Date: Sat, 5 Nov 1994 00:53:56 CST


Subject: Re: "Native" Names

Thanks to Marquette, the names we use for the Missouri Indians (and once

used for the river) were Algonquin forms, because Marquette asked his

Peoria guides "Who are those people?" and "What is that river?" Of course

the Illini weren't about to render answers in Siouan "dialects."

'Missouri' (i.e., variants leading up to this form) referred to 'people with

canoes' and their river was the 'Pekitanoui', which meant 'Muddy Water' in

Algonquin references; several variants related to 'Pekitanou' are found farther

north in Algonquin territory, but Siouans such as the Otoes referred to the

river with 'Nisoje' (contemporary form reported by Oto-Missouria elder, in

interview). We have no records at all of what the Missouris called themselves

or their river, but the Otoes called them 'Niutachi' = 'those who drown in

the water' because of what happened to a large bunch of the Missouris when

they were attacked by Sac and Fox (Algonquin-speaking) warriors. Even the

name for the Otoes was given them by the Ioways. So sometimes whiteman's

history does more than lay interpretations on words that mean 'the people'.

Siouan people up in the Dakotas area also thought the Aise ([a ise] river

flowed from its headwaters in Montana down to the Gulf of Mexico, with

a tributary coming into it from the north where the Aise turned south above

what is now St Louis. DMLance