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Gabrielino Words


The Gabrielino came to California from the Great Basin region of Montana and Nevada, and brought with them a language base that is classified as Uto- Axtecan, and is of Shoshonean dialect. The sound of their language - and the way it is translated into the English alphabet - shows that it is very different than their neighboring Chumash language.

Here are a few examples of the Gabrielino language.

Coyote etar
rattlesnake shote
good te-hur-wy
bad ma-hy
I no-ma
we yomomaw
grass ma-ma-har
village yang-a
whale que-hote
condor lo-wo
grasshopper way-et
rock to-ta
water par
oak tome-char
deer shoo-kat
sun ta-mit
moon mo-ar
man wo
mother neo
wife neashon
son ni-skum
daughter ne-arro
pipe wick-ocha
The above words were gathered by Alexander Taylor in 1856 from " Indians living near the Mission of San Gabriel, according to The First Gabrielinos" by William McCawley.

Other words recorded include :
Isthmus Cove community on Catalina Najquqar
chief tomyar
Santa Barbara Island ‘Ichunash ( meaning a loud alarm, such as the blow of a trumpet )
Catalina Island Pimugna
San Clemente Island Kiinkepar
San Nicholas Island Xaraashnga ( meaning stony)