The Song of Hiawatha

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

with illustrations by Harrison Fisher

and decorations by E. Stetson Crawford


The first edition of The Song of Hiawatha did not include a glossary. Neither did the 1906 Bobbs-Merrill edition. This glossary is based on the 1900 A. L. Burt edition that was annotated by Henry Ketcham.

Ad·ji·dau´mo — the red squirrel

Ah·deek´ — the reindeer


Ah·meek´ — the beaver

Ah´mo — the bee

An·ne·mee´kee — the thunder

A·puk´wa — a bulrush


Baim-wa´wa — the sound of the thunder

Be·mah´gut — the grapevine

Be´na — the pheasant

Big-Sea-Water — Lake Superior

Bu·ka·da´win — famine


Ca·lu·met´ — a ceremonial peace pipe; from the french word chalumet

Che·maun´ — a birch canoe

Che·to·waik´ — the plover

Chi·bia´bos — a musician; friend of Hiawatha; becomes ruler of the Land of Spirits


Dah·in´da — the bullfrog

Dush-kwo-ne´-she — or Kwo-ne-she the dragonfly


E´sashame on you

Es·co·na´ba´ — the Escanaba River in the upper peninsula of Michigan

E·wa-ye·a´ — lullaby


Ghee·zis — the sun

Git´che Gu´mee — The Big-Sea-Water, Lake Superior

Git´che Ma´ni·to — the Great Spirit, the Master of Life

Gush·ke·wau´ — the darkness


Hi·a·wa´tha — the Wise Man, the Prophet, the Teacher; son of Mudjekeewis, the West-Wind and Wenonah, daughter of Nokomis


I·a´goo — a great boaster and story-teller

In·in´e·wug — men, or pawns in the game Pugasaing, wedgemen

Ish·koo·dah´ — fire, a comet


Jee´bi — a ghost, a spirit

Joss´a·keed — a prophet



Ka·bi·bo·nok´ka — the North Wind

Kagh — the hedgehog

Ka´go — do not

Kah·gah·gee´ — the raven

Kaw — no

Ka·ween´ — no indeed

Ka·yoshk´ — the seagull

Kee´go — a fish

Kee·way´din — the Northwest wind, the Home Wind

Ke·na´beek — a serpent

Ke·ne·u´ — the great war-eagle

Ke·no´zha — the pike

Ko´ko-ko´ho — the owl

Kun·ta·soo´ — the Game of Plumstones

Kwa´sind — the Strong Man, Hiawatha’s friend

Kwo-ne´-she — or Dush-kwo-ne-she, the dragon-fly


Mah·nah·be´zee — the swan

Mahng — the loon

Mahn-go-tay´see — loon-hearted, brave

Mah·no·mo´nee — wild rice

Ma´ma — the woodpecker

Ma´ni·to — a spirit, a guardian spirit

Maiden of the Prarie — the prarie dandelion, Nothocalais cuspidata in the Aster family

Me´da — a healer

Me´da·min — the art of healing

Mee·nah´ga — the blueberry

Me·gis·sog´won — the great Pearl-Feather, a magician, and the Manito of Wealth

Me·shi·nau´wa — a pipe-bearer

Min·je·kah´wun — Hiawatha´s mittens

Min·ne·ha´ha — Laughing Water; wife of Hiawatha; a waterfall off the Mississippi in Minneapolis

Min·ne-wa´wa — a pleasant sound, as of the wind in the trees

Mi·she-Mo´kwa — the Great Bear

Mi·she-Nah´ma — the Great Sturgeon

Mis·ko·deed´ — the Spring-Beauty, the claytonia Virginica

Mit´che Ma´ni·to — spirit of evil

Mon·da´min — corn

Moon of Bright Nights — April

Moon of Leaves — May

Moon of Strawberries — June

Moon of the Falling Leaves — September

Moon of Snowshoes — November

Mud·je·kee´wis — the West Wind; father of Hiawatha

Mud·way-aush´ka — sound of waves on a shore

Mush·ko·da´sa — the grouse

Mus´ko·day — the meadow


Nah´ma — the sturgeon

Nah´ma-wusk — spearmint

Na´gow Wudj´oo — the Grand Sable sand dunes of Lake Superior

Na·na·boh´zo — a moral, heroic, and trickster figure in many First Nations storytellings, particularly among the Ojibwe. Longfellow’s Hiawatha character is based on Nanabozho, minus his trickster aspects.

Na·wa·da´ha — a sweet singer; the teller of this tale

Nee-ba-naw´-baigs — water-spirits

Ne·ne·moo´sha — sweetheart

Ne·pah´win — spirit of sleep

No·ko´mis — a grandmother; Hiawatha’s grandmother, mother of Wenonah

No´sa — my father

Nush´ka — look! look!


O·dah´min — the strawberry

O·jeeg´ — the summer-water, the Fisher Weasel

O·kah·ha´wis — the fresh-water herring

O·me´mee — the pigeon

O·na´gon — a bowl

On·a·way´ — awake

O·pe·chee´ — the robin

Os·se´o — Son of the Evening Star

O·wais´sa — the blue-bird

O·wee·nee´ — wife of Osseo

O·za·wa´beek — a round piece of brass or copper in the game Pugasaing


Pah-puk-kee´na — the grasshopper

Pai·mo·said´ — the stealthy walker, thief

Pau´guk — death

Pau-Puk-Kee´wis — the handsome Yenadizze, the son of Storm Fool

Pau·wa´ting — Sault Sainte Marie

Pe´bo·an — Winter

Pem´i·can — meat of the deer or buffalo dried and pounded; jerky

Pez·he·kee´ — the bison

Pish·ne·kuh´ — the brant, Branta bernicla, a small black-feathered goose the size of a mallard

Po·ne'mah — hereafter

Pu·ga·saing´ — to throw; the game of bowl-and-counters, a dice game

Pug·ga·wau´gun — a war-club

Puk·wa·na´ — smoke of the peace pipe

Puk-Wudj´ies or Puk-Wudj-Ininnes — little wild men of the woods; pygmies; fairies


Sah-sah-je´wun — rapids

Sah´wa — the perch

Seg·wun´ — Spring

Sha´da — the pelican

Shah·bo´min — the gooseberry

Shah-shah — long ago

Shau·go·da´ya — a coward

Shaw·ga·shee´ — the crawfish

Sha·won·da´see — the South-Wind

Shaw-shaw — the swallow

Shesh´eb·wug — ducks; pieces in the game Pugasaing

Shin´ge·bis — the duck, a diver, resilient despite harsh conditions

Sho·wain´ne·me´shin — pity me

Shuh-shuh-gah´— the blue heron

Soan-ge-ta´ha — strong-hearted

Se·bo·wi´sha — a brook, a rivulet

Sub·be·ka´she — the spider

Sug·ge´me — the mosquito


Ta·que·me´naw — the Tahquamenon River and Whitefish Bay

Ta·ma·rack´— the larch tree

Ti´pi — a conical lodge tent made of animal hides or pelts stretched over wooden poles. Also spelled tepee. Should not be confused with a wigwam.

To´tem — family coat-of-arms, sigil


Ugh — yes

U·gud·wash´ — the sunfish

Unk·ta·hee´ — the God of Water


Wa·bas´so — the rabbit, the North

Wa·be´no — a magician, a juggler

Wa·be´no-wusk — yarrow

Wa´bun — the East Wind

Wa´bun An´nung — the Star of the East, the Morning Star

Wa´ge·min — crooked grain, thief of cornfields

Wa·ho·no´win — a cry of lamentation

Wah-wah-tay´see — the firefly

Wam´pum — strings of beads made from shells possessing symbolic cultural value. Sequences of colored beads encode information like a name or office; or a message.

Wau·beek´— the black rock

Wau·be·wy´on — a white skin wrapper

Wa´wa — the wild goose

Waw-be-wa´wa — the white goose

Wa·wo·nais´sa — the whippoorwill

Way-muk-kwa´na — the caterpillar

Way-was·si´mo — the lightning

Wen´di·goes — giants

We·no´nah — the eldest daughter; Hiawatha’s mother, daughter of Nokomis

Wig´wam — a semi-permanent domed dwelling. Should not be confused with a tipi.


Ye·na·diz´ze — an idler and gambler; a dandy

The Song of Hiawatha • 2024 Online Illustrated Edition