Vol. 39 No. 3 (1991)
Research Article

Placenames From Longfellow's “Song of Hiawatha”

Published 1991-09-01



No American literary work has had more influence on the adoption of Indian place names in North America than Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Song of Hiawatha (1855). At least a hundred placenames, not counting duplications, are traceable to this poem. All (except those named for the title character) are from Algonquian or Siouan languages and reflect to a degree the influence of John Tanner, Mary Eastman, and Lewis H. Morgan. The names are taken not only from mythological figures, but also from aboriginal terms for flora, fauna, and cultural objects.


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