Skip to comments.600-Year-Old American Indian Historical Account Has Old Norse Words
Posted on 03/06/2011 12:45:36 PM PST by blam
600-Year-Old American Indian Historical Account Has Old Norse Words
By Larry Stroud, Guard Associate Editor
Published on Thursday March 15, 2007
Vikings and Algonquins. The first American multi-culturalists?
BIG BAY, Mich. Two experts on ancient America may have solved not only the mysterious disappearance of Norse from the Western Settlement of Greenland in the 1300s, but also are deciphering Delaware (Lenape) Indian history, which theyre finding is written in the Old Norse language.
The history tells how some of the Delawares ancestors migrated west to America across a frozen sea and intermarried with the Delaware and other Algonquin Indians. Myron Paine, 72, and Frode Th. Omdahl, 51, met on the Internet six years ago when they were each looking for a rare book, The Viking and the Red Man, written by the late Reider T. Sherwin. Together they found copies of all eight volumes with the same name, published mostly in the 1940s.
Using Sherwin as a reference, they found that much of the Algonquin language consists of Old Norse, including Old Norse root words often strung together to make new words that were adopted by Algonquin speakers.
Paine and Omdahl were featured speakers on Norse Tracks in America at the first Ancient American Artifact Preservation Foundation annual conference in Big Bay, Mich. in 2005. Paine spoke again at the 06 conference.
Paine is a lifelong student of history who has a doctorate in agriculture engineering. He taught in two universities, and served as a state and regional Extension engineer covering 10 Great Plains states.
He later worked as an electrical engineer for three aviation companies, a career that included being a primary writer of test reports for the certification of the Cessna 208 aircraft, the Caravan. He grew up as a farm boy in South Dakota, where the white faces among the Mandan Indians intrigued him.
Omdahl is a native of Stavanger, Norway who now lives in Asker in the same country. He is educated in journalism, graphic design and marketing communications. A lifelong student of history and an eager genealogist, Omdahl got interested in Norwegian emigration to America.
Researching his family history, he also caught interest in the first wave of Norwegian emigrants to America, 800 years before the next wave. That the Algonquin Indian languages have many words identical to Old Norse is not a new discovery, as evidenced in books other than Sherwins, but the application Paine and Omdahl are using is new. The two are using Sherwins eight volumes to decipher the Lenapes ancient picture stick writing, the Walam Olum. For each picture stick, Lenape historians recited or sang a verse.
The memory verses of the Walam Olum were created by people speaking Old Norse, Paine said. The Walam Olum is a 600-year-old American history composed of pictographs and memory verses. The history tells of fighting the mound builders, Iroquois, and of the arrival of white men.
Our efforts to decipher the Walam Olum have found a striking correlation of the Walam Olum words to Old Norse phrases, Paine said. This relationship strongly supports the hypothesis that Old Norse speakers visited eastern ancient North America and left very tangible evidence of their presence.
The Algonquin language is Old Norse, Sherwin wrote in the preface of his Vol. 4. Sherwin, a native of Norway before he moved to the U.S., began comparing the languages because he heard a New England place name before he saw it in print, and was told it was of American Indian origin.
Sherwin disputed this because he recognized the word as one he had long known and the meaning was the same. Finding a New England map, Sherwin, familiar with dialectical Norwegian, which is much closer to the Old Norse language than literary Norwegian, immediately recognized dozens of place names as Old Norse. They had the same meanings in both Algonquin and Old Norse.
Michigan and Milwaukee are two examples from his books. Those are names said to be Algonquin, with Michigan meaning middle sea basin and Milwaukee meaning good, beautiful land.
In Old Norse, midh means middle, or lying in the middle: and sjoe-kum or sjoe-kumme means sea basin or sea reservoir.
Lake Michigan lies midway between Lake Huron and Lake Superior, hence the translation would be correct, Sherwin wrote.
Milwaukee, in Old Norse, is milde aak(r)e, meaning the pleasant land an almost perfect match for the pronunciation and meaning in Algonquin, Sherwin said. Omdahl points out that in old Norwegian languages and dialects, aa is pronounced as something between the a in war and the o in horse.
Today it is one of the typical Scandinavian letters an a with a tiny ring over it, Omdahl said.
Sherwins books have been overlooked because of World War II and because the last six of Sherwins books were self published, so only a few books went into libraries, Paine said. An original catalog error shelved the books in the rarely used dictionary section of libraries instead of in the linguistic section where they belong.
After 16 generations of memorization, the consistency of the recorded sounds is remarkable, Paine said. This provides strong evidence that the Walam Olum is an authentic historical document that was first created by people who spoke Old Norse or a language strongly influenced by Old Norse.
The last seven verses in chapter 3 of the Walam Olum describe the Norse people of Greenland walking to America on the ice, Paine said.
The verses describe a mass of people walking to the west to a better land, across the slippery water, the stone hard water. The migration corresponds with the Little Ice Age.
I invite everyone to view the evidence online at www.frozentrail.org, Paine said. Respected author Ida Jane Gallagher of Mount Pleasant, S.C., who spent 28 years working beside authoritative professionals researching ancient America with much of that work in New England also compares Sherwins Algonquian and Old Norse words and confirms Norse migrations in her book, Contact With Ancient America, co-authored with Warren D. Dexter andpublished in 2004.
MitochondrialDNA (mtDNA) haplogroup testing led to the surprising hypothesis that some of the first Americans came from Europe thousands of years ago.
Fascinating! We are ALL related. LOL The Scots-Irish had Viking/Norse ancestors as well.
thanks for posting. very interesting
Fascinating. Thanks for the interesting post.
I am one of those, yDNA R1b and mtDNA 'V'.
I could have been a Viking who went to Ireland and stayed.
My grandmother is related (U5a DNA) to 9,000 year old Cheddar Man
Maybe how the blue eye gene came to be in Native Americans?
I've read that Thomas Jefferson ordered Lewis & Clark not to mention one word about light-skinned, blue eyed Indians in their written scouting report to him.
His concern was that some other European power would use that 'hook' to claim those areas that were not yet part of the USA. So....
Very interesting ! Thanks.
Wisconsin must be Algonquin/Old Norse for "land of no wampum"...
Additional evidence supporting this theory was found in a recently translated Walam Olum text which read, in part, "What's in your wallet?"
Wonder how The Orthodoxy in science are taking this?
Maybe they walked west looking for Romans to kill.
There’s record of blue eyed Natives east of the Cherokee regions. The largest tribe in the Piedmont spoke Algonquin. There is some speculation that the failed colony at Roanoke Island provided a blue eyed gene.
There is no mention of the Injuns chowing down on Lutefisk and washing it down with akvavit, so I am not believing this Norvegian ancestry ting. Could be a ploy to get a casino in Oslo.
I didn't know this guy had done an 8 volume piece on it, but he undoubtedly brought in all the related materials he could find.
I have a single volume of a book written by a fellow who knew the writer, and probably Myron Payne ~ and I know that Mr. Cline, a family friend, was probably also in that circle (he worked with Indians in various places to reclaim their cultural heritage/baggage).
The little bit of the material I've ever seen is fairly readable ~ provided you have a guide to American Indian sign language (which shows up in it as well) and some experience with Old West Gothic (including that quaint language used in England before the Normans conquered the place in 1066).
So Frode Th. Omdahl, from Stavanger, the Viking's very jumping off place cracked the code.
I wonder if he also earlier studied American Indian Sign Language and if the pictographs matched those standards for ideographic representations.
BTW, the Walum Olem has been considered made-up BS since it was discovered ~ a genuine fake ~ but yet, it was always pretty obvious that it was trying to convey meaning and information. The imprint of actual language is in there. It's not just an apparent jumble of clan structures and totems.
Didn’t some of them also have red hair?
No proof as of yet any American Indian in my family but my ancestors look like American Indian. All my granddads brothers and sisters had dark skin and dark eyes. My granddad has light skin and blue eyes. He had 12 brothers and sisters. So 1 in 13 ended up with blue eyes light skin in his family. Interesting.....
Eye color is pretty much controlled by SEVERAL GENES. http://www.thetech.org/genetics/ask.php?id=29 There are also some physical controls ~ like is the pigment in front of the lens, or behind the lens, and are there pigment deposits in/on/around the Iris for “yellow” when the main deposits elsewhere are “black”.
Supposedly my former MIL has a rare eye disease that is only found in Seminole Indians. Never heard anything about it outside their family so I take it with a grain of salt.
I have to wonder:
If the Norse movement into North America was significant enough to have the effect on language the article indicates it had, why did it not have a more visible effect in other areas, for instance metal working.
The Norse of the time knew how to work metal, so why were the Amerinds still using flint hundreds of years later?
“Two experts on ancient America may have solved not only the mysterious disappearance of Norse from the Western Settlement of Greenland in the 1300s,”
I think the politically incorrect version of why the Norse settlers disappeared was that they were eaten by eskimos.
I gasp when thinking about the horrible discrimination these refugees of Global Cooling must have faced. What kind of reparations are due from the Indigenous Peoples? Surely trillions given 600 years of compound interest. If it makes a difference in the life of one child it will all be worth it.
aa is pronounced as something between the a in war and the o in horse.
There is no between, the way I pronounce war and horse.
I have 1st 'rights' to the Oslo Casino. I have haplogroup 'V' as do 52% of the Skolt Sa'ami.
"When he arrived at the site, I saw an elongated group of markings along the right side, he recalls. Id just read a book on Norse runes, and my first thought was that these were archaic runes.
He later read about carvings found in Ireland and Wales, usually on the edges of grave markers, that made use of an ancient Celtic alphabet of connected lines and slashes known as Ogam.
The Si-Te-Cah did
Lovelock, Nevada, is about eighty miles northeast of Reno. It was in a cave near here, in 1911, that guano miners found mummies, bones, and artifacts buried under four feet of bat excrement. The desiccated bodies belonged to a very tall people - with red hair.
There are also two kinds of red hair found among East Asians. One type occurs because of the hair thickness ~ it works as an interference pattern and you'll see strong hints of red. Another type occurs because the person has a great deal of the Western European yellow-brown/red-brown pigment.
Since both populations have been able to travel around the Pacific litoral for the last 15,000 years, even a very few number of survivors should have left behind some genetic markers still discoverable in native American Indian populations ~ and, lo and behold, they have.
Without getting into that very much what it means is that finding red heads on the Pacific Coast is not at all surprising!
Koreans and Japanese, or folks starting off from those places in the last 1400 years could easily have made it to America taking the same old route around the Gulf of Alaska and all the way to South America. They'd probably have some red hair from white ancestors in East India where the ruling class in Japan had lived some 400 years earlier.
Tak altså mange! Udmærket nyheder. Hvad synes i om Wisconsin? Var der hvilken som helst lamaniter? Hvem var den Høj Cumorah folk?
Manassas Virginia is the next site South where it would have been easy to get at.
The mineable iron in Pittsburgh was found by folks who knew what to look for ~
Copper is another story ~ go to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan ~ it's just laying around, as it was in SE Indiana, and a couple of other spots. However, you need zinc or tin to make it really useful.
Another item ~ the East Coast of North America is highly acidic. These guys could have been turning out all sorts of iron implements, but they'd been dissolved into the soil by the time other Europeans got here.
If there were just 20 years of delay between their arrival in America and their ability to settle in one spot (rather than wander around fighting Iroquois, Mohicans and others, the old timers with the knowledge would have been gone!
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...but there was this Indian milk-wagon driver in the town.
Sailors really get around.
So the Algonquian word "tomahawk" may actually honor its inventor,one Irish-Norseman, Tom O'Hawk.
Seriously, there is no reason that the surviving Norse accounts of the trips to North America must be the whole story--there could have been other voyages and other settlements that were forgotten. But it is a long way from the confirmed Norse settlement at the northern end of Newfoundland to the Great Lakes or other Algonquian areas. (A medieval Norwegian coin turned up in an archaeological dig in Maine--but I don't know if that means some Norse got to Maine, or whether the Indians in Maine got the coin through trade with other tribes.)
I just finished a book by the guy who excavated the Viking settlement at L'Anse Aux Meadows. He pointed out that the vikings frequently used "bog ore" for their iron work. I wasn't familiar with the term before, but bog ore is found around bogs and springs with iron-bearing ground water. L'Anse Aux Meadows had an abundance of bog ore and they found evidence of a smithy there.
The author also believed there were at least three other trips to L'Anse Aux Meadows by Vikings after Leif Erikson, based on information he gleaned from some of the Icelandic sagas (he pointed out that there are no known surviving examples of literature from Greenland).
Interesting, thanks. Anyone found the Templar fleet yet?
Five hundred years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, a Native American woman may have voyaged to Europe with Vikings, according to a provocative new DNA study.
And I *don't* say that lightly.
(Thanks, bookmarked for later).
When Captain whos'this built the House of Seven Gables there in Salem the colonists were still shipping in NAILS from Europe.
I would imagine the smithy in Newfoundland was really popular until they ran out of stuff ~
Remember, these Vikings didn't have a great storehouse of iron mine lore to depend on. Even when DeSoto visited the MidWest he stopped at Terre Haute and sent men with wagons out across the countryside to the West by SW to GET GOLD. They came back with some native copper and iron pyrite.
They missed the gold no more than 10 miles ~ the local Indians knew all about it, but weren't terribly interested in it, or the copper. In fact, the Indians all the way down to Mobile KNEW about the gold site in Southern Indiana ~ but absent improved techniques they really couldn't get enough of it to do anything about, but it's pretty much the ONLY gold between Mobile and just North of Sault Ste. Marine.
The Vikings obtained most of their iron from bog ore, as did the Saxons in England - I don't know if you would consider those examples of serious iron age civilizations, but it seemed to be suffient to provide for plenty of helmets, swords, mail hauberks, etc.
Producing iron requires many specialized skills, if the Vikings did abandon western Greenland for North America, I could see how that knowledge could easily be lost in a few generations - or even more quickly with the deaths of a few key people.
“You still have to remember that Japanese and Korean people have some RED HEADED ANCESTORS”
I am 100% celtic but according to my brothers DNA analysis through the Nat’l Geographic genome project we share genes with 40% of Japan.
Everybody, even the chimps, are about 98% the same ~
Doing smithing on the run is a different sort of business than rendering ore down to iron, and then doing the build up to implements.
Back in Scanderhoovia the Vikings had access to one of the world's great iron lodes ~ up in Newfoundland, you'll notice that even today modern men have NOT managed to build a major steel industry!
Doesn't mean they aren't trying, but a quick review of literature available on the internet reveals that it wasn't until the late 1800s that the major iron ore deposits in Newfoundland were FOUND and DEVELOPED to any degree.
Remember, in a society with, at best, wooden shovels, it is unlikely they'll find much iron ore under 20 feet of wind blown loess or other debris.
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