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Cayuga Vocabulary

1 God Niyoh 2 Devil Onesoono 3 Man Najina 4 Woman Konheghtie 5 Boy Aksaa 6 Girl Exaa 7 Child Exaa 8 Infant Onoskwataa 9 Father (my) Ihani 10 Mother (my) Iknoha 11 Husband (my) lonkniniago 12 Wife (my) longiahisko 13 Son (my) Ihihawog 14 Daughter (my) Ikhehawog 15 Brother (my) Itekyatehnonte 16 Sister (my) Kekeaha 17 An Indian Ongwehowe 18 Head Onowaa 19 Hair Ononkia 20 Face Okonsa 21 Scalp Onoha 22 Ear Honta 23 Eye Okaghha 24 Nose Ony ohsia 25 Mouth Sishakaent 26 Tongue Aweanaghsa 27 Tooth Onojia 28 Beard Okosteaa 29 Neck Onyaa 30 Arm Oneantsa 31 Shoulder Oghnesia 32 Back Eshoghne 33 Hand Kshoghtage 34 Finger Onia 35 Nail Ojeighta 36 Breast Oahsia 37 Body Oyeonta 38 Leg Oghsena 29 Navel Kotshetot 40 Thigh Onhoska 41 Knee Okontsha 42 Foot Oshita 43 Toe Oghyakwea 44 Heel lyatage 45 Bone Ostienda 46 Heart Kawiaghsa 47 Liver Gotwesia 48 Windpipe Ohowa 49 Stomach Onekreanda Cayuga Vocabulary Page 271 50 Bladder, Onheha 51 Blood, Otgweasa 52 Yein, Ojinohyada 53 Sinew, Ojinohyada 54 Flesh, Owaho 55 Skin, Ogoneghwa 56 Seat, Ondiadakwa 57 Ankle, Ojihougwa 58 Town, Kanatae 59 House, Kanosiod 60 Door, Kanhoha 61 Lodge, Teyetasta 62 Chief, Aghseanewane 63 Warrior, Osgeagehta 64 Friend, Aterotsera 65 Enemy, Ondateswaes 66 Kettle, Kanadsia 67 Arrow, Kanoh 68 Bow, Adoia 69 War Club, Kajihwaodriohta 70 Spear, Kaghsigwa 71 Axe, Atokea 72 Gun, Kaota 73 Knife, Kainatra 74 Flint, AtrF kwenda 75 Boat, Kaowa 76 Ship, Kaowagowa 77 Shoe, Ataghkwa 78 Legging, Kaisra 79 Coat, Atyatawitra 80 Shirt, Nikaheha 81 Breechcloth, Katrotaa 82 Sash, Teatniagwistrista 83 Headdress, Tiodnaawonhasta 84 Pipe, Atsiokwaghta 85...

The Cayuga Indians

The history of this canton does not stand out prominently among the Iroquois while it will be found that as one of the inclusive tribes who carried their name and fame so high among the aborigines, they have performed their due part, and produced warriors, sages and speakers of eminence. Were every thing else, indeed, blotted out of their history, the fact of their having produced a Logan1 would be sufficient to rescue their memory from oblivion. In their early search after a place to hunt, fish and plant corn, as an independent tribe, they, on the assumption of their own traditions, passed up the Seneca River, into the sylvan and beautiful lake, which bears their name. In visiting this lake the present year, in search of their ancient sites, it was not without a melancholy interest, that I surveyed, within the boundaries of Aurora, the remains of one of those apple orchards, which were ruthlessly cut down by a detachment of the army of Gen. Sullivan, in his severe but necessary expedition in 1778. Many vestiges of their ancient residence still remain in Cayuga County, nor has local memory, in its intelligent and hospitable inhabitants, dropped from its scroll the names of several of its distinguished chiefs, and their places of abode. They point to a spot at Springport, now trenched on by the road, where lie the remains of Karistagea, better known by his English appellative of Steeltrap, one of their noted chiefs and wise men, who extended the hospitalities of his lodge to the first settlers on the “Military Tract.” The nation itself, although they had...

Building of the First Vessel on the Upper Lakes

The enterprise of Sa Salle, in constructing a vessel above the falls of Niagara, in 1679, to facilitate his voyage to the Illinois and the Mississippi, is well known; but while the fact of his having thus been the pioneer of naval architecture on the upper lakes, is familiar to historical readers, the particular place of its construction, has been matter of various opinions. Gen. Cass in his historical discourse, places it at Erie; Mr. Bancroft in his history, designates the mouth of the Tonawanda. Mr. Sparks in the biography of Marquette, decides to place it on the Canadian side of the Niagara. These variances result in a measure from the vague and jarring accounts of the narrators, whose works had been consulted in some instances in abridged or mutilated translations, and not from doubt or ambiguity in the missionary “Letters.” Literary associations in America, who aimed to increase the means of reference to standard works, began their labors in feebleness. The New York Historical Society, which dates its origin in 1804, and has vindicated its claims to be the pioneer of historical letters in America, published Tonti s account of the Chevalier La Salle s enterprise, in one of the volumes of its first series. It is since known, however, that this account was a bookseller s compilation from, it is believed generally correct sources, but it was disclaimed by Tonti. It is at least but an abbreviation, and cannot be regarded as an original work. In 1820, the American Antiquarian Society published in their first volume of collections, an account of Hennepin discoveries, which is known to...

Tuscaroras Indians

The traditions of this canton affirm, that they are descendants of the original family of Iroquois, who began their existence, or their nationality, at least at or near the falls of the Oswego. After the migration of the parent tribe towards the sea, and their return west and separation into tribes, this band went on west till they reached Lake Erie. From hence they traveled southwest till they reached the Mississippi. Part of them crossed the river, and they were thus divided. Those who went over, became, in time, the enemies of such as remained on its eastern banks, and were finally lost and for gotten from their memory. Terenyawagon, the Holder of the Heavens, who was the patron of the home bands, did not fail, in this crisis, to direct their way also. After giving them practical instructions in war and hunting, he guided their footsteps in their journies, south and east, until they had crossed the Alleghanies, and reached the shores of the sea, on the coasts which are now called the Carolinas. They were directed to fix their residence on the banks of the Cau-tan-o, that is, a Pine in the water, now called Neuse River, in North Carolina. By this time their language was altered, but not so much but that they could understand each other. Here Terenyawagon left them to hunt, increase and prosper, whilst he returned to direct the remaining Five Nations to form their confederacy. Thus far the Tuscarora annalist. History picks up the Tuscaroras precisely where tradition and fable leave them. On the settlement of Virginia and the Carolinas, they were...

Vestiges of an Ancient Elliptical Work at Canandaigua

The Senecas deduce their descent from a noted eminence, bearing the title of “Fort Hill” at the head of the sylvan expanse of Canandaigua Lake. The term of Fort Hill, is however, not confined to that spot, but is, as in the work under consideration, one of common occurrence, in sundry parts of the ancient and extended area of the Six Nations. The subjoined sketch denotes the vestiges of an ancient stronghold of the Senecas, of an elliptical form, on elevated lands about a mile northerly from the village. This work has been nearly obliterated by the plough. The only portions of the ancient wall yet remaining, are indicated by the letters B. B. At A, a dwelling house has been erected, flanked by gardens. C, is a turnpike or rectangular town road, passing over the apex of the elevation. The dotted ellipses, through these grounds, are laid down from tradition rather than from any well defined vestiges in these fields of the original wall yet visible. D,D, represents a native forest. Judging from the curves of the portions of wall entire at B, B, in connection with the era pointed out by the occupant, this work may have had a circumference of one thousand feet. It occupied a commanding site. The sections of the wall remaining, denote the labor of many hands, and if this rampart was crowned with palisades, and secured in the usual manner with gates, it must not only have furnished a garrison to a large body of warriors, but have been a work of much strength. In excavating the grounds for the road, in...

Archeology

In considering the subject of American antiquities it may facilitate the object, to erect separate eras of occupancy, to which the facts may be referred. Such a division of the great and almost unknown period, which preceded the arrival of Europeans, will at least serve as convenient points to concentrate, arrange and compare the facts and evidences brought forward; and may enable the observer, the better to proceed in any future attempts to generalize. There appear to have been three eras in the aboriginal occupancy of the continent, or more strictly speaking, three conditions of occupancy, which may be conveniently grouped as eras, although the precise limits of them, may be matters of some uncertainty. To make this uncertainty less than it now is, and to erect these eras on probable foundations, the proofs drawn from monuments, mounds, fortifications, ditches, earth-works, barrows, implements of art, and what ever other kind of evidence antiquity affords, may, it is thought, be gathered together in something like this shape, namely: Vestiges and proofs of the original era of the aboriginal migration from other parts of the globe. These, so far as arts or evidences of a material character are denoted, must necessarily be exceedingly limited, if any, of undoubted authenticity, shall indeed now be found. The departments of physiology, and philology, which have heretofore constituted the principal topics of research, are still an attractive, and by no means a closed field. Proofs and vestiges of their continental migrations, wars, affinities and general ethnological characteristics, prior to the discovery of the continent. Such are the grouping of languages; the similarity, or dissimilarity of...

Antiquities of Pompey and Adjacent Parts of Onondaga County

No part of western New York has furnished a larger number of antiquarian remains, or been more often referred to, than the geo-graphical area which constituted the original town of Pompey. There is, consequently, the less need of devoting elaborate attention to the details of this particular locality. It was first visited and described by De Witt Clinton, in 1810-11,1 and the plough has since rendered it a task less easy than it then was, to examine the lines of its ancient works and its archaeological remains. It is quite evident, from the objects of art disclosed at and about these antique sites of security and defense, that civilized man dwelt here in remote times, and there must be assigned to this part of the State a period of European occupancy prior to the commonly received historical era of discovery and settlement, or, at least, if falling within it, as there is now reason to believe, yet almost wholly unknown, or for gotten in its annals. Sismondi has well remarked, that only the most important events come down to posterity, and that fame, for a long flight, prepares to forget every thing which she possibly can. That no accounts should remain of obscure events, in a remote part of the country, at an early date, is not surprising. As it is we must infer both the dates and the people, from such antiquarian remains of works of art and historical comparisons as can be obtained. There appear to have been two or three nations, who supplied very early visitors or residents to ancient Onondaga, namely, the Dutch, French and...

Antique Rock Citadel of Kienuka, in Lewiston, Niagara County, NY

In the preceding sketches, evidences have been presented of the readiness and good judgment of the aboriginal fort builders of western New York,1 in availing themselves of steeps, gulfs, defiles, and other marked localities, in establishing works for security or defense. This trait is, however, in no case more strikingly exemplified than in the curious antique work before us, which is called, by the Tuscaroras, Kienuka. The term Kienuka is said to mean the stronghold or fort, from which there is a sublime view. It is situated about three and a half or four miles eastward of the outlet of the Niagara gorge at Lewiston, on a natural escarpment of the ridge. This ridge, which rises in one massy, up-towering pile, almost perpendicularly, on the brink of the river, develops itself, as we follow its course eastward for a mile or two, in a second plateau, which holds nearly a medium position in relation to the altitude of the ridge. This plateau attains to a width of a thousand yards or more, extending an unexplored distance, in the curving manner of the ridge, towards Lockport. Geologically considered, its upper stratum is the silurean limestone, which in the order of superposition, immediately overlies the red shaly sandstone at the falls. Its edges are jagged and broken, and heavy portions of it have been broken off, and slid down the precipice of red shaly under grit, and thus assumed the character of debris. Over its top, there has been a thin deposit of pebble drift 3 of purely diluvial character, forming, in general, not a very rich soil, and supporting a...

The Sacred Fire of the Iroquois

Sacred Fire. The Sun a Symbol of Divine Intelligence. It was a striking peculiarity of the ancient religious system of the Iroquois that, once a year, the priesthood supplied the people with sacred fire. For this purpose, a set time was announced for the ruling priest s visit. The entire village was apprized of this visit, and the master of each lodge was expected to be prepared for this annual rite. Preliminary to the visit, his lodge fire was carefully put out and ashes scattered about it, as a symbolic sign of desolation and want. Deprived of this element, they were also deprived of its symbolic influence, the sustaining aid and countenance of the supreme power, whose image they recognized in the sun. It was to relieve this want, and excite hope and animation in breasts which had throbbed with dread, that the priest visited the lodge. Exhibiting the insignia of the sacerdotal office, he proceeded to invoke the Master of Life in their behalf, and ended his mission by striking fire from the flint, or from percussion, and lighting anew the domestic fire. The lodge was then swept and garnished anew, and a feast succeeded. This sacred service annually performed, had the effect to fix and increase the reverence of the people for the priestly office. It acted as a renewal of their ecclesiastical fealty; and the consequence was, that the institution of the priesthood among these cantons was deeply and firmly seated. Whether this rite had any connection with the period of the solstices, or with the commencement of the lunar year, is not known, but is...

Ancient Battlefield on Buffalo Creek

Site of an ancient battlefield, with vestiges of an entrenchment and fortification on the banks of the Deoseowa, or Buffalo creek. The following sketch conveys an idea of the relative position of the several objects alluded to. Taken together they constitute the distinguishing feature in the archaeology of the existing Indian cemetery, mission station, and council-house on the Seneca reservation, five or six miles south of the city of Buffalo. As such, the site is one of much interest, and well worthy of further observation and study. The time and means devoted to it, in the preparation of this outline, were less than would be desirable, yet they were made use of, under favorable circumstances, as the current periodical business and deliberations of the tribe brought together a large part of them, including the chief persons of education and intelligence, as well as many aged persons who are regarded as the depositories of their traditions and lore. Tradition, in which all concur, points out this spot as the scene of the last and decisive battle fought between the Senecas and their fierce and inveterate enemies the Kah-Kwahs, a people who are generally but erroneously supposed to be the same as the Eries.1 It is not proposed in this place, to consider the evidences on this point, or to denote the origin and events of this war. It is mainly alluded to as a historical incident connected with the site. It is a site around which the Senecas have clung, as if it marked an era in their national history; although the work itself was clearly erected by their enemies....
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