Pine Ridge in Lakota

Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke (The Pine Ridge Reservation) in Lakȟótiyapi (Lakota). Map by Jordan Engel.

Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke (The Pine Ridge Reservation) in Lakȟótiyapi (Lakota). Map by Jordan Engel.

Bló Wakpála – Potato Creek (Potato Creek)
Čaŋkpé Opí – Wounded Knee (Wounded Knee)
Čaŋkpé Opí Wakpála – Wounded Knee Creek (Wounded Knee Creek)
Čhaŋnúŋpa Sápa Wakpála – Black Pipe Creek (Black Pipe Creek)
Čhasmú Makȟóčhe – The Sand Hills (Sand Country)
Hokhíyoȟloka Wakpála – Pass Creek
Íŋyaŋ Šála – Batesland (Red Stone)
Makȟásaŋ – Whiteclay (Whiteish or Yellowish Clay)
Makȟásaŋ Wakpála – Whiteclay Creek (Whiteish or Yellowish Clay Creek)
Makhízita Čík’ala – Little White River
Makhízita Wakpá – White River
Makȟóšiča – The Badlands (Bad Land)
Makȟóšiča Otȟúŋwahe – Interior (Bad Land Village)
Matȟó Wakpála – Bear-In-The-Lodge Creek (Bear Creek)
Oglála – Oglala (To Scatter One’s Own)
Ógle Šá – Red Shirt (Red Shirt) (Also known as Ógle Lúta)
Oyúȟpe – Manderson (The name of a band of the Oglala)
Pahá Zípela – Slim Butte (Thin Butte)
Pažóla Otȟúŋwahe – Martin (Knoll City)
Pȟahíŋ Pahá – Porcupine Butte (Porcupine Butte)
Pȟahíŋ Siŋté – Porcupine (Young Porcupine)
Pȟahíŋ Siŋté Wakpála – Porcupine Creek (Young Porcupine Creek)
Phežúta Ȟaká – Kyle (Branched Medicine)
Phežúta Ȟaká Wakpála – Medicine Root Creek (Branched Medicine Creek)
Wagmíza Wakpála – Allen (Corn Creek)
Wakpá Wašté – Cheyenne River (Good River)
Waŋblí Hoȟpi – Wanblee (Eagle Nest)
Waŋblí Hoȟpi Pahá – Eagle Butte (Eagle Nest Butte)
Waŋblí Hoȟpi Wakpála – Eagle Nest Creek (Eagle Nest Creek)
Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke – The Pine Ridge Reservation
Wazíbló – Pine Ridge

Mexico in Nahuatl

Mēxihco (Mexico) in Nāhuatlahtōlli (Nahuatl), by Jordan Engel

Mēxihco (Mexico) in Nāhuatlahtōlli (Nahuatl), by Jordan Engel

This map combines a few features:
1. It is labelled in Nāhuatlahtōlli (Nahuatl), an indigenous language spoken by about 1.5 million Nāhuatlācah (Nahua people) in Mesoamerica.
2. It is oriented to the East, which is how the Nāhuatlācah traditionally orient themselves.
3. It is borderless.

Ācapōlco – Acapulco
Āltepētl Chihuahhua – Chihuahua
Āltepētl Juárez – Ciudad Juárez
Āltepētl Mēxihco – Mexico City
Ātemaxac – Guadalajara
Āyōllohco Mēxihco – Gulf of Mexico
Chalchiuhcuehcān – Veracruz
Cītlaltepētl – Pico de Orizaba
Cōlhuahcān – Culiacán
Cōlimān – Colima
Cualnezcāltepēc – Villahermosa
Cuetlaxcōāpan – Puebla
Huāxyacac – Oaxaca
Mazātlān – Mazatlán
Mēxihcali – Mexicali
Mēxihco – Mexico
Ocopetlan – Durango
Tēpāpāquiltiliztli Ilhuicaātl – Pacific Ocean
Tlachco – Querétaro
Pachyohcān – Pachuca
Pītic – Hermosillo
Popōcatepētl – Popocatépetl
Tlahtoāntepēc – Monterrey
Tōchtlān – Tuxtla
Tōllohcān – Toluca
Xālāpan – Xalapa
Zacatēcapan – Zacatecas

Europe in Basque

Europa (Europe) in Euskara (Basque), by Jordan Engel

Europa (Europe) in Euskara (Basque), by Jordan Engel

Aside from being labelled in Euskara – the Basque language – this map also imagines the existence of an independent Basque state. Euskal Herria (Basque Country) is the homeland of the Euskaldunak (the Basque people), currently spanning the borders of Spain and France on Bizkaiko Golkoa (the Bay of Biscay). If Euskal Herria was an independent, sovereign state, it would be the 39th largest in Europe, behind Macedonia.

Chicago in Ojibwe

Gaa-zhigaagwanzhikaag (Chicago, Illinois) in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe), by Charles Lippert and Jordan Engel

Gaa-zhigaagwanzhikaag (Chicago, Illinois) in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe), by Charles Lippert and Jordan Engel

This map is the result of extensive research by Charles Lippert. Charles has compiled a list of over one hundred Anishinaabemowin toponyms for the Chicago area, only a handful of which were able to fit on this map due to its scale. Below, he describes the process used for this map:

There are four classes of names shown on this map:
1) Names that are historical and well documented were the easiest to collect and reconstruct. These names were gleaned from a combination of local histories written during the late 1800s, treaty documents, early French maps, and even later maps such as Tardieu (1820), Tanner (1823), and Young (1838). These names include Waakaa’igan (Waukegan : “Fort” or “House”, after a French garrison that was located in the vicinity), Zaagiinying-ziibi (DuPage River : “River at the Lesser Outlet” referring to the mouth of the DuPage River being located near the outlet of the Des Plaines River, which is smaller than the outlet of the Kankakee River), and Dootoogang-aki-ziibi (Kankakee River : “Marshland River” after the Great Kankakee Swamp). Sometimes the recorded names were incomplete, but clues such as the description of the Great Kankakee Swamp being described as a “mother’s breasts that feeds her people” helped as a boggy swamp is called a “dootoogan” while a breast is called a “doodoosh” in Anishinaabemowin.

2) Based on Anishinaabe naming patterns, for features that wouldn’t have existed in the documents from the 1700s and the 1800s, names were generated to fit the Anishinaabe naming patterns. These names include Gichi-onigaming (Cicero : “At the Great Portage” after the Great Chicago Portage, which went through what today is Cicero, and was replaced by the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal), Gichi-mitigwakiing (Aurora : “In the Big Woods” after the Grand Bois region that it is in), and Bagesaanimizhikaaning (Schaumburg : “At the Plum Grove” after the Plum Grove that was prominently identified).

3) Names to describe the functionality or the utility. Some are found on old documents (such as Nabagisago-mikana-aazhoganing (Elgin : “At the Plank Road Bridge” after the Chicago-to-Milwaukee Plank Road’s river crossing), while others were newly generated, such as Zaaga’amoo-ziibiikaadeng (Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal : “Defecation Canal”).

4) A modern combination of the above 3, along with 1 other naming technique. After the Anishinaabe population, through treaties, were pushed out the Chicago region, Anishinaabe peoples from other area moved in with the Euro-American settlers, first as trade negotiators in the mid-1800s after the Black Hawk War, then later as part of the general population working and living in and around Chicago, writing back home in northern Wisconsin, northern Michigan, and southern Ontario. This trend was accelerated in during the Indian Termination Era that was from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, forcing many Anishinaabeg off Indian Reservations in the US and into large cities, such as Minneapolis, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Seattle, and even New York. In claiming these cities as their “new home”, these Anishinaabeg began giving Anishinaabe names to these places. These displaced Anishinaabeg were bilingual in Anishinaabemowin and in English, and many began using these traditional naming practices along with an additional ways to name places, based on puns. These pun-based toponyms include Shevlin, MN, as “Gwaaba’andaawangaakwa’igaang” meaning “At the Shoveling Dirt Place”, Minneapolis, MN, as “Mishiiminens-oodena” meaning “mini-apple town”, or Chicago, IL, as “Zhigaagong” meaning “On the Skunk”.

Because there are many more Anishinaabemowin place names in the area, additional maps are in the making including Chicago’s North Shore, downtown Chicago, and the Cal-Sag Channel area.

If you missed it, also check out the Decolonial Atlas’ map of Chicago in the Myaamia language –

The toponyms that appear on this map are listed below. They include the Anishinaabemowin name, the English name, and the Anishinaabemowin translation.
• Aanikegamaakaan : Fox Lake region (Region of Chain of Lakes)

• Aasaaganashk-aki-zaaga’igan : Saganashkee Slough (Reeded-Land Lake)

• Asiniiwajiwing : Joliet, IL (By the Stone Mountain)

• Bagaanaako-ziibiins : Hickory Creek (Hickory Little River)

• Bagesaanimizhikaaning : Schaumburg, IL (By the Plum-tree Grove)

• Biiwaanagoonyi-ziibiwishenying : Barrington, IL (By the Flinty Brook)

• Bizhiki-bikwaakwaang : Buffalo Grove, IL (Buffalo Groved Prairie)

• Bizhiki-zaaga’igan : Fox Lake (Buffalo Lake)

• Boozitoo-ziibiikaadeng : Cal-Sag Canal (Shipping Canal)

• Dootoogang-aki-ziibi : Kankakee River (Marshland River)

• Gaa-zhigaagwanzhikaag : Chicago, IL (Place abundant with Wild Leeks [Skunk-grass]). Also known as: Zhigaagong (On the Skunk)

• Gichi-mitigwakiing: Aurora, IL (In the Big Woods)

• Gichi-neyaashiing : Evanston, IL (By the Big Point)

• Gichi-onigaming : Cicero, IL (At the Great Portage)

• Gichi-waabashkikiing : Skokie, IL (At the Big Wetland)

• Ginwaamiko-ziibi : Grand Calumet River (Long Sandbar River)

• Ginwaamiko-ziibiing : Gary, IN (By the Long Sandbar River)

• Ginwaamiko-ziibiins : Little Calumet River (Long Sandbar Little River)

• Ginwaamiko-ziibiwi-zaaga’igan : Lake Calumet (Lake of the Long Sandbar River)

• Ininwewi-gichigami : Lake Michigan (Big Lake of the Illinois [Plain Speakers]). Also known as: Mishii’igan (Grand Lake), and Odaawaa-gichigami (Big Lake of the Ottawa)

• Ininwewi-ziibi : Illinois River (River of the Illinois [Plain Speakers])

• Jiiga’oshkodeg-ziibi: Fox River (Scoured by Fire River)

• Maadaajiwanaang : Channahon, IL (At the Confluence)

• Mawii-zaaga’igan : Wolf Lake (Wolf [Weeper] Lake)

• Mishewe-bikwaakwaang : Elk Grove Village, IL (By the Elk Grove)

• Mitigomizhikiing : Oak Forest, IL (At the Oakland)

• Nabagisago-mikana-aazhoganing : Elgin (At the Plank Road Bridge)

• Negawi-ziibiins : Aux Sable River (Sandy River)

• Nibiinsing-ziibiins : Nippersink Creek (By the Little Waters Little River)

• Nisawijiwanaang : Calument City, IL; Hammond, IN (In between the Currents)

• Onigaming : Blue Island, IL (At the Portage)

• Waakaa’igan : Waukegan, IL (Fort)

• Wemitigoozhiiwi-gitigaaning : Wilmette (At the French Farm)

• Zaaga’amoo-ziibiikaadeng : Chicago Sanitary Canal (Defecation Canal)

• Zaagiinying-ziibi : DuPage River (River at the Lesser Outlet)

• Zaagiinying-ziibiing : Naperville, IL (At the River at the Lesser Outlet)

• Zhigaagwanzhikaa-ziibi : North Chicago River (River abundant with Wild Leeks [Skunk-grass])

• Zhiishiigimewanzh-ziibi : Des Plaines River (River with Sugar Maples [pissing stalks])

• Zhiishiigimewanzh-ziibiing : Des Plaines, IL (By the River with Sugar Maples [pissing stalks])

***A note on the compass – The Anishinaabe traditionally orient themselves to the East, which is why East appears at the top of this map. Because the standard orientation is different in European and Anishinaabe cultures, we’ve included the English word “North” and the Anishinaabemowin word “Waabang,” meaning East, on the compass. The compass rose itself is in the form of a medicine wheel, an indigenous symbol used across the continent to denote the four directions.

Unrecognized Nation States

Unrecognized Nation States

Unrecognized Nation States by Theo Deutinger, Andreas Kofler, Bea Ramo, and Joao Ruivo

“In 1986 there were 159 countries in the United Nations, today there are 191, thanks mainly to the breakup of federations in Europe plus the adhesion of microstates like Liechtenstein, Micronesia and Tuvalu. Yet, worldwide there are more than 200 unrecognized regions and people which carry the seed of separation from their current nation and all of them are more or less possible candidates for becoming a new nation-state. Similar to the way how our society is individualizing at a rapid speed, people tend to do the same by seeking their hope in total or at least partly independence in economic, political and cultural terms. ”

Producers: Theo Deutinger, Andreas Kofler, Bea Ramo, Joao Ruivo

Copyrighted. Used with permission.

Drainage Basins of Europe

Drainage Basins of Europe, by Jordan Engel

Drainage Basins of Europe, by Jordan Engel

A drainage basin is an area of land where the surface water drains to a single point, which is normally the mouth of a river. Each basin in this map is labelled with the river which drains that area. Many rivers in Europe have various local names. The name that appears on this map, however, is in the language that is most spoken within each basin. There is no reliable population data for drainage basins, so there was some estimation involved in determining what the largest language community is in each basin. Corrections and additions are welcome!

Adige – Adige (Italian [Italiano])
Danube – Dunărea (Romanian [Română])
Daugava – Заходняя Дзвіна (Belarusian [Беларуская])
Dnieper – Дніпро (Ukrainian [Українська])
Dniester – Дністе́р (Ukrainian [Українська])
Don – Дон (Russian [Русский])
Douro – Duero (Spanish [Español])
Ebro – Ebro (Basque [Euskara] and Spanish [Español])
Elbe – Elbe (German [Deutsch])
Garonne – Garonne (French [Français])
Glomma – Glomma (Norwegian [Norsk])
Guadalquivir – Guadalquivir (Spanish [Español])
Guadiana – Guadiana (Spanish [Español] and Portuguese [Português])
Jordan – الأردن (Arabic [العربية])
Kemijoki – Giemajohka (Northern Sami [Davvisámegiella])
Kızılırmak – Kızılırmak (Turkish [Türkçe])
Kuban – Куба́нь (Russian [Русский])
Kura – Kür (Azerbaijani [Azərbaycanca])
Kymi – Kymijoki (Finnish [Suomi])
Loire – Loire (French [Français])
Maritsa – Марица (Bulgarian [Български])
Meuse – Maas (Dutch [Nederlands])
Mezen – Мезень (Russian [Русский])
Narva – Narva (Estonian [Eesti])
Neman – Nemunas (Lithuanian [Lietuvių])
Neva – Нева́ (Russian [Русский])
Northern Dvina – Се́верная Двина́ (Russian [Русский])
Oder – Odra (Czech [Čeština] and Polish [Polski])
Orontes – العاصي‎ (Arabic [العربية])
Oulujoki – Oulujoki (Finnish [Suomi])
Po – Po (Italian [Italiano])
Rhine – Rhein (German [Deutsch])
Rhône – Rhône (French [Français])
Sakarya – Sakarya (Turkish [Türkçe])
Sefīd-Rūd – سفیدرود‎‎ (Persian [فارسی])
Seine – Seine (French [Français])
Shatt al-Arab – شط العرب (Arabic [العربية])
Southern Bug – Бог (Ukrainian [Українська])
Tagus – Tajo (Spanish [Español])
Terek – терка (Chechen [Нохчийн])
Þjórsá – Þjórsá (Icelandic [Íslenska])
Ural – Жайық (Kazakh [Қазақша])
Volga – Волга (Russian [Русский])
Vistula – Wisła (Polish [Polski])
Weser – Weser (German [Deutsch])