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Ojibway Definition of Chicago

Before we investigate Chicago's definition, we have to investigate the Mi-chi-ne Mac-kin-na-go. To this day, the Mi-chi-ne Mac-ki-na-go continue to fascinate people that know of them. They were considered Supernatural Beings by whites. It is believed, that whoever met or seen and talked with these Supernatural Beings, became a prophet. Ojibway leaders were weary of prophets. They knew what their future foretold! Supposedly before whites invaded the America's, the Mi-chi-ne Mac-kin-na-go lived on tiny Mackinac Island. However, they held control over land elsewhere as well. Their population was not too large on Mackinac Island. When Ojibway's reached Mackinac Island in the 16th century, from a west location, they discovered this small nation and became confederates with them. An act Ojibway leaders appreciated. However, wars erupted which led to the near annihilation of the Mi-chi-ne Mac-kin-na-go. Only 2 survived. A young man and a young woman. They left Mackinac Island and found seclusion in a favorite location of theirs. They had 10 children according to accounts. They didn't know what became of them and gossip commenced that they didn't die out! Every now and then, news of the Mi-chi-ne Mac-kin-na-go was heard in white villages. Usually talk of the ability to not see them yet have chats with them or the ability to see them yet without communications. In 1853's Dictionary of the Otchipwe Language, their national name was written as "Mi-chi-ni-Ma-ki-na-go." Translation is difficult! It could be derived from "Mi-chi or Mi-chi-na" which means "It Abounds" in Ojibway. There's another definition for "Mi-chi." It probably means either "Extensive or hairy." In Ojibway, their word for fuel is "Mi-chi." Fuel has several definitions including "Energy," "Food," "Instigate," "Power," and "Spark." Their word for Lion (probably African Lion) is "Mi-shi-bi-shiw." Their word for Cougar, Mountain Lion and Puma is "Bi-zhiw." It's pronounced "Be-zhoo." Their word for Bobcat and Lynx is "Be-zhoos" which is the diminutive of "Bi-zhiw." It means "Little Mountain Lion."

It's thought that "Mac-ki-nac" means "Mud Turtle." However, Ma-ki-na really means "Injure, Hurt, Wound." However, Ojibway historians considered "Mac-kin-ac" to be a locative of "Mi-chi-ne Mac-kin-na-go." We have to exclude the "o" to get "Mi-chi-ne Mac-kin-ac." It possibly means "It Extensive Mud Turtle Place or It Extensive Suffering Place." As for "Mi-chi-ne Mac-kin-na-go," it obviously means "Extensive Mud Turtle People or Extensive Injury People." Of course, they named them "Ma-ki-na-go" or "Mud Turtle People or Suffering People" more often! Chicago also has similar origins. Ojibway word for Porcupine is "Kaag." As with "Extensive Mud Turtle Place," Ojibway's named the Chicago region "Mi-chi Ka-tig." It means "Extensive Porcupine Place." You noticed the difference with each locative. A "g or c" was added to "Ma-ki-na." It ends with a vowel so they only had to add a "g." Their word for Porcupine "Kaag" ends with a "g" which means they had to use "tig" to make it a locative or "Mi-chi-ka-tig." It means "Extensive Porcupine Place." Adding an "o" to "Kaag" makes it mean People. Thus, the origins of "Mi-chi Ka-go." It means "Extensive Porcupine People." Before whites polluted the Chicago region, it had an abundance of Porcupines. Ojibway People used Porcupines for many tasks including war. Their Hunter Porcupine Totem were very numerous in the Chicago region. Milwaukee is also an Ojibway word. It's translation is easy. It means Good Earth or in Ojibway "Mil A-ki." Not "Mil La-ki." Michigan is also an Ojibway word. It means "Extensive Portage" or "Mi-chi Gam."


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