kisêyiniw ‘old man’

kisêyiniwak 'old men'

kisêyiniwak ‘old men’

“Facelifted” with thanks to Tyrone Tootoosis (For those learning SRO, equivalents appear in brackets):

The Plains Cree word for ‘Elderly Man’ is “Kisaynew” (kisêyiniw) and the two root words Kisay (kisê-) and new (-niw-) come from the following: Kisay comes from the Cree word “Aykisayt” (ê-kisêt) which is when an animal or bird is in the act of protecting its young: When we surprise a mallard and its nest is nearby, it will pretend to have a broken wing and will run zig-zagging back and forth trying to lead you away from its young as it is showing “Kisaywatisowin” (kisêwâtisiwin) ‘love’ and parental obligation to its young. It is also staying by them and not abandoning them “Aykisataht” (ê-kisâtât). The second root word “new” (-niw-) comes from the Cree word for an Indigenous person “Eenew” (iyiniw).

Mary Cardinal Collins comments: tâpwê anima. Same as January: kisê-pîsim. Some people say it is cold moon but it is this word, ‘compassionate/protective’.

Cynthia Cook provides th-dialect (Woodland Cree) forms: ithiniw (iyiniw) and kisīthiniw (kisēyiniw).

About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, a not-for-profit-in-the-making with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
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