him a child. The discussions had lasted through the day, and at nightfall the people retired to their lodges. Hiawatha's daughter had been out, probably with other women, into the adjacent woods, to gather their light fuel of dry sticks for cooking. She was great with child, and moved slowly, with her faggot, across the sward. An evil eye was upon her. Suddenly the loud voice of Atotarho was heard, shouting that a strange bird was in the air, and bidding one of his best archers shoot it. The archer shot, and the bird fell. A sudden rush took place from all quarters toward it, and in the rush Hiawatha's daughter was thrown down and trampled to death. No one could prove that Atotarho had planned this terrible blow at his great adversary, but no one doubted it. Hiawatha's grief was profound; but it was then, according to the tradition of the Canadian Onondagas,—when the last tie of kindred which bound him to his own people was broken,—that the idea occurred to him of seeking aid among the eastern nations. [Footnote: This account of the events which immediately preceded Hiawatha's flight differs somewhat from the narrative which I received from the New York Onondagas, as recorded in the Introduction (p. 22). The difference, however, is not important; and possibly, if it had occurred to me to inquire of these latter informants about the incident of the bird, I might have heard from them particulars which would have brought the two versions of the story still nearer to accord. The notable fact is that the reports of a tradition preserved for four hundred years, in two divisions of a broken tribe, which have been widely separated for more than a century, should agree so closely in all important particulars. Such concurrence of different chroniclers in the main narrative of an event, with some diversity in the details, is usually regarded as the best evidence of the truth of the history.]

Clark's informants also told him much about a snow-white canoe in which Hiawatha—or, rather, Ta-oun-ya-wa-tha—made his first appearance to human eyes. In this canoe the demigod was seen on Lake Ontario, approaching the shore at Oswego. In it he ascended the river and its various branches, removing all obstructions, and destroying all enemies, natural and preternatural. And when his work was completed by the establishment of the League, the hero, in his human form of Hiawatha, seated himself in this canoe, and ascended in it to heaven, amid "the sweetest melody of celestial music."

The nucleus and probable origin of this singular story is perhaps to be found in the simple fact that Hiawatha, after his flight from the Onondagas, made his appearance among the Caniengas a solitary voyager, in a canoe, in which he had floated down the Mohawk river. The canoes of the Caniengas were usually made of elm-bark, the birch not being common in their country. If Hiawatha, as is not unlikely, had found or constructed a small canoe of birch-bark on the upper waters of the stream, and used it for his voyage to the Canienga town, it might naturally attract some attention. The great celebrity and high position which he soon attained, and the important work which he accomplished, would cause the people who adopted him as a chief to look back upon all the circumstances of his first arrival among them with special interest. That the canoe was preserved till his death, and that he was buried in it, amid funeral wails and mournful songs from a vast multitude, such as had never before lamented a chief of the Kanonsioani, may be deemed probable enough; and in these or some similar events we may look for the origin of this beautiful myth, which reappears, with such striking effect, in the closing scene of Longfellow's poem.



The list of towns comprised in the text contains twenty-three names. Of this number only eight or nine resemble names which have been in use since the Five Nations were known to the whites; and even of this small number it is not certain that all, or indeed any, were in these more recent times applied to their original localities. My friend, General John S. Clark, of Auburn, N. Y., who has made a special study of the positions of the Indian tribes and villages, and whose notes on this subject illustrate the excellent work of Dr. Hawley on the early history of the Cayuga nation, [Footnote: Early Chapters of Cayuga History: By Charles Hawley, D.D., President of the Cayuga Historical Society.] has favored me, in a recent letter, with the following brief but valuable summary of what is known in regard to the Iroquois towns:—

"When the Mohawks were first known, they occupied three principal towns on the south side of the Mohawk river, between Ganajoharie and Schoharie creeks. The most eastern was that of the "Turtles" (or Tortoise clan), and was usually designated as such, and by the Dutch as the Lower or First Castle. The Middle or Second Castle was commonly termed the village of the "Bears;" while the Third or Upper Castle was generally called Teonnondoge or Tionnontogen, a name apparently having reference to the 'two mountains' near which the original town stood. After these towns were destroyed by the French, in 1666, their people removed to the north side of the river,—those of the lower town retreating a few miles up the stream to the rapids; and then for a hundred years this was generally known Caughnawaga (Kahnawake) "At the Rapids." The Middle or Second Castle was called Gandagaro in 1670, Kanagiro in 1744, etc. The third appears to have retained its old name in all positions."

"When the Oneidas were first known they occupied a position on the headwaters of the Oneida inlet, and afterward gradually drew northward toward the lake. Their great town was usually called by the name of the tribe, as Onneiot, Onoyut, etc. One site, occupied about 1700, was called and known generally as Kanowaroghare, said to signify 'a head on a pole.'"

"The Onondagas, first known in 1615, occupied several sites, from a point south of the east end of Oneida lake, where they were when first known, to the Onondaga valley; but in all cases the chief town, when named, was called Onondaga, from the name of the tribe. Their great village in the Onondaga valley, according to Zeisberger, was known in 1750 as Tagochsanagecht, but this was a form derived from the name of the Onondagas as used in council. In all ages this chief town, wherever located, had other minor towns within from two to five miles, but they are rarely named. The great town was also divided into districts, one for each clan, each of which must have been known by the clan name, but this is seldom referred to. This rule held good also in all the large towns. A 'Bear village' was not occupied exclusively by members of the Bear clan; but these predominated and exercised authority."

"The Cayugas in 1656 occupied three villages,—Onnontare, on a hill near the Canandaigua river,—Thiohero, near the foot of Cayuga lake ('By the Marsh,' or, 'Where the Rushes are'),—and a third, which generally took the name of the tribe, Cayuga, but was occasionally divided into three districts, like the other large towns."

"The Senecas, when visited by the Jesuits, occupied two great towns, and several minor villages. The eastern of the two towns, near Victor, was called Gandougarae. The western, on Honcoye creek, nearly always, in all localities, took the name of the stream, which signifies 'bending.' It is said that when the League was first formed, it was agreed that the two great Seneca towns should be called by the names of two principal sachems; but I am unable to find that this was carried out in practice. In La Hontan's narrative of the De Nonville expedition, the great western town was separated into two parts, Thegaronhies and Danoncaritowi, which were the names of two important chiefs; while De Nonville's and other accounts describe it as Totiakton, 'at the bend.' This discrepancy, however, is found in all cases where the several towns are mentioned, as it was quite common to speak of them by the name of the principal chief. Thus, Cayuga in 1750 was called Tagayu, from Togahayu, the well-known chief sachem; Onondaga was called Canasatago's town, etc."

The frequent changes in the positions and names of Indian towns, thus well explained and exemplified, will account; for the fact that so few of the ancient names in the list which the tenacious memories of the record-keepers retained have come down in actual use to modern times. The well-known landmark of the Oneida stone seems to have preserved the name of the town,—Onenyute, "the projecting rock,"—from which the nation derived its usual designation. Deserokenh, or, as the Jesuit missionaries wrote it, Techiroguen, was situated near the outlet of the Oneida lake, at the point where the great northern trail crossed this outlet. A village of some importance is likely to have been always found at or near that locality. The same may be said of Deyuhhero, or Tiohero, where the main trail which united all the cantons crossed the river outlet of Lake Cayuga.

In other cases, though the identity of names is clear, that of the localities is more doubtful. The Kaneghsadakeh of the list, the "Hill-side town," may be the Kanasadaga of the Senecas; but, as General Clark remarks, the name might have been applied to any town on the side of a mountain. In like manner Deyughsweken (or Deyohsweken), which is said to mean "flowing out," may have been the town from which the Oswego river took its name, or a town at the mouth of any other river; and Deyaokenh, "the Forks," may have been Tioga, or any other village at the junction of two streams. Fonondese ("it is a high hill") is perhaps the same name as Onontare, which in Charlevoix's map appears as Onnontatacet; [Footnote: See "Early Chapters of Cayuga History," p. 48.] but the name may well have been a common one. A few other apparent coincidences might be pointed out; but of most of the towns in the list we can only say that no trace remains in name or known locality, and that in some cases even the meaning of the names has ceased to be remembered. General Clark sums up his conclusions on this point in the following words: "They appear to belong to a remote—I may say a very remote—age, and not to be referred to any particular known localities; and this, as it appears to me, is more to the credit of the manuscript as an archaic work."



[The following is the concluding portion of an essay on "Indian Migrations, as evidenced by Language," which was read at the Montreal meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in August, 1882, and published in the "American Antiquarian" for January and April, 1883. As the views set forth in this extract have a bearing on the subjects discussed in the present work, the author takes the opportunity of reproducing them here for the consideration of its readers.]

It will be noticed that the evidence of language, and to some extent that of tradition, leads to the conclusion that the course of migration of the Indian tribes has been from the Atlantic coast westward and southward. The Huron-Iroquois tribes had their pristine seat on the lower St. Lawrence. The traditions of the Algonkins seem to point to Hudson's Bay and the coast of Labrador. The Dakota stock had its oldest branch east of the Alleghenies, and possibly (if the Catawba nation shall be proved to be of that stock), on the Carolina coast. Philologists are well aware that there is nothing in the language of the American Indians to favor the conjecture (for it is nothing else) which derives the race from eastern Asia. But in western Europe one community is known to exist, speaking a language which in its general structure manifests a near likeness to the Indian tongues. Alone of all the races of the old continent the Basques or Euskarians of northern Spain and southwestern France have a speech of that highly complex and polysynthetic character which distinguishes the American languages. There is not, indeed, any such positive similarity, in words or grammar, as would prove a direct affiliation. The likeness is merely in the general cast and mould of speech; but this likeness is so marked as to have awakened much attention. If the scholars who have noticed it had been aware of the facts now adduced with regard to the course of migration on this continent, they would probably have been led to the conclusion that this similarity in the type of speech was an evidence of the unity of race. There seems reason to believe that Europe—at least in its southern and western portions—was occupied in early times by a race having many of the characteristics, physical and mental, of the American aborigines. The evidences which lead to this conclusion are well set forth in Dr. Dawson's recent work on "Fossil Man." Of this early European people, by some called the Iberian race, who were ultimately overwhelmed by the Aryan emigrants from central Asia, the Basques are the only survivors that have retained their original language; but all the nations of southern Europe, commencing with the Greeks, show in their physical and mental traits a large intermixture of this aboriginal race. As we advance westward, the evidence of this infusion becomes stronger, until in the Celts of France and of the British Islands it gives the predominant cast to the character of the people. [Footnote: "The Basque may then be the sole surviving relic and witness of an aboriginal western European population, dispossessed by the intrusive Indo-European tribes. It stands entirely alone, no kindred having yet been found for it in any part of the world. It is of an exaggeratedly agglutinative type, incorporating into its verb a variety of relations which are almost everywhere else expressed by an independent word."—"The Basque forms a suitable stepping-stone from which to enter the peculiar linguistic domain of the New World, since there is no other dialect of the Old World which so much resembles in structure the American languages."—Professor Whitney, in "The Life and Growth of Language" p. 258.]

If the early population of Europe were really similar to that of America, then we may infer that it was composed of many tribes, scattered in loose bands over the country, and speaking languages widely and sometimes radically different, but all of a polysynthetic structure. They were a bold, proud, adventurous people, good hunters and good sailors. In the latter respect they were wholly unlike the primitive Aryans, who, as was natural in a pastoral people of inland origin, have always had in the east a terror of the ocean, and in Europe were, within historic times, the clumsiest and least venturous of navigators. If communities resembling the Iroquois and the Caribs once inhabited the British islands and the western coasts of the adjacent continent, we may be sure that their fleets of large canoes, such as have been exhumed from the peat-deposits and ancient river-beds of Ireland, Scotland, and France, swarmed along all the shores and estuaries of that region. Accident or adventure may easily have carried some of them across the Atlantic, not merely once, but in many successive emigrations from different parts of western Europe. The distance is less than that which the canoes of the Polynesians were accustomed to traverse. The derivation of the American population from this source presents no serious improbability whatever. [Footnote: The distance from Ireland to Newfoundland is only sixteen hundred miles. The distance from the Sandwich Islands to Tahiti (whence the natives of the former group affirm that their ancestors came) is twenty-two hundred miles. The distance from the former islands to the Marquesas group, the nearest inhabited land, is seventeen hundred miles. The canoes of the Sandwich Islands (as we are assured by Ellis, in his "Polynesian Researches") "seldom exceed fifty feet in length." In the river-beds of France, ancient canoes have been found, exceeding forty feet in length. One was more than forty-five feet long, and nearly four feet deep. See the particulars in Figuier's "Primitive Man," Appleton's edit., p. 177. See also Prof. D. Wilson's "Prehistoric Man," 2d edit., p. 102, for a full discussion of this question, with instances of long canoe voyages.]

On the theory which seems thus rendered probable, that the early Europeans were of the same race as the Indians of America, we are able to account for certain characteristics of the modern nations of Europe, which would otherwise present to the student of anthropology a perplexing problem. The Aryans of Asia, ancient and modern, as we know them in the Hindoos, the Persians, and the Armenians, with the evidence afforded by their history, their literature and their present condition, have always been utterly devoid of the sentiment of political rights. The love of freedom is a feeling of which they seem incapable. To humble themselves before some superior power—deity, king, or brahmin—seems to be with them a natural and overpowering inclination. Next to this feeling is the love of contemplation and of abstract reasoning. A dreamy life of worship and thought is the highest felicity of the Asiatic Aryan. On the other hand, if the ancient Europeans were what the Basques and the American Indians are now, they were a people imbued with the strongest possible sense of personal independence, and, resulting from that, a passion for political freedom. They were also a shrewd, practical, observant people, with little taste for abstract reasoning.

It is easy to see that from a mingling of two races of such opposite dispositions, a people of mixed character would be formed, very similar to that which has existed in Europe since the advent of the Aryan emigrants. In eastern Europe, among the Greeks and Sclavonians, where the Iberian element would be weakest, the Aryan characteristics of reverence and contemplation would be most apparent. As we advance westward, among the Latin and Teutonic populations, the sense of political rights, the taste for adventure, and the observing, practical tendency, would be more and more manifest; until at length, among the western Celts, as among the American Indians, the love of freedom would become exalted to an almost morbid distrust of all governing authority.

If this theory is correct, the nations of modern Europe have derived those traits of character and those institutions which have given them their present headship of power and civilization among the peoples of the globe, not from their Aryan forefathers, but mainly from this other portion of their ancestry, belonging to the earlier population which the Aryans overcame and absorbed. That this primitive population was tolerably numerous is evident from the fact that the Aryans, particularly of the Latin, Teutonic, and Celtic nations lost in absorbing it many vocal elements and many grammatical inflections of their speech. They gained, at the same time, the self-respect, the love of liberty, and the capacity for selfgovernment, which were unknown to them in their Asiatic home. Knowing that these characteristics have always marked the American race, we need not be surprised when modern researches demonstrate the fact that many of our Indian communities have had political systems embodying some of the most valuable principles of popular government. We shall no longer feel inclined to question the truth of the conclusion which has been announced by Carli, Draper, and other philosophic investigators, who affirm that the Spaniards, in their conquest of Mexico, Yucatan, and Peru, destroyed a better form of society than that which they established in its place. The intellectual but servile Aryans will cease to attract the undue admiration which they have received for qualities not their own; and we shall look with a new interest on the remnant of the Indian race, as possibly representing this nobler type of man, whose inextinguishable love of freedom has evoked the idea of political rights, and has created those institutions of regulated self-government by which genuine civilization and progress are assured to the world.


The following Glossary comprises all the words of the Canienga text. The meanings of these words are given as they were, received from the interpreters. For most of them these definitions are confirmed by the dictionaries of Bruyas and Cuoq. Some of the words, which are either archaic forms or peculiar to the Council ceremonies, are not found in those dictionaries; and in a few instances the precise purport of these words must be considered doubtful. In some cases, also, the force of a grammatical inflection or of an affix may not have been correctly ascertained; but it is believed that the vocabulary will be found, in general, sufficiently accurate to be of service to the student who may desire to acquire some knowledge of the Canienga speech.

When the words of John Buck's copy differ in orthography from those of the Johnson MS., the former are added in brackets. Words cited from the dictionary of Bruyas are distinguished by the letter B; those from the lexicon of M. Cuoq by C.


Aerengh [orenh], far. Heren, ahiren, B., far; heren, aheren, C., far away.

Aesahhahiyenenhon [ahesahhahiyenennyonhon], if thou hadst fallen (or perished) by the way. Aha, oha, ohaha, road, path; gaiennenon, B., to fall.

Aesayatyenenghdon [ahesayatyenendon], thou mightest have been destroyed. _Gaiennenon_, B., to fall; _gaien_nenton_, to cause to fall. _Aesaiatienenton_ is in the perf. subj. passive.

Aghsonh, scarcely, hardly, while.

Ai (excl.), hail! oh!

Aihaigh (excl.), hail! ah! oh! More commonly pronounced haihai.

Akare, until.

Akayongh [akcayon], ancient. Akaion, C., old, ancient, antique.

Akonikonghkahdeh, they are suffering. Onikonhra, mind, and oga'te, B., raw., i. e., having a sore mind.

Akotthaghyonnighshon, one who belongs to the Wolf clan. See Sathaghyonnighshon.

Akwah, indeed, truly, very, yea.

Akwekon, all.

Are, again, sometimes.

Ayakawen, one would have said. En, B, to say (perf. subj.).

Ayakaweron, one would have thought. Eron, B., to think, to wish.

Ayakotyerenhon, one would be startled, surprised. From katyeren, to wonder, be startled.

Ayawenhenstokenghske [ayawenhensthokenske], may it be true. Enon, iawennon, B.,—iawens, C., to happen; togenske, B., tokenske, C., it is true. "May it happen to be true!"

Ayuyeukwaroghthake [ayoyenkwarodake], there might have been tobacco smoke (apparent)., Oienkwa, C., tobacco; garst, B., to smoke (ppf. subj.).


Da-edewenhheye [dahedewenheyeh], we may all die. Genheion, genheie, B., to die (subj. mood).

Daghsatkaghthoghseronne [dasatkahthoseronne], thou mightest keep seeing. See Tesatkaghthoghserontyc. Tasatkahthoseronne (as the word would be spelt in modern orthography) appears to be the aorist subjunctive of atkahthos, to see, in the cislocative and frequentative forms.

Daondayakottondeke, that they may hear. Athonde, to hear.

Deghniwenniyu, joint ruler; lit., they two are masters. See Rawenniyo.

Deghsewenninekenne, thou mayest speak. See Entyewenninekenneh.

Dendewatenonghweradon, in our mutual greetings. See Dewadadononweronh.

Denghsatkaghdonnyonheke [densatkatonhnyonsekeh], thou wilt be looking about thee. Atkahthos, to see.

Denighroghkwayen [dehnihrohkwayen], let us two smoke. Garoksa, B., une pipe, touche de petun. It is conjectured that the name Iroquois, i. e., "Tobacco-people," may have been derived from this word. See Appendix, Note A.

Dentidewaghneghdoten, we will replace the pine-tree. Ohnehta, pine. Oten, as a suffix (according to M. Cuoq), "serves to express the condition, the manner, the kind, the nature of a thing."

Denyakokwatonghsaeke [tenyakokwennhendonghsaeke], he will be dying. Desakkeatouch, Onon. Dict., I am dying; kanoneenton, B., sick.

Denyontadenakarondako, they shall take off his horns. Onakara, horn.

Desahahishonne, thou art coming troubled.

Desakaghsereutonyonne, thou comest weeping. Gagasera, B., tear.

Desanyatokenh, in thy throat. Oniata, C., throat, neck.

Desawennawenrate, thy voice coming over. From owenna, C., gauenda or gauenna, B., voice, speech, word, and auenron, B., to pass over. The cislocative prefix de (te) gives the sense of "hither."

Deskenonghweronne [deskenonweronne], I come again to greet and thank. Kannonhueron, B., to salute any one; kannonhueronton, to salute or thank by, or for, anything. See ante, page 149, for an analysis of this word.

Detkanoron [detkanorons], all but, almost. From kanoron, costly, important, difficult.

Dewadadenonweronh [dewadatenonweron], mutual greeting. Kannonhueron, B., to salute any one.

Dewaghsadayenhah, in the shade. Asatagon, B., in secret; asatakon, C., in the dark.

Deyakodarakeh, the two clans. Ohtara, C., tribe, band. (Dual or duplicative form.)

Deyakonakarondon, wearing horns, i.e., being chiefs. Onnagara, B., horn; kannagaront, having horns; gannagaronni, B., etre considerable.

Deyughnyonkwarakda [deyohnyonkwaraktah], at the wood's edge; near the thicket. Onnionguar, B., thorn-bush, bramble; akta, C., beside, near to. The word applies to the line of bushes usually found on the border between the forest and a clearing. With the cislocative prefix de it means "on this side of the thicket."

Deyughsihharaonh [deyohsiharaonh], there is a stoppage. Gasiharon, B., to stop up, to close.

Deyunennyatenyon, hostile agencies, opposing; forces. Gannenniani, B., to surprise or defeat a band; gannennaton, ib., to seek to destroy.

Deyunhonghdoyenghdonh [deyonhonghdoyendonh], mourning wampum. This word appears to be composed of three of Bruyas' radices, viz., gaionni, wampum belt (collier de porcelaine),—gannonton, to throw wampum for the dead,—and gaienton, to strike, whence skaienton, to return the like, to strike back, and gaientatonton, to give satisfaction for any one wounded or killed; and the meaning will be "wampum given as a satisfaction or consolation for a death."

Dhatkonkoghdaghkwanyon. [thatkonkohdakwanyon], in going through. Ongoon, B., to penetrate, to pass through; atongotahkon, B., the place through which one passes.

Doghkara [dohkara], only a few. Tohkara, C., only occasionally, a few, a small number of.

Doka, if, perhaps, either, or. Toka, C., or, if; I don't know.

Donghwenghratstanyonne [donwenratstanyonne], coming over. Asenron, B., to pass over.


Eghdejisewayadoreghdonh [eghdetsisewayadorehdonh], this ye considered, ye deliberated about this. Kaiatefreton, B., to examine, to think, to deliberate about anything.

Eghdeshotiyadoreghton, they again considered. (See the preceding word.)

Eghnikatarakeghne [eghnikadarakene], such were the clans. Ehni—, C., for ethoni, there are, so, it is thus that; ohtara, clan, band.

Eghnikouh, thus, in this way.

Eghnonweh, thither, yonder.

Eghtenyontatitenranyon, they will condole with one another, or, there will be mutual condolence. Gentenron, B., kitenre, C., to pity any one. Atatitenron, B., to deplore one's misery.

Eghyendewasenghte, we will let it fall. Asenon, B., to fall; asenhton, ib., to cause to fall.

Eghyesaotonnihsen, this was his uncle. See yeshodonnyk.

Endewaghneghdotako, we will pull up a pine tree. From onehta, pine, and gataksan, gatako, to draw out, B., sub voce At.

Enghsitskodake, thou wilt be resting, thou wilt remain. Gentskote, B., to be in any place.

Entyewenninekenneh, the words which will be said. From Kawenna, word (q. v.) and en, B., to say.

Enjerennokden (or enyerennokden), they will finish the song; or, the hymn will be finished. Karenna, song, hymn; okte, B., the end; to finish.

Enjeyewendane [enjewendane], they will be comforted. Ganeienthon, B, to be calm. (This word should probably be written enjeyeweyendane.)

Enjondatenikonghketsko, they will comfort, lit., will raise the mind. Onikonhra, mind, spirit, temper, and gagetskuan, B., to raise up.

Enjondentyonko. See Enyonghdentionko.

Enjonkwakaronny, it will cause us trouble. Gagaronnion, B., to do harm to any one, to cause him some loss.

Enjonkwanekheren, we shall suffer a loss. Wakenekheren, C., not to know, not to recognize (i.e., we shall cease to see some one).

Enskat, one, once.

Entkaghwadasehhon, will be vexed, excited. Gahuatase, B., to twist, turn round.

Enwadon, it will be allowed. Watons, fut. enwaton, C., to be possible, feasible, allowed.

Enwadonghwenjadethare, will make a hole through the ground. See Onwentsia.

Enyairon, they will say, one will say. From en, B., fut. egiron, to say.

Enyakaonkodaghkwe [enyakaonkohdakwe], they shall have passed. Ongoon, B., to penetrate, pass through; ongotanni, to cause to penetrate, etc.

Enyakodenghte, they (or one) will be miserable. Genthenteon, B., to be deserving of pity.

Enyakodokenghse [enyakodokenseh], they (or one) will discover. Gatogenon, gatogens, B., to know.

Enyakohetsde [enyakohetste], he (or one) will go on. Kohetstha, C., to pass beyond.

Enyakonewarontye, they (or one) will be surprised. Gannesaron, B., to surprise.

Enyeharako, they will carry it. Gaha, B., to carry off.

Enyeken, they will see. Gagen, B., to see.

Enyenikonghkwendarake, they will be mourning. Onikonhra. (q. v.) and gagsentaron, stretched on the ground (i.e., the mind dejected).

Enyerennokden. See Enjerennokden.

Enyerighwanendon [enyerihwanondon], they will ask (or, will wonder). From karihwa (q. v.) and gannendon, B., to wonder, or annonton, to seek. Garihwanonton, B., to ask the news.

Enyerighwawetharho, the business will be closed. Karihwa (q. v.) and otarhon, B., to grasp; kotarhos, C., to grasp, to stop by grasping.

Enyonderennoden, they will sing it thus. Karenna, q. v. and—oten, C., which "serves to express the condition, manner, kind, or nature of a thing."

Enyonghdentyonko, he will walk to and fro. Atention, B., to go away.

Enyononghsaniratston, it will strengthen the house. Kanonsa, house, and ganniraton, B., to strengthen.

Enyontsdaren, they will weep. Katstaha, C., to weep, to shed tears.

Enyontyerenjiok, they will be startled. From katyeren, to wonder, to be surprised.

Enyurighwadatye [enyorihwadatye], it will continue: the affair will go on. From kariwa (q. v.) as a verb, in the progressive form and future tense.

Etho, thus, so.

Ethone, then.

Ethononweh, thither.


Hasekenh, because. Aseken, C., for, because.

Henskerighwatoate [enskerighwatonte], I will frustrate their purposes. From karihwa (q. v.) and atoneton, B., to cause to lose, to mislead.

Henyondatsjistayenhaghse [henyondatstsistayenhase], they will hold a council, lit., they will make a council fire. From katsista, fire; gatsistaien, B., to hold council, to light the council fire.

Hone, also. See Ony.


Ie [iih], I.

Iese [ise], thou, ye.

Iesewengh, ye have said. En, B., to say.

Issy [hissih], yonder, there, Isi, C., there.


Jadadeken, thy brother (or brothers). Tsiatatekenha, C., ye two are brothers.

Jadakweniyosaon (or jatagweniyosaon), thou wert the ruler, or, ye were the rulers. See Jadakweniyu.

Jadakweniyu, thou art the ruler, or, ye are the rulers. See note to sec. 28, ante, p. 152.

Jatatawhak, father and son, lit., son of each other. Gahawak, B., to have for child (reciprocal form).

Jathondek (or jatthontek), listen! hearken thou. Imperative sing. of kathontats, C, athantaton, B., to hear.

Jatthontenyonk, keep listening! continue to hear! The frequentative form of jatthontek.

Ji [tsi], that, that which, wherein. See Jini.

Jidenghnonhon [jidennon], as, like as. Tennon, C., and also, but.

Jinayawenhon, the consequences, the results, lit. what would happen. Enon, B.,—iawens, C, to happen.

Jinesadawen [tsinesadawen]. See Jinisadawen.

Jini [tsini], that which, such, so, so much.

Jinihotiyerenh, what they did. From Jini (q. v.) and —kierha,—wakieren, C., to act, do, say. This verb is always preceded by some particle, such as kenni (see how), tsini (that which) and the like.

Jinikawennakeh, these the words. See Jini and kawenna.

Jinisayadawen [tsinesayadawenh], that which has befallen you. Enon, B., to happen; gaiatasenon, to happen to some one.

Jiniyuneghrakwah [tsiniyohnerakwa], this solemn event. Gonneragoon, B., to wonder; jonneragsat, that is wonderful. See yuneghrakwah.

Jinonweh [tsinonweh], thither, whereto.

Jiratighrotonghkwakwe [tsiradirohtonhkwakwe], where they used to smoke. Garst, B., to smoke; otonkwa, C., flame. "Where they lighted their pipes."

Jisanakdade [tsisanakdate], from thy seat. See Kanakta.

Jiyudakenrokde [tsiodakenrokde], by the fireplace, near the ashes. Akenra, ashes; okte, end, edge.

Jiyathondek, listen! hearken! Imperative dual of kathontats, I hear. See Jathondek.

Jodenaghstahhere, they made additions to a house; they added a frame. Gannasta, B., poles for making a house; onasta, C., a framework; kaheren, B. to be upon.

Joskawayendon, there is again wilderness, waste ground. Gaienthon, B., to have fields.


Kadon, I say, I speak. Igatonk (sub voce En), B., I say; katon, C., to say.

Kady [kadi], therefore, then. Kati, C., then, consequently.

Kadykenh, because. See Katykenh.

Kaghnekonyon, floods. From ohneka, water, in the frequentative form. Gannegonnion, B., there is much water.

Kaghyaton, it is written. Kiatons, C., to write. M. Cuoq says: "the perfect participle takes an h: kahiaton, written, it is written." Gaiatare, B., to paint.

Kajatthondek, listen! See Jathondek.

Kakeghrondakwe, they were collected; were assembled. Gageron, B., to be together, or, to put things or persons somewhere.

Kanaghsdajikowah [kanastatsikowah], great framework, great building. From kanasta, frame, and kowa, great.

Kanakaryonniha, on a pole. Gannagare, B., pole, long stick.

Kanakdakwenniyukeh, on the principal seat. From kanakta (q. v.) and atakwenniio, C, principal.

Kanakdiyuhake, the place (or seat) may be good. From kanakta, place, seat, and—iyu, good (subjunctive mood).

Kanakta, mat,—hence couch, bed, seat, place.

Kaneka, where, somewhere.

Kanekhere, I believe, I suppose; surely, certainly. Probably from eron, igere, B., to think, or suppose.

Kanhonghdakdeh [kanonhdakdeh], by the wall, or side of the house. Onnhonta, wall of house, of a cabin; akte, beside, athwart.

Kanikonrashon, the minds, a plural form of Onikonhra (q.v.)

Kanikonrakeh, in mind. See Onikonhra.

Kanonghsakdatye [kanonsakdatye], outside the house. Kanonsakta, near the house; from Kanonsa, house, and akta, near, beside. The progressive affix tye gives the meaning of "passing near the house."

Kanonghsakonshon [kanonsakonshon], in the house.

Kanonsa, house.

Kanoron, important, valuable, serious, difficult, painful, afflicting.

Karenna, song, hymn, chant.

Karighwakayonh, in ancient times. From Karihwa (q. v.), and akaion, old. See Orighwakayongh.

Karighwatchkwenh [karihwahtehkonh], this word, which the interpreters rendered simply ceremony, probably means "the fire-kindling act," from Karihwa (q. v.), and atchken, or atekha (ategen, ateza, B.), to burn.

Karihwa or karighwa (garihsa, B., kariwa, oriwa, C.), thing, affair, business, action, news, word. This word, in its root-form of rihwa (riwa) or rihow enters largely into compounds having reference to business, law, office, news, belief, and the like.

Karonta, tree, log, trunk, post.

Kathonghnonweh [kathonnonweh], I fail, I lose my way. Atonon, B., to lose one's self, to go astray.

Kathonghdeh, away, out of sight. Atonhton, B. (sub voce atonon), to cause to lose, to mislead.

Katykenh [kadikenh], how then? Kati, C., then (done); ken, interrogative particle.

Kawenna (gauenda, gattenna, B.; owenna, C.), word, voice, language, speech.

Kayanerenh, peace, goodness, justice, law, league. Wakianere, ioianere, C., to be good, right, proper (i.e., noble); roianer, he is a chief. Kaianerensera, law, government, rule, decree, ordinance. See ante, p. 33.

Kayanerenghkowa, great peace, great law, the great league. Kayanerenh (q. v.) and kowa, great.

Kehaghshonha, kehhasaonhah, recent, lately.

Ken (for kento) here.

Kendenyethirentyonnite, here we will place them. See Kenderentyonnih.

Kenderentyonnih, this is lying here. Probably from Garenton, B., to hang down, and ionni, to be extended or laid out.

Kendonsayedane (?) returning here, (qu., pausing here). Gasaien, B., to be slow; gasaiatanne, to make slow.

Kenenyohdatyadawenghdate, one shall be murdered here. Aaenthon, B., to kill; Katawenthos, C, to kill many people, to massacre.

Kenhendewaghnatatsherodarho, we will attach a pouch. Gannata, B., little bag; otarhon, to grasp.

Kenkaghnekonyon, here floods. See kaghnekonyon.

Kenkarenyakehrondonhah, being hidden here among logs. Gagarennion, B., to remove away; Karonta, tree, log.

Kenkine [kenki], thus, in this way.

Kenkisenh [kenhkense], thus, in this way.

Kenkontifaghsoton, here things lying in ambush.

Kenne, thus.

Kennikanaghsesha, small strings of wampum. Kenni—ha, C., small, kanahses, (?) a string of wampum.

Kensane, but, however.

Kentekaghronghwanyon [kondekahronwanyon], here obstacles. Garonhon, B., to place (or to be) athwart.

Kentewaghsatayenha, here in the dark. Asatagon, C., in the darkness; asatagon, B., in secret.

Kenteyurhoton, here to this opening (or cleared space in a forest). Karha, forest.

Kenthoh (kento, C.), here.

Kenwaseraketotanese, here the uplifted hatchet, From ken, here, wasera (asera, osera), hatchet, and gagetut, B., to be shown, to appear above.

Kenwedewayen, we place it here. From ken, here, and gaien, B., to put in any place.

Kenyoteranentenyonhah, there is a crevice here. From ken, here, and ateronnonte, B., having space, or showing light between two things not well joined.

Kenyutnyonkwaratonnyon, here many thorns. From ken, here, and onniongar, B., thorns, brambles. The word is in the frequentative form.

Konnerhonyon [konneronyon], they keep thinking. Eron, B., to think, to will. (Frequentative form.)

Konyennetaghkwen [konyennedaghkwen], my child, my offspring. From ennet, B., to hold an infant in one's bosom. "Gonyennetakan, says the Canienga to the Oneida," B. Konyennetakkwen is properly a verb of the third conjugation, in the imperfect tense, and the 1:2 transition: "I nursed thee as a child." Here it is used idiomatically as a noun.

Kowa, kowane, great.


Nadehhadihne, it was their number. See Natejonhne.

Nadekakaghneronnyonghkwe [nedekakanneronnyonkwe], it was commonly looked at. Kagannere, B., to see (frequentative form, imperfect tense).

Nai (exclam.), hail! oh! ah! (It is the exclamation ai or hai, with the particle ne prefixed.)

Nakonikonra, their mind. See Onikonhra.

Nakwah, (?) indeed. See Akwah.

Natehotiyadoreghtonh, they decided on. Kajatoreton, B., to examine, think, deliberate about anything.

Natejonhne, it was your number; this was the size of your class. Teionihes, C., large, wide; "ken ok nateionhes, not larger than that."

Nayakoghstonde [nayakostonde], by reason of, the pretext being. Gastonton, B., to make a pretext of anything.

Nayawenh, it may be. Enon, yawenon, B.,—iawens, C., to happen. See Nenyawenne.

Nayeghnyasakenradake,(?) having a white neck. Onniasa, B., neck; gagenrat, B., white.

Ne, the, this, that, who, which (rel.). A demonstrative and relative particle, variously used, but always giving a certain emphasis to the word which it precedes.

Nedens, either, or.

Nekenne (or ne kenh ne), thus.

Nene, the, this, that, these, those, etc. (an emphatic reduplication of ne).

Nenyakoranne, they will keep on, persist, go so far as. Garaon, garannne, B., to find any one; keras, kerane, C., to approach any one, to come to him.

Nenyawenne, it may be; it will happen; it shall be done. Future of Nayawenh, q. v.

Nenyerighwanendon, they will inquire. See Enyerighwanendon.

Neok, nok, and, also. (Contracted from ne and ok.)

Neony [neoni], also. See Ne and Oni.

Niateweghniserakeh, every day. From niate, each, every, and wehnisera, (or wennisera) day, with the locative participle ke.

Nitthatirighwayerathaghwe [nithariwayerathakwe], they used to do the work. From karihwa, business, and gaieren, B., to do. (Imperfect tense.)

Nityakwenontonh, they search, inquire, pry into. Annonton, gannenton, B., to seek, search, interrogate.

Niutercnhhatye (?) it was startling. From katyeren, to wonder, to be startled.

Niwa, extent, size, number.

Niyakoghswathah, they are mischievous, troublesome. Gasaton, B., etre mechant.

Niyawehkowa [niawenhkowa], great thanks. Niawen, C., thanks; kowa, great.

Niyawennonh, it happened. See Nayawenh.

Niyenhhenwe [niyenhhenwe], in the future.—nenwe relates to the future, C.

Niyieskahhaghs, being borne. Gaha, B., to carry away.

Niyonsakahhawe, he is carried. Gahawi, B., to bring.

Noghnaken, hereafter, afterwards, in later times. See Oghnaken.

Nonkenh, it may be. Enon, B., to happen.

Nonkwaderesera, our grandchildren. See Saderesera.

Nonwa, now.

Nyare, while, previously. Niare, C., beforehand.


Oghentonh, in the first place, foremost, firstly. Gahenton, B., to go first; ohenton, C, before, foremost, formerly.

Oghnaken [onaken], afterwards. Ohnaken, C., behind, backwards, afterwards.

Oghniyawenhonh, what has happened. From ohni, C., what? and iawens, to happen.

Oghnonekenh, dismayed (?) Kannonhiannion, B., to fear, to be alarmed.

Oghseronnih [onhseronni]; together. Oseronni, C., together.

Oghsonteraghkowa [aghsonderahkowah], disease, pestilence.

Ohhendonh; see Oghentonh.

Ok, and, also, indeed.

Okaghserakonh [okaserakonh], an tears. Gagasera, B., tears.

Okaghsery [okaseri], tears. Okaseri, C., tear, from Okahra, eye, and keri, liquid.

Onakara, horn.

Onekwenghdarihenh, in crimson (i. e., in blood). Onigentara, B., red; onnigensa, blood.

Onenh [onen]. Now; at last; finally.

Onghteh [onhteh], perhaps, probably.

Onghwa, now, at present. Onwa, C., now. (Same as Nonwa.)

Onghwajok, presently.

Onghwenjakonh [onwenjakon], into the earth. See Onwentsia.

Onidatkon, deadly.

Onikonhra, mind, character, disposition, thought, opinion, sentiment. Gandigonra, B., esprit, pensee.

Onkwaghsotshera [onkwasotsera], our forefathers. The root is sot, meaning grandparent. Rak'sotha, C., my grandfather; ak'sotha, my grandmother; onkwa, our; sera, the "crement," generalizing the word.

Onkwaghsotsherashonhkenha, our deceased forefathers. See Onkwaghsotshera, Shon (son) is the plural suffix; kenha, deceased, "the late" (the French feu).

Onok, and, and then. See Ony, Ok and Neok.

Onokna, and then.

Onwa, now. See Onghwa.

Onwentsia, earth, land, field, ground.

Ony [oni], also. See Neony.

Orighokonha, few words. From karihwa (q. v.), and okonha, an affix indicating a restricted plural.

Orighwakayongh [oriwakayon], in ancient times. See Karihwa and Akayongh.

Orighwakwekonh [oriwakwekon], all business, all matters, all the rules. See Karihwa and Akwekon.

Owenna. See Kawenna.

Oya [oyah], another, another thing.

Oyata (or oyada), body, person, some one, self. Oiata, C., body, person; gaiata, B., living thing.

Oyenkondonh, men, warriors (obsolete).


Radiyats. See Ratiyats.

Rakowanenh, he is chief (lit. he is a great one). From kowanen, to be great; root, kowa, great.

Ranyaghdenghshon [ranyadenhshon], he is of the Tortoise clan. _Keniahten, C., to be of the Tortoise band.

Ratikowanenghskwe, they were great. 3d person, plural, imperfect of kowanen, to be great. See Rakowanenh.

Ratiyanarenyon [radiyanaronnyon], their many footmarks, or traces. Gaianna, B., oiana, C, track, trace (frequentative form). Gaiannaronyon, B., there are many tracks.

Ratiyats, they call it. 3d person, plural, of Gaiason, B., to name, to call.

Raweghniseronnyh [rawenniseronni], he appoints (lit. makes) the day. From weghnisera, day, and konnis, C., to make.

Rawenniyo [rawenniyoh], God (lit. he is a master). Keweniio, C., to be master. See Appendix, note B.

Raxhottahyh, my forefathers. Rak sotha, C., my grandfather.

Roghskenrakeghdekowah, he is a war-chief. Oskera, C., war; roskenrakehte, warrior; kowa, great.

Rodighskenrakeghdethaghkwe [rodiskenrakedetahkwe], they were warriors. 3d pers. pl. imperfect of roskenrakehte, he is a warrior.

Rokhawah, his son. Gahaak, B., to have for child; nihaak, my child.

Rokwahhokowah, he is the great wolf. Okwaho, wolf; kowa, great.

Ronarasehsen, they are cousins. See Yeshonarase.

Ronatennossendonghkwe [rondennoshentonhkwe], they used to meet (lit., to fraternize). 3d pers. pl. imperfect of atennossen, to be brother and sister.

Ronenh, they said. En, B. to say (used only in the preterite).

Roneronh, they thought. Eron, B., to think.

Ronkeghsotah, my forefathers. See Onkwaghsotshera and Raxhottahyh.

Roskerewake, he is of the Bear clan. Akskerewake, C., to be of the band of the Bear.

Rotirighwison, they made the rule, they decided. See Karihwa. Gariheison; B., to finish a matter, to conclude.


Saderesera, thy grandchildren. Atere, grandchild; sera, the crement, generalizing the word. See Onkwaghsotshera.

Sahondakon, in thy ears. Ahonta, B., ear.

Sanekenh, although, yet, nevertheless.

Sanekherenhonh, thou art losing.

Sanheghtyensera, thy women, thy womankind. Gannhetien, B., woman; sera, the generalizing affix. See Saderesera.

Sanikonra, thy mind. See Onikonhra.

Sathaghyonnishon, thou art of the Wolf clan. Tahionni, one of the Wolf clan.

Senirighwisaanonghkwe, ye two were the founders. See Sewarighwisaanonghkwe.

Seniyatagweniyohkwe, ye two were the principals. See Jadakweniyu; the affix kwe indicates the past tense.

Sewarighwisaanonghkwe [sewarihwisahanonkwe], ye established, ye were the founders. From karihwa, q. v., and gason, B., to finish, to consummate. Garihwisaani, B., to accomplish a work, to complete a business.

Sewatarighwakhaonghkwe, ye were combined in the work, ye joined heartily in the business. From karihwa, (q. v.) and gagaon, B., to find good; gariheagaon, B., to like the affair.

Seweghne [sewenghne], ye said. En, B., to say.

Seweghniserathagh, for a time, lit, for a day. See Weghniserade.

Seweryenghskwe, ye who were comrades. (?) Probably from Oeri, C., friend, comrade,—here a verb in the imperfect tense.

Shehaweh [shehawa], thy child, or children. See Rohhawah.

Shekonh, yet, still. Sekon, C., still, moreover.

Shihonadewiraratye, they with their children (lit., they kept on producing young ones). From yodewirare, a fowl hatching.

Skaendayendon, again a waste place. Oyente, B., woods; gaienthon, to have fields. (Reiterative form).

Skarenhesekowah, a lofty tree; lit., a great tree-top. From garenha, B., tree-top, ese (suffix) long, high, and kowa, great.

Skennen, well, easily, peacefully, pleasantly.

Skennenji, quite well, very peacefully, safely. From skennen and tsi, C. an augmentative affix.


Tehhodidarakeh, the two clans. See Tekadarakehne.

Tehotyatakarorenh, acting in two capacities (lit., a person divided). From oiata, person, and tioren, B., to split.

Tekadarakehne, there were two clans, or, of the two clans. From otara or katara, clan or totem (in the reduplicate form and past tense).

Tesatkaghthoghserontye [tesatkahthohserontye], thou sawest in coming. Katkathos, C., to see, look. The cislocative, frequentative, and progressive forms are all combined in this expressive word—"you kept seeing as you came."

Thadenyedane (?), he will stand. Gataon, B., to raise himself upright.

Thadenseghsatkaghthonnyonheke [thadensehsatkatonnyonheke], thou mayest look about thee. Katkathos, C., to look (frequentative form, subjunctive mood).

Thadetyatroghkwanekenh, let us two smoke together, From garoksa, B., kahrokwa, C, a pipe. Bruyas gives the derivative form tsatrokoannegen, but does not explain it; it evidently means, "let us (pl.) smoke together."

Thensadondeke, thou wilt hear. Athonte, athontaton, B., kathontats, C., to hear, obey, consent.

Thienkahhawe, will carry. Gahawi, B., to bring.

Thisayatatirhehon [thisayadadirhehon], thou arrivest.

Thisennekwakenry, thou art sitting in blood. Gannegse, B., blood, and gagenrion, to roll, to wallow.

Thiwakwekonh [ohtihwakwekonh], all around.

Thiyaensayeken, they will see it again. Gagen, B., to see.

Thiyenjidewatyenghsaeke [thienjidewatyenseke], we shall have reached home; lit., we shall have taken a seat. Atient, atien, B., to sit down.

Tsini; see Jini.

Tsisaronkatah, thy hearing. Arongen, B., to hear, to listen; arongaton, B., to hear by anything.

Tyewenninekenne, he will speak some words. See Entyewenninekenneh.

Tyeyadakeron, bodies are lying. Oyata, body; gageron, B., to be in any place.

Tyoghnawatenghjihonh [dyonawaghdehtsihonh], a swift current. Ohnawa, C., current, swift stream of water; gannasteton, B., swift river; tsihon, an augmentative suffix,—"exceedingly swift."


Waahkwadewayendonh, taking care, carefully. Ateseyenton, B., to take care, to do well.

Waghontenhnonterontye, or Wahhondennonterontye, they were as brothers thenceforth. Atennonteron, to be brothers. The word is in the aorist indicative, 3d pers. pl., progressive form (indicated by the termination tye).

Wahhoronghyaronnon, he put away the clouds. From aronhia, sky, heaven, cloud.

Wakarighwakayone [wakarihwakayonne], it has become old. See Karighwakayonh.

Wakatyerenkowa, I was greatly surprised. From katyeren, to wonder, or be startled, and kowa, greatly.

Wakonnyh [wakonnikih], woman, womankind. (Obsolete.)

Wakwenekwenghdarokwanyon, we have washed off the bloodstains. Garagsentara, B., blood, and garagsan, to take away, or garagsegan, to efface.

Wakwennyonkoghde, I have stopped for you (as tears). Probably from ganniong, B., the nose; kannionkon, to bleed from the nose, i.e., flowing from the nose.

Watidewennakarondonyon, we have put the horns on him (i.e., made him a chief). Onnagara, B., horn; gannagaronni, B., etre considerable.

Watyakwasiharako, we have removed the obstruction, we have unstopped. Gasiharongsan, B., to unstop (desboucher).

Watyonkwentendane, we have become wretched, or poor. GenOenteon, B., to be worthy of compassion.

Wedeweyennendane (see under Wete—).

Wedewennakeraghdanyon (see under Wete—).

Weghniserade [wenniserade], to-day. Enniscra, B., day; nonwa wenniserate, C., to-day.

Wetewayennendane, we have finished. Gaweyennentaon, B., to rest, to cease from working.

Wetewennakeraghdanyon [wedewennakeratanyon], we have made the signs, we have gone through the ceremonies. Ganneraton, B., "se servir de regle."


Yadayakonakarondatye, he may be going with horns. From onakara, horn (progressive form, subjunctive mood).

Yadehninhohhanonghne, they two guarded the door, they two were the doorkeepers. Gannhoha, B., door; gannonna, to guard.

Yaghdekakoghsonde [yaghdegagonhsonde], invisible, (lit., without face); from yahte, not, and kakonhsa (okonsa) face.

Yaghnonwenh, never. Iah-nonwenton, C., never. From Iah (yah) not, and nonwa or onwa, now.

Yakwenronh, we say. En, B., to say.

Yatehhotinhohhataghkwen, they were together at the doorway (i. e., they were the doorkeepers). Gannhoha, B., door; atakon, B. (sub voce At), "ce dans quoi il y a."

Yatenkarighwentaseron, to finish the business. From karihwa (q. v.) and awentas, to finish.

Yejisewahhawitonh, ye have taken it with you. Gahal, B., to bring; gahalton, to take away.

Yejisewatkonseraghkwanyon, ye have it as a pillow. Esakonseraka, B., thou wilt use as a pillow.

Yejisewayadkeron [yetsisewayatakeron], ye are laid together. Gageron, B., to be together, to place together.

Yejodenaghstahhere, they added a frame. See Jodennaghstahhere.

Yendewanaghsende, we will drop (or let fall) into it. Asenon (?), B., to fall; asenhton, to cause to fall.

Yenjontahidah, they will follow. Gatazori, gatazi, B., to run.

Yenyontatenoutshine, they are to be led by the hand. Probably from gannonna, B., to keep, and atsi, comrade.

Yenyontatideron, they shall be placed. Genteron, B., to put any animate thing in any place.

Yeshodonnyh, or Yeshotonnyh, his uncle (properly, "his father's younger brother"); also, as pl., his uncles. 'Atonni, C., a relative on the father's side. The prefix yes, in which the signs of the translocative and reiterative forms are combined, gives the sense of "the next younger (uncle) but one."

Yeshohawah, or Yeshohawak, his next younger child but one. See Rohhawah, and Yeshodonnyh.

Yeshonadadekenah, or Yeshondadekenah, they are brothers. Rontatekenha, C., they are brothers together. This word is made up of the prefix ye, the sign of the translocative form; s, of the reiterative form (see Yeshodonnyh); ron or rona, the plural pronoun (they); tate, the sign of the reciprocal form; ken, younger brother; and ha, an affectionate diminutive affix, generally added to words expressing relationship.

Yeshonarase, his second cousin (lit., they are cousins). Arase, cousin. See Yeshodonnyh.

Yeshonaraseshen, he was their cousin. See Yeshonarase.

Yeshotiriwayen, they have again referred the business. From karihwa, q. v.

Yetsisewanenyadanyon, ye are in your graves. Perhaps from onenya, stone,—ye are under the stones.

Yetsisewanonwadaryon, ye have taken your intellects (lit., brains) with you. Ononwara, C., brain, head.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5     Next Part
Home - Random Browse