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#1 May-11-2008 01:05:pm

Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4396

Names of Trees and Shrubs, etc. in Delaware

The Moravian missionary, Rev. John Heckewelder, compiled the following
wonderful catalogue of Lenape Trees, Shrubs and other plants, which was submitted to the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, in 1815. This is a handwritten manuscript. Any additional comments from me are
placed inside brackets [ ].

Ray Whritenour


"Names of various Trees, Shrubs & Plants in the Language of the Lennape (Del.). The Letter M. prefixed for Minsi (Monsey), all the others in the Unami {i.e., Northern Unami - R.W.}. To show how descriptive Indian Names are of the thing they had given the Name to, I have in many words subjoined the true meaning."

Wanachkquimínschi. Oaks. In this Word, which is the general Name for
all & any kind of Oaks, is described "the Nut Tree, the Leaf of which resembles a hand." [This is a false etymology. The real derivation is 'acorn tree.' And, the etymology of "wanachkquim" ('acorn') is 'pointed nut.' - R.W.]

{Wipúnquoak, it. Wipunguak, White Oak. (the white or gray barked oak)
[This is about right. It means 'gray wood.' - R.W.]

{M. Pachgachgiminschi. White Oak.

Passihitachgachquimínschi. Swamp Oak - NB This Word describes that
kind of Oak, whose leaves are only half hand shaped, (as will be found
on examination)

Wísachgãk. black Oak. (the black, sour sappy Oak Tree.) ['bitter wood' - R.W.]

Amanganachkquimínschi. Spanish Oak. /the Tree of the Oak kind, which
hath both the largest leaves in shape of the hand, & bears the largest nuts of the kind. [The derivation is 'very big pointed nut tree.' - R.W.]

M'simínschi. Hickory. or Nut Tree
[Actually, 'hickory nut tree.' - R.W.]

Kipachgimínschi. Upland Hickory. (thick shelled Nut Tree)

Titpanúnschi. bitter tasted Hickory. bitter Nut.

Tesquachtimínschi. Shell barked Hickory.

Ptuucquimínschi. Walnut Tree. (round Nut Tree)

{Pachganúnschi. White Walnut. Butter Nut.

{M. Knõchwemínschi. long shaped Nut. (White Walnut Tree)

Schauwemínschi. Red beech Wood. (The Tree with the languid pale,
sickly looking leaves.)

Tanicanimínschi. White beech Wood.

{Tachquahacaníminschi. Gum Tree. / Mortar Tree. the Tree from which
we make Mortars, to pound in.

{M. Espanimínschi. Gum Tree. (Raccoon Tree), since many of these
being hollow, afford the Raccoon a dwelling.

{Hattawaníminschi. Dog Wood.

{M. Munhacaníminschi. Dog Wood. Digging Wood Tree, since they
formerly made Hoes for digging from this Tree.

Machkikeníminschi. White Thorn. /the Tree with sharp thorns & red
berries on.

Wihinachk. Birch Tree.

Achgikbi. Red Elm Tree. The slippery bark Tree. The bark of this Tree is much in use among the Indians, the outer bark being taken off, & the inner pounded, serves as a Water Glue, to stop leaks in Canoes when these, especially those made of Bark, get split, or happen to run against sharp limbs of Trees which lie hidden in the Water. The Indians always have a lump of such Water Glue made of this Bark with them when they travel in Bark Canoes. They also lay a poultice of this on a burn or scald - say it draws the heat out - & when they let out Bears fat, they put into the Kettle a few bundles of the bark, cut & tied up in the form of Matches, which way they season the fat, so that it remains sweet.

Ulacanahunschi. White Elm Tree. Dish, or Bowl Tree, since from this
Tree the best of their wooden Bowls are made - or from large knots which grow out from the body of the Tree - And from the bark of this same Tree, they make their dishes to gather the Sugar Maple Sap. they also make boxes, round & oval from the bark to keep their Cloaths, Garden Seed, &c. in.

Schiechikimínschi. Maple Tree. (Smooth Wood Tree) on account of the smoothness of this Wood, when worked to any thing.

Achsinnaminschi. Sugar Maple Tree. (the heavy & hard Wood Tree.) from
which they make their Corn pounders, &c. [literally, 'stone tree' - R.W.]

Gãchgamuníminschi. Hoop Ash Tree. /it. Gachhachgik)

Michácunak. White Ash Tree.

Pachgámmak. black Ash Tree. (The Wood which we beat) /: from their
beating this Wood for drawing it to make Baskets & Brooms ---

{Tackachquimínschi. Linden Tree. The Unamis call this same Tree by
this Name, & signifieth: Brittle & soft Wood Tree.

{M. Lenníkbi. Linden Tree or Bass Wood Tree. The Indian Name
signifieth: Original bark Tree for tieing. The bark of this Tree will
peal at all Seasons & is made use of for tieing any thing. They also
make strong Ropes of this Bark for tieing their Horses, Canoes, bundling up their Skins, &c. &c.

{Muiminschi. Wild Cherry Tree. /strong smelling Tree/

{M. Nesgachquimínschi. Wild Cherry Tree: (black fruited & barked

Málaluns. Iron Wood. /: Arrow Wood./ the Tree from which they used to make their Arrows of.

Machtschikbi. Papaw Tree. /: bad smelling bark:/ the Bark of this
Tree or Shrub having a bad smell.

Woápak. Water Beech Tree. /: White Barked Tree/.

Winãk or Winaak. Sassafras. / well smelling Tree /

Cúwe. Pine Tree. the Yellow kind.

{Pindalánac. White Pine. Easy working Tree. straight splitting.

{M. Machtschúppachqua. White Pine.

Schind. Spruce Tree.

Mêhockhockus. Red Cedar. / Red Wood Tree.

Talála. White Cedar.

M. Schabback. Laurel.

Topi. Alder.

Woapimínschi. Chestnut Tree. /: White blossoming Tree

Wisamínschi. This is a species of the Italian Poplar which grows in
the Western Country on, or near large Rivers. The Indian Name signifies "Yellow Wood."

Amochólhe. Yellow Poplar Tree. /: Canoe Tree, since they make their
Canoes chiefly out of this Tree.
[The name was originally a verb, meaning 'he makes dugout canoes.' It has formally become a noun. This is what most of us call a Tulip Tree. - R.W.]

Pauchsóak. Aspin Tree.

Pitelawéminschi. Honey Locus(t).

Woakhattimínschi. Mulberry Tree. /: the Tree which bears crooked
berries or fruits.

{Sipuósac. Sipuomandícan. Plumb Tree. /: the fruits which grow
near Rivulets, or Streams.

{M. Pagamawak. Plumbs. some say Pachgamawak.

Tombicanall. Crabs. Wild Apples.

Wisachgimínschi. Grape Vines. Sour, bitterish fruit Tree or Vine.

Wachawésak. Roses.

Achtuchwiminschi. Red Root. / In the word is inpressed "the Plant of
which the Deer are fond of."

M. Achquanílenees. the high growing & long berried kind of Blackberry.

Mehowimínuk. the low kind of Blackberries.

Ecoquallíssak. Raspberries. / their word signifieth, "moulded like
looking berries.

Tschinktschiech. low Upland Willow.

Gachháchgik. Wild Spice Bush. / the Word describes "brittle-Wood."
this Wood not suffering to be bent---

Putschiésktey. Poison Vine. ['poison ivy']

Lelachpathichteek. June berrys.

Masgequiminschi. Swamp Huckle berries.

{M. Mechiwiláwanit. The large kind of Sassaparilla. ['sarsparilla']

{Gehachgamápuek (same)

{Achschikiminschi. Upland Fern.

{M. Lennowásquall. Upland Fern. The Monsey Word signifieth: "Mens
weed" or Grass, since when the Indians encamp in the Woods, they gather this Fern for to lay on.

Ochqueuwásquall. Swamp Fern. the Word signifieth "Women weed" or
Grass, as this is the kind of Fern the Women gather for beds to lay on.

Pepachgank. Callamus. (their Word describes: sharp tasted.

{Léweek. Seneca Snake Root.

{M. Attosácan. [?same as above]

Wisank. a species of Wild Hemp.

M. Pleuhotik. black Snake Root.

Ehasgítamank. Water Melons.

Hackiachksittal. Earth Beans.

Wapípenak. a kind of Root much like that of the Hiacinth of which the
Indians make bread, or boil as Potatoes. the plants about a foot high bluish flowers.

Pakim or Pakihm. Cranberries.

Kschatey. Tobacco.

Sacsac. Pea Vines.

Woapeek. Jensang ['ginseng']

Mechamek. a kind of wild Rheubarb.

W'déhihm. Wdéhim. Strawberries. (the Indian Name signifieth heart
berries, since these are much like a Heart shaped.

Masgíchteu. May Apple. (their Word signifieth: swampy Land Plants.
The Root is poisonous, & I have known several instances, where Indians had put a period to their existence, by eating of the Root of the May Apple.

Meechgapuek. Ipacuaquana. ['ipecacuana'] /an Emetic which the Indians
make much use of.

Ulépen. Wild & common Onions.

Malachksíttal. Beans.

Geskundhackall. Pumpkins.

Chasqueem. Indian Corn.

{Hobbenisac. Turnips.

{M. Pepetqueek. Turnips.

Hobbenac. Potatoes.

Sicunícan. Rushes. Scower, Scrub
Grass. ['scour grass']

Mínall. Huckleberries.

Gétaam. Hazle. ['hazel nut']

Last edited by sschkaak (Jul-10-2008 07:06:pm)



#2 Jul-19-2008 07:16:pm

Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4396

Re: Names of Trees and Shrubs, etc. in Delaware

Here's a couple, not found in Heckewelder's list:

gawandak = 'tamarack pine'

ansigames = 'maple tree'


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