A glossary of some more words.
Neshnabe kendaswen traditional neshnabe knowledge.
Neshnabe the good being (male) created from nothing and lowered down to this earth. Name of all people who are descendants of the people who speak the various dialects of neshnabemwen
Mjina neshnabek there are those who think they are neshnabek and by all they try to do and act, they will become more neshnabe-like and/or spiritual. These tend to act as though they are more spiritual than others of their kind. Proud and haughty are they!
Neshnabemwen The Neshnabe language/The Three Fires language
Atsokan traditional cultural story
Ezhikenimnonadzed bemadzet The study of the behavior of life
Bemadzet a human being
Bsendagmowen acquired knowledge, learning from listening
Bgosenjegewen things hoped for
Zhewenmeshen pity me/have mercy on me
Zhewenmeshnak have pity on us/also mercy
Zhawenmengomen they are jealous of us
Kcheneshnabe/kcheneshnabek The Ancient Ones
Epitsewat neshnabek The Ancient Ones
Gete Neshnabek The real ones
Wakendemwajek the wise ones
Edneswen Natural Law, natural way of behavior
Segmekwe Mother Earth
Eyawyan identity, the way all is in me or every way I am
of my being
Kche mkede mko large black bear
Gichidakwe female ceremonial helper
Getesewen intuition, the navel way, mother connection to you
Gwabminjegewen knowledge from observation
Kshemenedo Great Spirit
Mamogosnan The Creator
Kenjegadewen reality, a known truth
Kimingoa anwe kendaswen The original instructions given to the
Neshnabek by Kshemenedo
Mkedeke the act of fasting
Mkedeke’w’egan a fasting lodge
Mkedekewen fasting or vision quest, the way of the quest.
We say this because the spiritual people who put us in the ways of “extreme danger”, or “path of the fire”, literally place us in harms’ way when we go out to fast. That is why we place the smudges of black charcoal on each cheek and forhead of the “quester.
To go before the SPIRIT in such a manner with the imploring we do when we cry out for a vision, or a gift, in those lonely places is to be willing to die for the sake of the people. i.e., so the common people may live. So the “vision quest” has nothing to do with individual effort or EGO. In fact, the EGO of the quester must die out. It is the way of death to man’s spirit or control over his pitiful life, so the real spirit inside him can live and do the will of the SPIRIT for the common people. It is a way of self sacrifice to bring back the power of the SPIRIT for one’s people, so they can all live!
Mnedo wabewen Revealed Knowledge
Mnedo a spirit
Mnedoke conduct a ceremony
Mendokaswenen a ceremony
Mnedoskwim’mendamowen Spirit memory/blood memory
Stitched into your spirit
The knowledge that enters this world when one’s
spirit fuses with the physical body, spirit idenity
Menjemendamowen memory, hold and stitch together
Mnobmadzewen The Way of the Good Life, In order to have a good life one must have a goal. This goal is to be free from illness, to live to the fullest.
Bemadzewen is based on a concept of health and good living. One must work on prevention and not only healing. It is a Holy Life. One must eat well, act well, and live physically, mentally, emotionally well. Emotional well being is a key to Bemadzewen.
Mshekeke medicine that comes from the roots of Earth
Mshkekiwen the way of medicine
Debwetawen belief, the truth that is evident in the way of action. One cannot know the truth unless one has seen or experienced it in a direct way (physically or spiritually).
Debwewen Faith, the heart that all relates to, truthfulness.
Nagdewendemwen A spiritual vision/or deeper level thoughts
Apwewen/nademowen Vivid dream/lucid
Nbwakawen wisdom, from the root-nebwa-in the kindness of putting yourself backwards but at the same time of bringing forward the wisdom one carries.
Thinking back, bringing forward and stitching all together; i.e., life knowledge (Elders).
Nendamowen forget, unstitched.
Nisawai’igwan at the center, Nawai: center.
Nswe shkode Midewigan The Three Fires Medicine Society
Noden wind, also the old term to describe the workings of the mind.
Nokmes My Grandmother
Nwendeman choice, browsing in one’s thoughts
Nwennamdanwen making a choice
Odewegen the way of the drum
Shkabewes the new one, male ceremonial helper
Gichidakwe female ceremonial helper
Wenizhejegeyan free will, the way I am going to do things
Wanen’enema will, has to do with the ability to think independently.
Wigiwamatek lodge pole
Zagidewen love/caring, all of something emanating out of you. Not the same as the English “make love”, sexual, but rather of caring. It is something based on mutual respect. You can feel it but you cannot touch it. It is all of you filling the heart of another, mnadenemwenen, feeding that heart with the thought of something. Out of
Zagidewen a human being is able to heal him/her self.
Zhishigwen shaker, rattle.
Shkebdagen shooter, as in medicine dance ceremony.
Some words to consider:
Inendeman what I think
Inendagwet what I permit
Inendagzewen what is permitted
Nagdewendemwen deeper level thoughts, often what one does not
share with others easily for whatever reason,
or reasons. These deeper level thoughts are
sometimes somewhat embarrassing to reveal for
the individual, but are known by the SPIRIT and
The stuff we keep inside is what makes up who we really are and what our true identity is. (Eyawyan)
Kchenendezwen proud, haughty thoughts of oneself!
Shiwnendezwen mean, ugly, vicious thoughts culminating in that type of actions toward another or others. Generally a mean spirited and dishonest action.
Shiwnadzewen verb describing the above actions of a person like that. (Shiwze: mean, cruel, without mercy)
Gishkteg’gazwen Judgment! Any action(s) the Spirit/spirits take against a person who is bad or acting contrary to what is believed and embraced by a like- minded group. This is thought to include witchcraft of any kind and any mean actions that are thought out and carried out against another.
The old people used to tell us when a person
knowingly starts out on the wrong path and keeps
going down that way, it is like a person who grabs the top of a small sapling and bends it all the way to the ground, then lets it go,
whereupon it springs back at him/her slapping
with full fury at that person again and again.
From this story, they would tell us the Spirit’s
word or judgment is “springy”.
Gemazhechkewen Sovereignty! Usually refers to the sovereignty of the Spirit!
Yanshitmawat they became discouraged
Shiwze he/she is fierce/mean/cruel
Shiwzik they are fierce/mean/cruel
Gzhiptem you are hard headed
Gzhiptemwik they are hard headed
Gzhiptemwenen hard headedness/stubborn-ness,
usually referring to a state of being;
that of being stiff necked, beyond reasoning and usually of an impassable nature; very stubborn.
Gdemages you are poor
Gdemagzewen a state of being poor and not realizing how poor one can be. Said to be without mercy, thus without love, humility, truth, honesty, wisdom, bravery and respect; even self respect.
Widoktadwen that sense of community, togetherness, that innate sense of tribalism that permeates a group that one can sense long before they can verbalize on it. It has a sense of love and belonging that others who do not have it can feel with their spiritual centers; the soul, spirit, and body each have the (5) senses active within them;
touch, taste, smell, feel, hear and more.
Widoko to interact, commune with; usually on all levels when used in a spiritual context.
Gambojek those that passed away, that walked on, those that died.
Gambot he/she who died or walked on.
Nbowen to pass from the scene, to walk on, but in spiritual application, it has to do with dying out to the self, so the gete neyaw can live. i.e., the real man/woman self in all of us. It is said in the old days, this concept was taught to all young boys and girls who were going out to vision quest. (mkedekewen).
Young people were taught to allow old habits to die out so the real self could live and be invigorated with a new heart, soul, spirit so as to acquire new habits pursuant to the teachings of the early neshnabek.