A simple reminder lesson

Most used prefixes

The following are the most used prefixes in the language as they deal with various types of tenses.  Also a little explanation on animate and inanimate prefixes.  The i for inanimate objects is singular and stands for it, that, the, depending on the sentence.  The ni is plural and stands for these, those, them, the.  So we have:

Inanimate i singular, and inanimate ni for plural objects.  Also remember that inanimate plurals end in the letter N.

Animate o for singular and gi for plural.  Remember that animate plurals end in the letter K.

WA- Future tense.  GA- Past tense.  E- Present tense.

NGI-I- Past tense.  NWI-I- Future tense.  NDE- Present tense.  NDA- I could, can, should.

WI- h/s Future tense.  WGI- Past tense.

GWI- Future tense.  GGI- Past tense.  GDE- Present tense.  GDA- You could, can, should.

NINAN – us, exclusive.

Ninan nwi shyamen.

Ninan ngi shyamen

Ninan nde shyamen

Ninan nda shyamen

GINWA – you guys.

Ginwa gwi shyam.

Ginwa ggi shyam

Ginwa gde shyam

Ginwa gda shyam

WINWA – They are.

Winwa wi shyek

Winwa gi shyek

Winwa da shyek

GINAN – us, inclusive

Ginan gwi shyamen.

Ginan ggi shyamen

Ginan gde shyamen

Ginan gda shyamen

The following prefixes and suffixes are used to denote past tense, present tense, future tense, and plurals of the subject.  The prefixes and suffixes are BOLD so that you can see a pattern in the language usage.

NI PI JE – Where (We will use “where” to make simple sentences.)

E – Present tense  WA – Future tense  GA – Past tense

  1. Ni pi je E shya yen?  Where are you going?
  2. NI pi je E shya yek?  Where are you guys going?
  3. Ni pi je wa shya yen?  Where are you going?
  4. Ni pi je wa shya yek?  Where are you guys going?
  5. Ni pi je ga shya yen?  Where did you go?
  6. NI pi je ga shya yek?  Where did you guys go?

NI JE PI – When (We will now use “when” to make some sentences)


  1. Ni je pi wa shya yen?  When are you going there?
  2. Ni je pi wa shya yek?  When are you guys going there?
  3. Ni je pi ga shya yen?  When did you go there?
  4. Ni je pi ga shya yek?  When did you guys go there?
  5. Ni je pi da shya yen?  When could you go?
  6. Ni je pi da shya yek?  When could you guys go?


  1. Wabek nwi shya.  I am going there tomorrow.
  2. Wabek nwi shya men.  We are going there tomorrow.
  3. Wabek wi shye wak.  He is going tomorrow.
  4. Wabek wi shyek.  They are going tomorrow.


  1. Wnago ngi shya.  I went yesterday.
  2. Wnago ngi shya men.  We went yesterday.
  3. Wnago gi shye wak.  S/he went yesterday.
  4. Wnago gi shyek.  They went yesterday.


  1. Ngom nwi shya.  I am going there today.
  2. Ngom nwi shya men.  We are going there today.
  3. Ngom shye wak.  S/he is going there today.
  4. Ngom wi shyek.  They are going there today.

Some simple phrases

Bodewadmi Gigdowen

Negekshkan                            ear wax

Wnegekshkan                         his/her ear wax

Wne gekshkanwa                    their ear wax

Negagset                                 sole of either shoe or foot

also the iron covering on              wagon wheels or sleighs

Negagsaten                             plural

Negagsetwan                          their soles

Doden                                     heel

Ndoden                                   my heel or could mean; ask for something

Gdoden                                   your heel

Bmekwe                                  someone’s tracks

Ngi na gjege                           I trailed something/not specific

Nginagna                                I trailed him/her or an animal/specific

Wdeonagnan                           he is going to trail him

                                                animate (deer?) present tense

Wgi onagnan                           he trailed him—past tense

Nabtoan                                  I trail him                                       

Ndegwdekto                            I told him/her

Zet                                           foot

Zetesen                                    toes or little feet

Zeten                                       feet

Zetes                                       little foot/small foot

Negagset                                 sole

Zheton                                     make

Gipdon                                    chapped lips

Gipnoye                                  chapped cheek (s)

Noye                                       cheek (s)

Kibdon                                    mute (unable to speak)

Gegibtok                                 one who is mute

Mine kwe gego                       if it isn’t one thing it’s another

Ginkwetak ne                          did he/she measure you?

                                                also; did he/she argue with you?

Ngi nkwe twa                          I answered him/her

                                                or; I argued with him/her

Ngi nkwe twak                        I answered them or I argued with them

Ngi batama                             I reported them/on them

We ni je ga mej wa bne gyen who woke you up?

                                                who shook you awake?

Ngi mje doki she na                I just woke up

                                                without the alarm clock or being


Ne sha shna mba bi mskwe gé        h/s is about to spin around

Mej we ben o ksese i she gaga ewi wisniy go                go get your brother we are going to eat soon

Mej we ben o ksese i she mami ewi wi sney go     ditto

Gi bse gwi gben ma o                     I helped raise h/h up

Kwe tan na pa gi wse dek               they surely went about hunting

Nin nde ben ma o                            I own h/h

Nin nde ben dan i                            I own that/it

Nin ma nde ben ma o                      I am the one who owns h/h

Nin ma i nde be ndan                      I am the one who owns that/it

Nin se nde ket                                 I said it/I said so

Nin ma nde ket                               I am the one who said it

Bye don i gde nen                           Bring it I told you

Bye don i gde nen ma                     I am the one who told you to bring it

Ke wi dmowen                                I shall tell you

Nin se nde ket                                 I say so

Nin ma nde ket                               I am the one saying this

Nin se gwi dmon                             I am telling you

Nin ma gwi dmon                           I am the one telling you

Bo niken i gdenen                   I told you to leave that alone!                

Bo niken i gde nen ma            I told you all to leave that alone!

Jo wi nin nde bwet sin i          not me, I don’t believe it

Jo ma nin nde bwe tsin i         no, myself, I don’t believe it

Gego gi kshe dso ken              don’t cut yourself

Gego ke gshe des                    don’t, you’ll cut yourself (axe)

Ngi pje kwne des                    I cut myself accidently carving

Ngi pje gna ma                       I hit him accidently

Ngi pje gna ndes                     I hit myself accidently

Ngi pje gwap an                      I ladled it up accidently

Ngi pje ngwe                           I saw him but was mistaken

Ngi zam we bnan                    I spun it too far or

                                                I pushed it too far

Ndo zam shke ne                    I am too full

Zam aj mo                               he/she is saying too much

                                                not truthful

Zam bye                          he’s too drunk

Some body parts:

Tog                                  ear

Togen                              ears

Winsesen                        hair

Shki zhek                        eye

Shki zhgon                      eyes

Jash                                 nose

Ojash                               another nose

Don                                 mouth/lips

Damken                          chin

Shkiw en                         cover it up

Ngi shkiw an                   I covered it up

Ma ji gda zo                    he’s leaving mad/angry

                                        he’s mad so he’s leaving

Some words and simple phrases on sickness

Some More Vocabulary On Sickness.

Napnewen/Penewen?                           sickness

__________nde na pne   I have the___________

__________nde na pne men   We have __ (excl.)

_________na pne wak    H/S has_________

_________na pne wek    They have ____ (excl.)

________gde na pne men       We have ______ (incl.)

Ni je ena pne yen?         What ails you?

Ni je ena pne yen? What illness do you have?

Ni je ena pne yek? What ails you people?

Ni je ena pnet? What sickness does h/s have?

Ni je ena pne wat? What do they have? (sickness)

Ni je ena pne ygo? What is wrong with us?

Kedwenen se ode napnewen

Dakmedem     to hurt somewhere

Ndakmedem   I hurt somewhere

Webapne        beginning to get ill

Pene’ewen      sickness of a more serious nature; flu, pneumonia, colds, etc.

Odehnadpne; heart disease of any kind.

Jibaumnadpne; spirit sickness, mental illness, PTSD, alcoholism, drug addiction.

Emotions and Feelings are connected with the spirit of an individual thus, (jibaumnadpne)

Bigeyekwse                                    Exhausted

Nshonadendem                              Confused

Nchiwenmowen                              Ecstatic

Dbesitadwen                                  Guilty

Monenmowen                                 Suspicious

Nshkadze                                       Angry

Giwnadendem                                Hysterical

Nshonadendem                              Frustrated

Ntagze                                             Sad

Shkedkewen/Shechkewen           Confident

Mensheze                                        Embarrassed

Mwendem                                       Happy

Kyebadze                                       Mischievous

Anwenjgewen                         Disgusted

Zegze                                               Frightened

Nshiwgedaze                                  Enraged

Mensheze                                        Ashamed

Dokmezwen                                    Cautious

Kchenendezwen                             Smug

Manandem                                     Depressed

Niskendem                                      Overwhelmed

Ndewenjgewen                               Hopeful

Ntagze                                             Lonely

Bozmnwenjege                               Love Struck

Zhawe’                                            Jealous

Nisadendem                                    Bored

Akwadze                                Anxious

Mamkadendem                              Shocked

Nskwenweaye                                Surprised

Mamkazwen                                   Surprised

Mensheshke                                   Shy

Anwenjegewen                               Disgusted

Yantzhitmowen                              Discouraged

Kchenendeswen                             Arrogance

Edbesendowen                               Humility

Wishges                                          Physical Strength

Mishkweswen                                Inner strength

Ebwazegset Edbandek                 Love without fear


Kiwadze                                  s/he is lonely

Zhewenma                              I am compassionate of him/her

Nzeges                                    I am frightened

Gzeges                                    You are frightened

Gzeges ne?                             Are you frightened?

Nendeman                              What I think of myself

Nagdewendeman                   what I think (deeper level thinking)

Edbesendeman                      Thinking lowly humble thoughts

Nemwinadpne; any type of breathing illness, COPD, lung disease or tuberculosis.

Shonadpne     all different kinds of illnesses

Neshnadapne        I have all kinds of illnesses

Gneshadapne    you have all kinds of illnesses

Kche napnewen   cancer, something life threatening , Small pox, cholera, bubonic plague, etc.

Yaknoga/akwenoga his is sick.

Ndaknoga I am sick

Janmeze his is really feeling ill

Ndojanmes I am feeling really ill

Nijanmeze pregnant woman


  1.  Gi nodan ne ézhewebek ngom igwan ode myajazhtonjegéwen?
  2. Wégni je ode shkwéyawjegéwen?
  3. Gekéndan ne ga zhewébek ngotek «depression» égi shnekadék?
  4. Gi sneget ne i ngotek?
  5. Ni je éshedéyen gode mengshiniyek mine gode wedapegéniyek eshnekazwat?
  6. Mine ode azhtongéwen gechwa she mjesh cho she gégo mikjéwiwat?

Ga she tot o Mnedo        what the Spirit created

Jak gégo ga zhetot         all the Spirit made

Anet kedwenen              some sayings/words

Economic problems       myajazhtonjegéwen

Recession                       Shkwéyawjegéwen

Economic Downturn      Azhtonisajegéwen

Economy                        Azhtongéwen

Unemployment               Cho she gégo mikjéwiwen

Hard times                     Gi/Wi sneget

School closings              Skonogbakwéwgenen

Snow days                     Gon gishgwen

Sick days                        Napnewen gishgwen

Pandemic                        Gche napnewen

Signs of the times          Ganajmownen

Anet node kedwenen

Construct Verbs using Body Parts and other things…

Noun FormConstruct Form
Nibden – my teeth-yabdé -abdé  or -denwi
Nenji – my hand-nejé
Nzet – my foot-zeté
Njash – my nose-jané
Ndon – my mouth or my lip-doné
Ntog – my ear-togé
Ndep – my head-debé
Nshkishek – my eye-gwé (eyed or faced)
Ngotagen – my throat-dagwné, -gotagé
Ndamken – my chin or my jaw-damké, -damkné
Nek – my arm-neké
Ken – bone-kené
Nwinsesén – my hair-sesé or -nankwé
Ndesam – my skin-wshé
Nkaké – my chest-kaké
Ndodosh – my breast-dodoshmé
Nowéy – my cheek-nowyé
Wnagen – dish-wnagé
Nibi-water-abo (liquid)


-Gwé and kwé can sound suspiciously similar, so it is very important to listen carefully and use correct pronunciation.  -Gwé can refer to the face or to the eyes.

            Jigwé                          Thunder (Next to His Face)        

            Shomigwé                He/she is smiling

            Mniwnagigwé         Infected runny eye

            Pesangigwé             Black eye (bruised eye)   

            Meningwé                He/she has eye boogers

            Bokigwé                    one-eyed, single-eyed

            Bokigwénwi                         Wink

            Winingwé                             Dirty Face

Other endings to watch for are -kadé and -gadé.  -Kadé refers to “legged,” while -gadé is an inanimate intransitive ending.

            Nyéwokadé                          He/she is Four-legged

            Nishokadé                            He/she is Two-legged

            Gkejgadé                              Something is hidden

            Wébnegadé                         Something is discarded

Here are some contextual examples of endings, some coupled with other particles.  This language is based on PARTICLES which have meaning, but must be attached to other particles to form complete thoughts.


            Magwzede                           He/she has Big Feet or Smelly Feet

            Kchemagwzede                  He/she has Really Smelly Feet

            Génozedé                             He/she has long feet

            Tkozedé                                He/she has short feet

            Gachzedé                             He/she has little feet        

            Wawagzedé                         He/she has pigeon feet (crooked feet)

            Mbiwzedé                            He/she has wet feet         

            Datkezedé                            He/she has toes that point outward

            Begwzedé                             He/she has dry feet

            Nchiwzedé                           He/she has ugly feet

            Mskwiwzedé                       He/she has bloody feet

            Mskwéwzedé                      He/she has red feet

            Mkedéwzedé                      He/she has black feet

            Winzedé                               He/she has dirty feet

            Binzedé                                 He/she has clean feet

            Zheshkiwzedé                     He/she has soil or sand on feet

            Goniwzedé                           He/she has snowy feet

            Mkwemizedé                      He/she has icy feet

            Gishkzedé                             He/she has a cut off foot

            Mnozedé                              He/she has good feet

            Mowzedé                             He/she has poopy feet

            Mtakgwzedé                       He/she has bare feet

            Gzinzedé                               He/she washes feet

            Gziszedé                               He/she scrubs feet

Mbegzedégabo                   He/she has a flat tire (literally:  He/she is standing there with a flattened foot – implies vehicle)


            Mbiwdebé                            He/she has a wet head

            Gzindebé                              He/she washes head

            Psakwdebé                          He/she has a burning head (has a fever)

            Peshkwdebé                        He/she is baldeHe/

            Binagdebe                            He/she has a clean head

            Winagdebe                          He/she has a dirty head

            Mbwakawdebe                  He/she uses his head (smart or wise)

            Édbesendebe                       He/she thinks lowly thoughts (humble)

            Édbeséndezot                     H/s thinks lowly thoughts of himself/herself


            Wabshkewzhé                    He/she has White skin

            Mskwiwzhé                         He/she has Blood on skin

            Gzibigwzhé                          He/she washes their skin

            Mektewzhe                          He/she has black/dark skin

            Gzibinsewzhe                      Wash your skin

            Bmedewensewzhe            He/she has greasy skin


            Mniwabdé                            He/she has an abcessed or infected tooth

            Wasadbégabo                     He/she stands with shiny teeth

            Niskabdénwi                        He/she bares h/h teeth

            Gsiyabdé                               He/she brushes teeth

            Gsisyabdé                             He/she scrubs teeth

            Throat and misc.

            Gishkakgwendagwné       He/she has a sore throat

            Gikijdagwné                        He/she has a sore throat

            Zagdamknégabo                He/she stands with chin sticking out

            Zagdamknéshen                 His/her chin sticks out

            Gikmenejé                            His/her hand or finger is numb

            Magnowyé                           He/she has big cheeks

            Magdodoshmé                   He/she has big breasts

            Magtogé                               He/she has big ears

            Winankwé                            He/she has dirty hair

            Binankwé                             He/she has clean hair

            Mbiwnankwé                      He/she has wet hair

            Mishigwé                              He/she has a hairy face

            Mishkadé                              He/she has hairy legs

            Mskwiwjané                        He/she has a bloody nose

            Gzigwé                                  He/she washes face

            Gzinjé                                    He/she washes hands

            Gzibingé                                He/she washes things

            Gzinagé                                 He/she washes dishes

            Gsisega                                  He/she scrubs the floor

            Winsega                                The floor is dirty


            Zamdoné                              He/she has a big mouth (talks too much)

            Winagdoneket                    He/she is foul mouthed

            Mbwakawdonet                 He/she speaks wise things

            Mishkwedone                     He/she sounds ambitious or full of resolve

            Mjekewdone                       He/she talks evil

            Natkotagdone                     He/she has a smart mouth

            Gikajgedone                        He/she has argumentative mouth

            Genotagdone                      He/she tells tall tales/lies

            Gimojtagdone                     He/she tells sneaky/shady stuff

            Mnowejtagdone                He/she speaks good things

            Shiwejtagdone                    He/she talks fierce

            Gimojtagwdonet                He/she speaks falsely


            Mnowejshizhgoke             He/she sees good things in others

            Zheshkiwshkishek              He/she has dirt or sand in eye

            Mektewshkishek                He/she has black eye

            Mjewejshkishek                 He/she has evil eye

            Wakjeseshkizhgwen         He/she has crooked/crossed eyes

On giving and receiving

Giving and Receiving

The verb root for both Giving and Receiving is “Min.”  The way it is formed determines who is giving and who is getting.

Some tips:

  1. The animate actors are expressed by the verb.  In other words, the person who gives the gift is grammatically more important than the gift itself.
  2. Different verb endings determine which way the giving is going.
  3. 2nd person is preferred:  You are more important than Me, and this is expressed grammatically by putting 2nd person in front of the verb.

Giving to a 3rd person:

Ngi mina ode nebyégen o Jigwékwé – I gave the pen to Jigwekwe

Ngi minak ode nebyégen gi nenwik éjibdebwat ibe – I gave the pen to the men sitting over there

*The verb is determined by the people, not the gift.

Ngi mina         Nin to win                               Ngi minak       nin to winwa

Ggi mina         Gin to win                               Ggi minak       gin to winwa

Wgi minan      Win to 4                                  Wgi minan      win to 4

Ngi minamen   Ninan to win                           Ngi minamen   ninan to winwa

Ggi minamen   Ginan to win                           Ggi minamen  ginan to winwa

Ggi minawa     Ginwa to win                          Ggi minawak  ginwa to winwa

Wgi minawan  Winwa to 4                             Wgi minawan  winwa to 4

Receiving from a 3rd person:

Ngi minek ode nebyégen o Jigwékwé – I got this pen from Jigwekwe

Ngi mingok ode nebyégen gi nenwik éjibdebwat ibe – I got this pen from those men sitting over there

*Now the verb is reversed.

Ngi minek       win to nin                                Ngi mingok     winwa to nin

Ggi minek       win to gin                                Ggi mingok     winwa to gin

Wgi mingon    4 to win                                   Wgi mingon    4 to winwa

Ngi mingonan win to ninan                            Ngi mingonanek  winwa to ninan

Ggi mingonan win to ginan                           Ggi mingonanek  winwa to ginan

Ggi mingowa   win to ginwa                          Ggi mingowak     winwa to ginwa

Wgi mingowan   4+ to win                             Wgi mingowan   4+ to winwa

Then it gets complicated.   Now you have to remember that YOU is grammatically more important than ME, and the most important thing comes first.

Ggi mish          Gin to Nin       You gave it to me

Ggi minen       Nin to Gin       I gave it to you

Ggi mishyémen           Gin to ninan                You gave it to us

Ggi minenmen             Ninan to gin                We gave it to you

Ggi mishyem               Ginwa to nin               Y’all gave it to me

Ggi minenem               Nin to Ginwa              I gave it to y’all

Ggi minem                  Nin to Ginwa              I gave it to y’all

Ggi mishyémen           Ginwa to ninan            Y’all gave it to us

Ggi minmenem            Ninan to ginwa           We gave it to y’all

Ggi minenmen             Ninan to ginwa           We gave it to y’all

On word order

Msén wgi-dgenanen o kwé

Wgi-dgenanen o kwé msén

Wgi-dgenanen msén o kwé

Msén o kwé wgi-dgenanen

O kwé msén wgi-dgenanen

O kwé wgi-dgenanen msén

Ngi wabma o mko wnago

O mko ngi wabma wnago

Wnago ngi wabma o mko

Wnago o mko ngi wabma

O mko wnago ngi wabma

Ngi wabma wnago o mko

Ngi baskswa o seksi ngom

O seksi ngi baskswa ngom

Ngom ngi baskswa o seksi

Ngom o seksi ngi baskswa

O seksi ngom ngi baskswa

Ngi baskswa ngom o seksi

Nwi bagjige bnoch I bkwakwet

I bkwakwet bnoch nwi bagjige

Bnoch nwi bagjige I bkwakwet

Nwi bagjige I bkwakwet bnoch

Bnoch I bkwakwet nwi bagjige

I bkwakwet nwi bagjige bnoch

An abstract of what I taught my Zoom class last night


The White World knows little about the workings of the human mind and can only guess as to the true workings of the Neshnabe pysche. Ocasssionally they get lucky and someone will write a paper on his/her discovery to supposedly share with the rest of the world, but in  reality, they publish for recognition. There is much in the White World that speaks of greed and they are always doing things for personal recognition.

That should not be so in the Neshnabe World, but it is our observation  that many Natives are becoming much like their White counterparts. There was a time when everyone was motivated for the right reasons and for the right goals; that of making the nation strong and personal recognition did not matter all that much. Even on the path of battle (war), the warrior did not cast aside his ability to reason and his loyalty to the group he came from was never at issue in his thinking.

The people of yesteryear were a complete people and could have taught many cultures a thing or two about longevity in this world. This is a truth, for they are ever coming to us now and seeking the wisdom, knowledge, understanding that our teachings and teachers still possess. If they had only listened to some of our early Sages,  things might have been different for all of us. For now, we struggle to get the few blessings which are entitlements for us in that they come from The God, not from Congress or the individual states we reside in.

Such is the Purification Lodge and all ceremonies that emanate from it.

So, it behooves us to protect and preserve the things we have shared with you, for they belong not only to you, but to all of your children and grandchildren and so on down the line of descendants we leave behind us. Long after we are dead there will be someone stirring the ashes of some ceremony looking for some wisdom, knowledge and understanding.  Let us take good care of the teachings and ceremonies so there shall be something left for those who are walking along behind us.



The rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct……natural philosophy, moral and metaphysical philosophy.

LIFE:          The Fire, The Rock, The Water, The Green.

The Two-Leggeds, The Four-Legged,

The Creeping Crawling Things, The Winged Nation.

The Life Principle is found in The Liquid Life Of All Things.

The Blood = Liquid Life

The Four Basic Questions Known to Man:????

          Who Am I?

What Am I?

Where did I come from?

Where am I going again?

The Four Hills of Life:

Babes                    Youth          Middle-Age          Old-Age

Everything Has A Beginning and An End:

Only The Fire God, The God, or He Who Walks In The Fire,

has no beginning and no endl

But we have Life in and through The Fire .

It is through The Fire that we have our movement, being:

past, present, future.

98.6 Fahrenheit.


Shkwedé Épénmondagéyan

Ancient Symbolism Attached To This Rite:

Eternity Past Eternity Present Eternity Future

GAGI: Forever, always, never ending……

The concept of Eternity in the Indian language has a present sense about it;


From the most ancient times, Eternity


The distant future, Duration

Perpetual Without end, Always, Everlasting time, Lifetime (s).

Some words that could be similar:

Time-always  happening-time,

The beginning is like the end-the end is like the beginning. Wheel without end or World without end!

All we can do is mark the circle of our lives with certain happenings as gradations of our lives, likewise the RITE OF PURITICATION  or SWEAT RITUAL or any other type of wheel; medicine circle/wheel/ceremony.

Fasting or Mkedekewen

It is a serious business of allowing the Spirit of all Life to review your life and being willing to take a hard look at yourself in retrospect, as the God sees your life. Most folks do not view fasting as such, as they see themselves going out and getting some sort of power animal, or a gift for themselves to wallow in pride with, collection Sea-Stories, any vision based on their current vision of themselves, usually based on some inflated image of themselves. Fasting can be a deadly game to play, with Spiritual Powers sent to help you examine yourself.

Let us examine this word fasting and see what it means, both to the secular world and then to the traditional Neshnabek world.




gerund or present participle: fasting

  1. abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially as a religious observance.

Mkedekewen/Fasting to the Neshnabek:

Abstain from all food and drink, companionship, creature comforts, such as sleep, reading, any form of relaxation of the body, in an effort to discipline your soul and spirit to commune with itself and the God.

Mkedekewen becomes a time of how one learns to listen to their own spirit and soul’s rhythm, while the God and His Messengers help one review your life and how that has influenced your life thus far. It is a slo a time of deep relaxation without sleep and learning how to turn your complete self, jejauk, over to the Spiritual Powers. God can show you the truest form of deep relaxation, without all the vexations of sin and its influences.

Sin to the Neshnabek is any act, any thought, any word(s) that tend to separate one from an honest and open communication with the God and his Spiritual Powers, for those Powers are but a true reflection of himself.

One goes out to some solitary place to reflect on your life, sit alone and become at one with all of Nature and the God who created it all. There shall be no one to sit with you, human that is, but the Intercessor/Medicine Man/Holy Man, shall be in direct communication with the God and his Powers in your behalf. All the while you’re out there by yourself; 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, or 96 hours.

For me, fasting is all about choices; once I am there seated among my spiritual fellows and amongst the God and His Powers, I must make a choice to accept what is revealed to me about self and future goals the God may have for me. I can either accept what I am shown or reject it, perhaps it was only a dream, which many do. Many come back from their fast and try to live righteously for a time but usually fail after a time, if they are not committed to what they are doing in the first place.


First, The Pipe carries: Wisdom Knowledge



We must always pray for: Bravery

Endurance Alertness/Awareness Patience

Tobacco is the sacrificial Offering that gives its life for us-

Fire is the “One” that activates,facilitates the life of the tobacco so it can then approach the (12) Grandfathers Council Fire (Altar) in its spirit state as smoke.

Fire Can Give Life or Take It!

As smoke, tobacco can thus rise upward to present the petitions it has heard within the Sacred Circle of Life.

The Fire and Tobacco work together to carry our prayers upward to the third plateau (spiritual mesa).


Third Plateau:


(12) Grandfathers

All Future Life

Second Plateau:

All spirits, (mjimnedok as opposed to spirits)

past and present.

First Plateau:

The Heavens-

The Two-Leggeds, The Four-Leggeds

The Creeping Crawling Things, The Winged Nation

The Fire, The Rock, The Water, The Green

Mother Earth/Segmekwe

Father Core “Fire”

Some Further Sacred Notes:

The Red Pipe Bowl represents the blood of The People. The Female is the ‘ one held responsible for the Nation’s welfare as it is through her the little ones are born, thus the Red Pipe Bowl is representative of her.

0                Grandfather Earth         u

N                Grandmother Earth       N

E                 Father Earth                  I

N                Mother Earth                 0

E                 Son Earth                      N

s                 Daughter Earth

s                 Father Fire Core

Perfect unity exists in the Universe of Universes!

Unity also speaks of Marriage Relationships and should tell us why The Marriage Rite is so sacred to our people.

There is marriage between two elements in the Pipe cere111ony: Wood and Stone.

The Pipe Stem has the Male End The Pipe Bowl has the Female End The Tobacco is the Intercessor!

The Spiritual Marriage between Eternity past and Eternity Present is consummated when the Bowl/Stem are joined together.

That is why this ceremony;  The Pipe Ceremony and any time the Sacred Pipe is used, is so important to our people.

We are actually re-creating something from Eternity Past and asking for a joining together of our wills (desires) and thus, requesting the power to carry out only good actions, speak good words, think good thoughts among the Life we are a part of on this altar: Mother Earth, Father Earth, Son Earth, Daughter Earth.

1st 25 years

Éshkewebsek nish wabdek nsech nyanno pon

2nd 25 years

Énishwek nish wabdek nsech nyanno pon

3rd 25 years

Énswesek nish wabdek nsech nyanno pon

4th 25 years

Enyewsek nish wabtek nsech nyanno pon

Wabseni                                   white stone man

Skebgya seni                            blue stone man

Mskwéwa seni                          red stone man

Wizawa seni                             yellow stone man

Kche wabe windigo                  great white giant

Pondese                                   old man winter/great white giant

Pi’éjkena                                  wild man of the woods

Nyéwo mina’éwen                    the four gifts

Dokmezwen                             peace

Égwamzewen                           go in peace

Dabanawen                               love

Widoktadwen                           unity

Géknomaktadwen                     guidance

Mshkekiw détpesé zhechkéwen

Medicine wheel concept

Shkwéyak bnewi                       historical

Ngom                                       today

Wabek                                     tomorrow

Nigan wa zhewébek                  future

This Life that we embrace is not really the Life we are after.

All life comes to a predicted end; death-

All tribes have teachings and ceremonies governing this phenomenon: To take care of the grief and other feelings connected with it when we, the living must say goodbye to a friend or relative.

The real Life is hidden in The Fire and  it is not until death that we shall really know what we are and where we are going again:  Going Home Ceremony!

Thus  the four basic questions will ultimately be answered in Eternity Future, but do not forget it is all part of -the present to our people. How we should walk ever so humbly and carefully and not tread on anyone else or on anything else that is living or has Life!

We need to remember how frail we are


   GI            Grandfather CORE, The spiritual part of our being, the lamp of our being, the fire within


        Grandfather Soul-

        Rationale intellect, thinking, choosing, reasoning.

Grandfather (Body)-

Terrestrial, takes care of body, feels grief, joy, sorrow, Strong feeling part of our being.

MUHN (Body) is for feeling

and that is why a lot of sicknesses into come from guilt.

Guilt lives in the belly region, loins, operates from there out the blood. Life is in the blood!

The Muhn (Soul)  (Body) is an unusally sensitive part of all human things.

It will do exactly what one tells it to do.

Hence, if you keep telling someone or yourself a negative thing about themselves (yourself) he/she begins to believe it and will ultimately act upon it. The Liquid Life within us begins to accept whatever it is that it is being told and it then becomes a part of us.

When we begin to believe something ourselves or someone else it becomes a part of our rational intellect or thinking, thus a part of our complete selves:

Aura. Chee Jauk. (Gi Bah Mahn)

Those of us who have children should long remember the vvords of the elders on these few simple things. If you are married, never tell your mate she is useless. Always hold one another in high regard and prefer each other before the other. Practice this simple act of humility in all aspects of traditional life. Always remember your children are watching you.

Potawatomi verbs

The four main Potawatomi verbs are animate intransitive, inanimate transitive, inanimate transitive, animate transitive, and independent and conjunct forms….

VAI verbs (animate intransitive)

These are used to make statements or ask simple questions. Someone is doing something, but it doesn’t directly affect anyone else or mention the item. Examples include “I am cleaning,” “Nde binjege”, “I went home”, “Ngi giwe”, and “They left”, “Gi majik”.

VII verbs (inanimate intransitive)

These are often adjectives in English like “It is red,” “They are red,” “It is large,” or “They are large.” Often, weather will also fall into this category. For example, “It’s cold,” or “It’s hot.”   (mskwawen i), (Mskwawek ni), (mesham i), (meshamgedonen ni), (ksenyamget or Gzhatemget).

VTI verbs (inanimate transitive)

Use these verbs when a person acts with or on an item. Once you mention the item, you use this type of verb. For example, “I see it, the chair,” or “I pick it up, that table.”  (ndewabdan I jibtebwen, nmamgenan I dopwen).

VTA verbs (animate transitive)

This is when someone interacts with someone animate. For instance, “I told them,” “They told us,” or “We saw her or him.”  (Ngi widmoashek, wgi wabmawak).

VAI verbs (independent form)

Use this form when making basic statements and asking simple yes or no questions like, “Are you hungry?” or “Did they leave?”  (gbekte ne, gi majiwat ne).

Gi– past, wi– future

Nmaji: I leave

Ngi maji: I left

Nwi maji: I will leave

Gmaji: You leave

Maji: He or she leaves

Obviative: Majin: leave

Nmajimen: We – you leave   (Exclu)

Gmajimen: We all leave   (Inclu)

Gmajim: You all leave

Majik: They leave

Conjunct form  (dependent form)

This is used when asking more complicated questions such as who, what, when and where as well as when there are two verbs in a sentence. The second verb is often put into the conjunct form.

Egi or ga– past, ewi or wa– future

Ga and Wa are subordinate tense markers that are used in questions and to supply information.

Majiyan: I leave
Majiyen: You leave
Majit or majiwak: He or she leaves
Majiyak: We – you leave
Majiygo: We all leave
Majiyek: You all leave
Majiwat: They leave

Other AI verbs
Binchege — he/she cleans
Giwe — he/she goes home
Kikto — talk he/she does

Ngom nwi-majimen. — We are leaving today.  (ninan)
Today n-men means “we” but not when speaking directly to the person; for example: Maji — leave

Ngom gwi majimen —-We are all leaving today. (ginan)
Nago ne ggi-maji?: Did you leave yesterday?
Ni je pi wa majiyek?: When are you all leaving? (conjunct)
Ni pi je ga binchgeyen?: Where did you clean?  (conjunct)
Giwek: They are going home.
Gi giwek: They went home.
Wi giwek: They are going to go home.
Giwek ne?: Are they going home?
Wabek ne wi giwek?: Are they going to go home tomorrow?
Konege, wabek wi giwek.: Yes, they are going home tomorrow.
Ni je wi ga majit (wak) o kwe?: Why did that woman leave? (he or she)
We ni je giwet (wak)?: Who’s going home? (he or she)

Other tense markers:









Dependent or subordinate:






Da gi          should have happened

Da she       must really have to happen

On learning your language.

Some interesting thoughts on language.

Why you should learn your language…….or as one person asked me recently, why should I learn my language? I informed him that the Potawatomi People have a Potawatomi language given to them by their Creator…when folks ask him what and who he is, how does he answer them when they ask him about his Potawatomi heritage? How does he answer if they should ask why he doesn’t use his heritage language? What does he say to folks when they ask why he doesn’t seek to learn his heritage language? How does he justify not using his heritage language telling people who he is? Why doesn’t he use his heritage language in prayer? What does he say to people when they find out he is Potawatomi and does not know his own mother tongue?  This young man shared with me that he was a traditional, being quite proud of informing me he was a member of the Big Drum. So I asked him, for that matter, what language does he think those spirits speak, English or Potawatomi? What language does he think his concept of God speaks, you know the One who gave him life and also gave his people their heritage language?

A more interesting question for some of you……what language do you pray in and don’t you believe the God who created us, likes it when we use the languages we were given? Are you Potawatomi like me? Do you speak Potawatomi? Are you aware there are language classes being conducted every week, somewhere by any one of the Seven Bands of Potawatomi in the United States? Do you do everything in your power to make it to at least one of those classes? The classes we teach, though we are not connected with any Tribe, are Contract Learning Classes. I am Prairie Band Potawatomi, but have had my own Web Site http://www.patreon.com/neaseno and Teaching Business for 20 years. We charge reasonable fees for Instructors and materials, but still keep our costs down. Still, that is cheap when you consider the quality teaching you get for those fees, when you compare the cost of concert tickets, movie tickets, or even DVD’s once or twice a month, along with what smokers must pay for cigarettes.

Something further on praying in your language, if you are Potawatomi or Bodewadmi, as we say in our language, have you tried learning that tongue to talk to the Lord? There are many Tribes that sing in their Native language and some even have Bibles written in their tongue. It is beautiful to hear the Cherokee sing Amazing Grace and to hear the spoken Ojibwe language reciting various scriptures from the Ojibwe Bible. I love to worship the Lord in Bodewadmimwen and pray using our spoken tongue. It just makes me feel that much closer to my Lord and Savior.

God did create all languages and if He took the time to create something very specific like you and me, the bear, the wolf, the deer, and other creatures, then he expects us to follow our original instructions, and make the sounds pursuant to our language, so we need to start speaking Potawatomi… If you don’t know your heritage language, then begin to learn it and speak it when you pray and sing in your worship. Come to think of it, what language do you sing your songs in? I hope it is in Potawatomi if that is the language you speak or are learning…..better yet, start thinking in Potawatomi too as it shall help you learn that thought process.

It takes a lot of effort to learn your mother tongue, but it can be done if you take pride in who you are as a Potawatomi person. I do! I want to say I am Potawatomi and pray in my heritage language, think in that language and even sing in it. I want to do everything in my Mother tongue and when I pass from this world into the next, I want the Lord to welcome me into that world using my Neshnabé name and in Potawatomi. That is the language I have been using to worship Him and that is why I would feel especially blessed to be recognized by God in that language. What will you do when you meet your Maker in the next life, and wouldn’t it be wonderful to be greeted and welcomed in the language you spoke here in this Earth Walk?  You don’t really think this life and this world is all there is, do you?

Do something about it now and learn your own language and cultural ways.

We have the means and the classes…..check out our Web Site at www.patreon.com/neaseno for online classes and cultural teachings on the Neshnabé Languages and Way of Life.

We offer classes at modest fees, on Zoom three times a week, including a cultural class featuring a lot of Potawatomi language within the class program.

We also maintain this site: https://wordpress.com/post/neaseno.wordpress.com/2647

We feature a lot of language on this site and often post recordings we have made of various aspects of the language.

Some interesting and provoking thoughts from Neaseno……   

Iw enajmoyan odo pi

Nin se Neaseno.