Native Names for the Mississippi River

Native Names for the Mississippi River
Native Names for the Mississippi River

The Mississippi River, the artery of Turtle Island, has more names than perhaps any other geographic feature on the continent. These are just some of indigenous names of the river:

Báhat Sássin – (Hasí:nay [Caddo]), “Mother of rivers”
Beesniicíe – (Hinónoʼeitíít [Arapaho])
Hahcicobá – (Kowassá:ti [Koasati])
Ȟaȟáwakpa – (Lakȟótiyapi [Lakota]), “River of the falls”
Kickaátit – (Paári [Pawnee])
Mäse’sibowi – (Meshkwahkihaki [Fox-Sauk])
Ma’xeé’ome’tää’e – (Tsėhésenėstsestȯtse [Cheyenne]), “Big, greasy river”
Mihcisiipiiwi – (Myaamia [Miami-Illinois])
Misi-Ziibi – (Anishinaabemowin [Ojibwe]), “Great river”
Misha Sipokni – (Chahta’ [Choctaw]), “Beyond age”
ᎻᏏᏏᏈ ᎤᏪᏴ – (ᏣᎳᎩ [Cherokee]) “Mississippi [transliteration] river”
Mníšošethąka – (Dakȟótiyapi [Dakota])
Ny-tonks – (Okáxpa íe [Quapaw]), “Great river”
Ohnawiiò:ke – (Kanien’kéha’ [Mohawk])
Uhtawiyúˀkye – (Ska:rù:rę’ [Tuscarora])
Yandawezue – (Waⁿdat [Wyandot])
Yununu’a – (yUdjEha [Yuchi]), “Great river”
Xósáu – (Cáuijògà [Kiowa]), “Standing Rocks”

Photo from: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/middle_mississippi_river/
Image by Jordan Engel

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2 comments

  1. Thanks for posting this. I’ve been trying to do something similar for a while. Do you what the original source is for this list, who compiled it?

    Like

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