weehki-kaloosioni: wilaalaansanto ‘New Word: Color It!’


We recently helped the Cultural Resources Office (CRO) of the Miami Tribe with the creation of a new word for ‘color it’: wilaalaansanto. This word is going to be used in a new children’s coloring book that the CRO will publish later this year. We created wilaalaansanto because in the time period before our language went to sleep, we didn’t color things in the same way that we do now, with markers and crayons on pieces of paper. In this earlier period, words that describe the process of adding pigment (coloring) are specific to both the coloring surface – animal hide, clay pot, tree, or the human body – and the type of pigment – wood ash, vermillion ochre, other minerals, charcoal, or plant material. Because there were specific reasons for coloring things, our language reflected this by being specific. As a result, we had to create a more general term that we can use for many different circumstances when we color things today. The dictionary link has other coloring phrases you can use so be sure to check it out!

The soon to be released coloring book features a special friend: anikwa. As a result, anikwa is making an appearance at this year’s Eugene Brown Memorial Art Show hosted by the Myaamia Heritage Museum and Archive. Any child who would like to contribute to the show can download and color our anikwa coloring page. If you have any questions about the Eugene Brown Memorial Art Show or coloring page contributions, you can contact Meghan Dorey at mdorey@miamination.com.

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