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Dec
06

Indian Names

By
When:
December 1, 2016 all-day
2016-12-01T00:00:00-05:00
2016-12-02T00:00:00-05:00
Cost:
Free

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Sticks and Bones they are not, to allude to the old rhyme that had a reason.

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But the name of Indian?

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indian reenactorsWe all know it derived wrongly from Columbus thinking he got near the Indian Subcontinent. Still, after we knew better, the name stuck.

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Our politically correct names of Native American? That’s a white euro term too. America from Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian Cartographer.

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Indigenous? A Latin word.

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First Nations? A White Euro centric idea.

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So, what did they call themselves?

Frequently, their own names meant, THE PEOPLE.

Or Human Beings. They were self centric too.

When it’s you, it’s all about you.

The names of the The People of the river

or People of  the mountain or of their skills

or of their accomplishments.

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So, what’s in a name?

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A lot. At some point we have to come to a neutral agreement for efficient communication without getting bogged down.

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For example, the Mingo in present day Western PA and WV, or the Seminole in Florida, or the Catawba in present day South Carolina?

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We do not have enough info on what that group called themselves. Often their origins and evolutions were mixed.  The Mingo, Catawba, Seminole were all from different origins, and were orphaned, stolen, kidnapped, outcasts to form a common family.

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For example Chief Half King?

Born a Seneca but joining the Delwares, then this amalgam of hostage adoptees, orphans, outcasts became the Mingos.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_name_controversy

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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

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“The name Miami derives from Myaamia (plural Myaamiaki), the tribe’s autonym (name for themselves) in their Algonquian language of Miami-Illinois. This appears to have been derived from an older term meaning “downstream people.” Some scholars contended the Miami called themselves the Twightwee (also spelled Twatwa), supposedly an onomatopoeic reference to their sacred bird, the sandhill crane. Recent studies have shown that Twightwee derives from the Delaware language exonym for the Miamis, tuwéhtuwe, a name of unknown etymology.[2] Some Miami have stated that this was only a name used by other tribes for the Miami, and not their autonym. They also called themselves Mihtohseeniaki (the people). The Miami continue to use this autonym today.”

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami_people

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Example: GERMANS

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“By my count this now gives us five entirely independent names for the home of the Volkswagen: Germany, Deutschland, Allemagne, Niemcy, and Saksa. To these we must add a sixth: the Lithuanian Vokietija. I dunno where it comes from, and I don’t want to know. This has gone on long enough.”

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http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/443/why-are-there-so-many-names-for-germany-aka-deutschland-allemagne-etc

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Originally posted by CalMeacham
See Cecil’s column on why the Germans call themselves what they call themselves. The column in question

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http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_162.html on why people call themselves what they do.

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To this day, if you ask an American Indian, “what are you?” he or she will, in my experience, usually identify with his or her tribe.
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Because of the close similarity of many Algonquian dialects and the vagaries of 17th Century phonetic spelling in English, there has been a lot of confusion about tribal names. One of the more shining examples of that confusion was by James Fennimore Cooper, whose Last of the Mohicans manages to thoroughly confuse the Mahican tribe of the Hudson River area with the Mohegan tribe of Connecticut.
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I think that both names are a variant of the word “Muhhekunneuw (http://www.dickshovel.com/Mahican.html),” which means “people of the great river.” This would make sense since the Mahicans were along the Hudson and the Mohegans were located along the Thames.
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On a vaguely related note, Herman Melville (http://www.literaturepage.com/read/mobydick-81.html) saw fit to name Captain Ahab’s ship Pequod, which “you will no doubt remember,” says Melville, “was the name of a celebrated Indian tribe of Massachusetts Indians, now extinct as the ancient Medes.” Even though Melville got the tribe’s location wrong (they’re in Connecticut, not Massachusetts) and the tribe’s status (not only do they exist, they’re now the wealthiest tribe in America), Melville may have known that “Pequot” means “the destroyers.”

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What Dogface says agrees with what a Cherokee man (who claimed to have studied the issue) told me some years ago: that tribes typically has an “us and them” worldview and there was little or no tendency toward a collective term for all native peoples.

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I’ve also been told that the term “Indian” is now in common use among Indians, and that they find “Native American” to be affected and effete. (Anyone know if this is so?)

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http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-182092.html

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Preston

https://journals.psu.edu/phj/article/viewFile/59506/59230

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