Best Baby Girl Names From The Miwok Language

Best Baby Girl Names From The Miwok

What are the best baby girl names from the Miwok Language and the Miwok Tribe? The Native American word Miwok simply means People, so the Miwok are in fact the People. More specifically however, the Miwok are Native Americans who have been indigenous to the Northern regions of modern-day California for literally thousands of years and the Miwok languages have evolved over the years as well.

The exact time that these tribal people migrated is unknown, but depending on which “experts” you listen to, they have been in the area for at least 4000 years, with some estimates placing them in the region more than nine thousand years ago, not an exceptionally long time in geological terms, after the Younger Dryas period. Like many things brought into existence at that time, both the Miwok people and the Miwok languages are on the verge of extinction.

This list of Native American baby girl names from the Miwok language is actually comprised of names from all the Miwok or Miwokan languages, and not just one single tribal language or dialect. There are seven actual languages among the Miwok, though only four of these have notably unique dialects. These languages all share one thing in common however, as the Miwok languages are all considered to be endangered languages.

Who Are The Miwok Tribes

The four primary groups of officially recognized Miwok Tribes are broken up largely based on cultural and geographical differences. Among these four local groups there are eleven government recognized tribes or bands of Miwok, and seven bands of these Native Americans who do not have the official recognition of the United States Government Bureau of Indian Affairs.

What are the 11 Officially Recognized Tribes of the Miwok

  • Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians
  • California Valley Miwok Tribe, formerly known as the Sheep Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians
  • Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians
  • Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, formerly known as the Federated Coast Miwok
  • Ione Band of Miwok Indians, of Ione, California
  • Jackson Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians
  • Middletown Rancheria (members of this tribe are of Pomo, Lake Miwok, and Wintun descent)
  • Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, Shingle Springs Rancheria (Verona Tract)
  • Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria
  • United Auburn Indian Community of Auburn Rancheria
  • Wilton Rancheria Indian Tribe

What are the Un-official Miwok Groups

  • Miwok Tribe of the El Dorado Rancheria
  • Nashville-Eldorado Miwok Tribe
  • Colfax-Todds Valley Consolidated Tribe of the Colfax Rancheria
  • Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation
  • Calaveras Band of Mi-Wuk Indians
  • Miwok of Buena Vista Rancheria
  • River Valley Miwok Indians, formally known as Historical Families of Wilton Rancheria

One of the best known words in the Miwok languages is Yosemite, though most people associate it with the National Park of the same name. The Miwok were largely hunter-gatherers in their indigenous lands before the introduction of the Europeans on scene. Many died from disease, but even more would give up their traditional culture after being persuaded to do so by the Spanish missionaries.

The Miwok were largely destroyed through disease and inter-marriage after the introduction of the Missionary efforts of the Spanish in their conquest of what is now Northern California. As more of the Miwok accepted the terms of the Spanish missionaries, they abandoned their native ways, abandoned their native languages, and began inter-marrying.

At we understand there is not a lot we can do to preserve Native American people or traditions and customs, but we can introduce some of the best baby girl names from Miwok languages in order to preserve something. It is hoped that this list of Native American baby girl names will at least preserve some of the language, if not the heritage of the Miwok people.

Top 22 Baby Girl Names From The Native American Miwok Languages

Hateya – This Native American babygirl name is literally translated as pressing with the foot, as in rejecting or pushing something away. It may also be that someone with this name will be fiercely independent, but at the same time, for those that are allowed closer, also very caring and compassionate.

Hausu – This girl’s name means the yawning of a bear when it arises. While yawning may be associated with sleep or laziness in some cultures, in others it is seen as a time of recuperation whereupon the person is capable of being more focused and motivated upon arising. This is especially true with the bear who has slept over the long winter and is now seriously motivated to begin providing for the necessities of life.

Helki – This baby girl name from Miwok languages is literally translated as touching, though it may hold deeper meaning within the spiritual aspects of the native tradition. The name seems to convey a meaning of nurturing and support, as well as the provision of comfort during especially trying times.

Heltu – This Native American name for baby girls is understood to mean a bear reaching out. It is odd that it is not more specific, but there is one thing that is certain. When the bear reaches out, whether it reaches out to nurture or to defend, there should be no doubt as to the capacity of the bear to handle the job at hand.

Huata – This baby girl name comes from the Miwok language and the word means carrying seeds in a basket. The implications are many, most notably meaning someone who is industrious and a good provider. There are similar names in English, Hebrew, and the Spanish language baby girl names but they have unique etymologies and meanings.

Huyana – This Native American baby name may be used for boys and girls and merely means the falling rain. The rain is often worshiped to some degree among tribal people around the world as it is literally one of the two most important aspects to provide for life, the other being the sun.

Kaliska – This Native American name comes from the word meaning a coyote chasing a deer, or a hunter and provider if you prefer. The indication seems to be that the bearer of this name will be a strong person, physically capable and one who is able to provide for their families and those in the local community.

Kulya – This name from the Native American tribes of Northern California is a reference to sugar pine nuts that have been burnt black. The implication is that the person bearing this name will be multi-faceted and capable in many different roles and serving in many different capacities to assist others in their tasks.

Liluye – This name comes from the haunting cry of the chicken hawks when they are flying, hunting, and looking out for dangers and dinner. The chicken hawk is not only a strong hunter, but also keenly aware of their surroundings and very observant and reactive. The implications of this name are that the bearer will be able to avoid many problems in life, and to resolve many issues others never saw.

Litonya – The name Litonya means to dart down quickly, whether in an attack or in terms of protection. The more profound interpretation of this name may indicate that the bearer will be a protector and guardian, and likely, if not reluctantly, a nurturer of sorts as well.

Luselle – This Native American name for baby girls comes from the words describing a bear swinging its front paws as it licks them. This act is common when the bear is gathering food or otherwise foraging. This name may have originated with the Coast Miwok as they noted the actions of the bears while fishing for salmon. The name may also be a variant of English and French language baby names but those enjoy a unique etymology not related to the Miwok baby girl names.

Malila – This baby girl name comes to us from the Coast Miwok languages and dialects, and means a salmon swimming upstream during spawning season. The salmon migrate back to the place of their birth before laying their eggs and eventually dying there. The name indicates a strong maternal and nurturing instinct.

Omusa – This is a baby girl name presumed to be from the Plains and Sierra Miwok and means to miss with arrows. Rather than being seen as a derogatory observation, it may be understood that this name indicates someone who is capable in many different areas, as opposed to a hunter, or other person who may be more restricted in their talents.

Pakuna – This name is taken from the actions of a deer bounding and leaping its way through the woods. There is some indication that it may mean on a downhill journey, though that may be contested among some linguistic historians. It may merely indicate someone who is always active and anxious to complete their current tasks so that they can move to the next phase as quickly as possible.

Pati – This is perhaps not the most unique baby girl name in the world, at least not in the modern vernacular. However, this particular variant comes to us from the Miwok and means a woven basket for carrying fish, or breaking and twisting the willows used to make those baskets. The deeper implication of the name indicates that it is for someone who is industrious and works hard to provide not only for themselves, but for those close to their hearts.

Posala – This is a name that means to literally burst. The more spiritual meaning of this name may span many different areas. It likely indicates a motivational drive and efficiency that is unparalleled no matter what pursuits the individual may be undertaking at any given point in time.

Sanuye – This Native American name for baby girls comes to us from the word meaning the red clouds are coming with the sundown. You may have heard the old adage about red skies at night being the sailor’s delight. While it may be lacking something in terms of scientific verification, the old adage has held true among many different people and cultures, including the Miwok of Northern California.

Sibeta – This babygirl name from the Miwok languages and dialects means finding a fish under a rock. The name indicates someone who is good at reason and determining the possibility of different approaches to achieve the desired results. The name allows one to infer that the bearer would be both curious and intelligent, making them capable problem solvers.

Suletu – This name comes from the Native American word used to describe active flight, generally flying in search of something, or even reconnoitering and hunting. The deeper more spiritual implications are of someone who remains very aware of events going on around them, and one who has exceptional problem solving skills.

Taipa – This Miwok language girl’s name means to literally spread one’s wings and to explore for the purposes of growth. It indicates someone with an insatiable sense of curiosity and exploration. It is generally held also that the next problem will be actively sought out the moment a solution for the current problem seems to be inevitable or a foregone conclusion.

Takenya – This Native American-Miwok language name is from the word describing the actual moment the Falcon strikes, sweeping down on its prey and striking it with the wings in order to stun it and to render it helpless. The more esoteric meaning of this name is indicative of someone who is a deep thinker, but who is absolute and confidant in their approach once a viable solution has been determined.

Winema – What better way to end a list of the best baby girl names from the Miwok languages and dialects than a focus on a little fairness and equality? The name Winema is from the Miwok language word for a female chief or chieftain, and a leader of the people.