Day 206: Osage Plant Names, part 1

I’m currently working on collecting Osage plant names from Francis La Flesche’s A Dictionary of the Osage Language, I’m also working on learning what I can of the language. For those of you who don’t know about La Flesche, he was America’s first Native American ethnologist, of Omaha, Ponca, and French descent. His work is... Continue Reading →

Day 73: The First Fire

From James Mooney’s “Myths of the Cherokee” In the beginning there was no fire, and the world was cold, until the Thunders (Ani′-Hyûñ′tĭkwălâ′skĭ), who lived up in Gălûñ′lătĭ, sent their lightning and put fire into the bottom of a hollow sycamore tree which grew on an island. The animals knew it was there, because they could... Continue Reading →

Day 70: The Nûñnë’hï

Below is an entry from James Mooney on the Nûñnë'hï (Nunnehi) and other spirits from his “Myths of the Cherokee”. The Nûñnë'hï are similar to the European idea of the “fairy”, although probably much closer to the Irish mythological sidhe or the ancient Norse alfar and dvergr than to the more modern understanding of the “little people”. The Nûñnë'hï could take... Continue Reading →

Day 69: Plant Names in ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ, part 2

Here are some more Ozark native plants I’m trying to put into the Cherokee syllabary, NOTE these transliterations are all my own, I haven’t been able to find these plant names written in the syllabary so there may be inaccuracies: Spiderwort, Tradescantia virginica, Tagwaló/Tvgwvlí/Tv’gwa’lv/Yonunigistí - ᏔᏆᎶ/ᏛᏋᎵ/ᏛᏆᎸ/ᏲᏄᏂᎩᏍᏘ Dog Tooth Violet, Erythronium americanum, Adv’sí/Advtsv “trout” “mountain trout” - ᎠᏛᏏ/ᎠᏛᏨ Solomon’s Seal,... Continue Reading →

Day 67: Tsu’nigadu’li ᏧᏂᎦᏚᎵ

The Booger Dance or tsu'nigadu'li ᏧᏂᎦᏚᎵ “many persons’ faces covered over” is an important dance in Cherokee culture. The dance originated as a way of driving evil, sickness causing spirits away from the community but was quickly adapted as a way of symbolically driving out the power of the new colonizers. The name "booger” comes... Continue Reading →

Day 66: Plant Names in ᏣᎳᎩ

In learning ᏣᎳᎩ I’m trying to work through the plants I know and put them into the syllabary system. Here’s the list I have so far, and for any ᏣᎳᎩ speakers out there, this is probably not very accurate and I welcome any suggestions folks may have. Tsalv - ᏣᎸ or ᏣᎷ (I’m still new to the “u” vs “v” sounds)... Continue Reading →

Day 65: Lake Fayetteville Hike

Had a nice little hike around Lake Fayetteville today. 1 and 2 are Jewelweed, WalEú uniglEgistí “hummingbird, taking soup out of the flower” or Agi'ka'igá “fawn’s knees”. Fresh sap is great for bug bites, nettle stings, and poison ivy. 3 is False Solomon’s Seal, Maianthemum racemosum. The young shoots and leaves can be cooked and eaten be... Continue Reading →

Day 64: Mullein

Today we’re talking about tsaliyu'sti or Mullein (Verbascum thapsus). In Cherokee tsaliyu'sti means “like tobacco” because of the shape of the leaves and the way the plant looks when it’s growing. It’s also sometimes calledunikwɔtEnɑ “tobacco like, it has down”, tsɔliyusti dɑlɔni “tobacco like, yellow”, and dzuskwanɔni “blanket”. All parts of the plant can be... Continue Reading →

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