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#1 Sep-15-2012 09:48:am

Registered: Sep-10-2008
Posts: 14

A question on few names

She:kon shekakwekon

I would like to ask you some important questions on a couple of Iroquois names. The thing is that there is a prestigious publishinghouse here in Bulgaria that wants to republish after 40 years the famous Plains of Abraham by James Oliver Curwood - one of the few books, dedicated on the Iroquois history and culture, released here in Bulgaria. http://www.gutenberg.ca/ebooks/curwood- … -00-h.html

It is a book which has played an important role in my life and the life of many young people who has grown up with adventure books about North America.  Although written as adventure book somewhere in the 30-ies, it portrayes the French-Indian war and the difficulties the Iroquois faced at that time in an accurate and authentic way. Now the publisher has taken me as consultant on the project as he want to make a new, nicely illustrated edition of it, with authentic Osprey series type of pictures on French-Indian war, Iroquois villages and warriors. I must also help with the editorial work because the translation is a bit old and a lot of things need to be corrected and improved. It is good because this will be just the first step in pubslihing other, newer books on the history and culture of the First nations of America etc.

So my question is about some of the Iroquois names Curwood has given in his book. Curwood himself was descended from a great-grandmother who was Mohawk but some of the names he used doesn't sound to me very much iroquois. I think he took from other indian stocks too. Can you help me with the right pronunciation of those words that seem to be at least part of the Iroquois family because we want to spell them maximum close to the original pronunciation.

And for those which don't sound very Iroquois, do you think they have some close Iroquois equivalents, because if so it is better to put them for the sake of accuracy. The main thing is pronunciation really as usually books in Bulgaria are full with wrong spellings.

The names i have picked so far are: (Have in mind that according to the plot most of them must be with Seneca sounding) :

Shindas ( translation unknown)
Tiaoga (no translation)
Soi Yan Makwun - translated as Silver Heels
Wuskoo - translated as Cloud
Tokana - Gray Fox ( this sounds like Siouan)
Wanonat е ( wood pigeon)
Ah De Bah - Tall Man ( this sounds to me Alqonquin
Opitchi - thrush, ouzel (also sounds to me Alqonquin)
Kanestio (this must be a Seneca village together with Chenufsio - The Hidden Town )
Matozee - Yellow Bear ( sounds Siouan to me)

I will appreciate your help on any of these words.



#2 Sep-15-2012 04:25:pm

Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4309

Re: A question on few names

I hope there is somebody around here who can help you with this.  I know absolutely nothing about Seneca or any other Iroquois language.  However, you might want to purchase these two titles by Wallace L. Chafe, which can still be bought:

Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology, Volume 4, Seneca Morphology and Dictionary

Handbook of the Seneca Language



#3 Sep-15-2012 11:19:pm

Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 968

Re: A question on few names

I'm sure context would have some bearing on it, but Shindas is really close to Shingas, a Delaware name. Kanestio is very close to Kanesteo (an actual place in New York, though now it is spelled Canisteo). And, of course, Tiaoga is very close to Tioga, again an actual place name.

Of course, Mark is the right man for this job, if he is still on the forum.

It's in the blood; I can't let go. - Robbie Robertson



#4 Sep-18-2012 01:57:am

Registered: Sep-10-2008
Posts: 14

Re: A question on few names

It seems Curwood despite having a Mohawk ancestry was not so precise about the names. I asked Sakoieta, the Mohawk flute player and scholar and also Darren Bonaparte. They also say that Kanestio, Tiaoga and Wanonat  are from Iroquois origin but couldn't tell more than this.
Do you have any idea how they will be pronounced so that we can spell them right in the Bulgarian edition. For example Kanestio will actually be pronounced with "g" at the beginning, won't be? Tiaoga maybe with "Jaoga', at least this is what i remember from when i read a bit on Iroquois languages.
Thank you for the books, good ones indeed. I will have them in mind



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