There are some remarkable and uncanny connections between some Native American languages and Sanskrit. This post is mainly about the Onondogon language.

In 1909, a lady by the name of Mrs. Helen Troy, was initiated into the Onondaga Native American tribe. Mrs. Troy and her mentor, Mrs. Isaac Thomas – the daughter of a Mohawk chief, had “delved deeply into the fascinating mythology of the Indians, of which comparatively little is known.” Troy and Thomas were both reportedly working on “a dictionary of the languages of the Six (Iroquious) Nations.” Their compilation of Onondaga and Mohawk words was said to total 30,000. On completion of the manuscript, Mrs. Troy made this observation, “There exists no doubt that the mythology of the Iroquois antedates that of the Greeks and Romans, and in fact all other peoples just as their language does that of the Hebrews and all others.” She further observed “that Onondaga, the mother of all the languages, mothered also
Sanskrit.” She had indeed found Sanskrit and Onondaga languages to be closely linked and though there is just not enough information available on history to figure out the reasons, but the likenesses are unmistakably there.

For example the words related to ‘rain’ in Onondaga. Zeisberger’s Indian Dictionary mentions a few phrases such as ‘to rain’ or ‘otschtaronti’ as well as ‘it will rain’ or ‘n’ jotschtaronti’. Now, the second syllable ‘taronti’ is the same as the Sanskrit ‘tarant’ (तरन्त) which means ‘hard shower’. In fact ‘tara’ (तर) has to do with  fluid and water, hence ‘taranti’ (तरन्ती)  ‘boat’, and ‘taral’ (तरल) ‘fluid’. As against that the Latin ‘torrent’ is traced to the PIE ‘ter’ meaning ‘dry’.

The Onondaga word for ‘horse’ is ‘garonta-nechqui’. The Sanskrit word for ‘horse’ is; ‘ghota’ which changes to ‘goda’ in Hindi and appears as ‘ghura’ in languages such as Tamil and Kashmiri. ‘Ghura’ is also linked to the English ‘horse’ which appears in Proto-Indo-European as ‘kurs’.

The Onondaga for ‘rise up’ is ‘watanha’. Cognates of ‘watanha’ appear in Sanskrit derived languages such Kashmiri where ‘wake up’ translates as ‘wathun’, in Hindi as ‘uthaana’, the Sanskrit root word being ‘uddha’ (उद्धा).

European languages that have a close connect to Sanskrit also have similar sounds for equivalents of ‘rise up’, in Dutch ‘opstaan ‘, in Bosnian ‘ustati’, in Chezch ‘vstvaj’ and in Slovak ‘vstat’. ‘Watanha‘, ‘wathun‘, ‘utthaan‘, and ‘opstaan‘ are the same word spread across time, geography and various languages – all meaning ‘rise up’.

Not surprisingly ‘attona’ is Onondaga for ‘stairs’ – that which carries you upwards. Sanskrit for ‘upwards’ is ‘uttana’ (उत्तान). 

In an earlier post in this blog it was stated that ‘animisha’ (अनिमिष) is Sanskrit for ‘fish’. With a dropped syllable, as it happens when distortions enter a language, one is left with ‘nimisha’. In Zeisberger’s ‘Indian dictionary’ the Onondagan word for ‘fish’ appears as ‘namees’. Again the Sanskrit root word ‘pak’ that is ‘ripe’ appears as ‘vak’ in Onondaga,.

Then again there is the Onondagan ‘grahanaso’ the equivalent of ‘to take away’ same as the sanskrit root word ‘grah’ (ग्रह्) or grahnnati (गृह्णाति) with the same meaning. 

‘To increase’ in Onondagan is ‘wagoanohatie’. The ‘goano’ syllable in this Onondagan word is the exact same as the Sanskrit for the word ‘multiply’ which is ‘guNay’ (गुणय् ) and also ‘samgunaya’ (संगुणय) and samgunayati (सङ्गुणयति). That is real close to ‘wagoanhatie’.

In the Algonkin dialect  of Native American, ‘nipi’ is ‘water’ and ‘sipi’ river. Interestingly, ‘nipa’ (निपा) is Sanskrit for ‘water’. The closest Sanskrit cognate to ‘sipa’ and ‘sipu’ is ‘sipr’ (सिप्र) with the meaning ‘ooze’ or ‘seep’. 

…to be continued…

Suggested Links:

1. Zeisberger’s Indian Dictionary

2. The Origin and Influence of the thoroughbred horse


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