Native American Words

Atlatl - A tool that was used, before the bow and arrow became popular, to propel a spear to greater speeds than throwing could normally achieve.

Calumet - A French word used for the peace pipe offered by some Native American tribes.

Comanchero - A Native American who was a trader in the Southwest United States during the 1800's.

Coup - A mark of honor gained through battle, given for acts of bravery. Killing or wounding an opponent, as well as stealing their horse or gun, were feats worthy of a coup.

Hogan - The word for a Navajo's home, made from branches and dirt.

Kachina - Representations of the force of life, or spirits, as believed by the Pueblo tribe of Native Americans.

Kiva - Underground structures created by the Pueblo for ceremonies, as well as a weaving workshop for men.

Moccasin - A shoe made out of animal hide worn by many Native American tribesmen.

Powwow - A meeting of Native American leaders, or with them. Also, this is the word for a night of ceremonial dancing, in celebration or to solve a problem such as sickness.

Pueblo - A tribe of Native Americans from New Mexico and Arizona, but also the word for their dwellings, which were large, multi-story buildings made of adobe, generally set against cliffs.

Sachem - The leader, or chief, of a confederation or tribe.

Sagamore - Another word for the head or chief of a tribe.

Tomahawk - The hatchet, or axe, used by many Native Americans as a hacking or throwing weapon.

Totem - An item, be it a plant, animal, or thing, considered to have a spiritual or magical attribute of some sort.

Tepee - A shelter, made of hide spread over a tall frame of poles, used by nomadic tribes due to its ease of transport while following buffalo.

Wampum - Something used as a form of currency by Native Americans, such as beads and shells.

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American Indians