Beading Terms from itwêwina Online Dictionary

Someone asked for beading terms recently on FaceBook. It’s no substitute for sitting down and talking with a genuine Cree-speaking beading expert, but I was able to find a whole bunch of beading words by searching with keywords in the itwêwina Online Dictionary. Who knows: maybe this list will help encourage the real experts to speak up and teach us more!

Here’s how you can search the dictionary, too:

  1. Go to the dictionary here: (
    It looks like this: 
  2. Click on English –> Plains Cree, then enter a search word in the box. I started with “bead” then “needle” then “thread” and so on.  (You can obviously also search Plains Cree –> English, but you’ll need to spell well in SRO).

I made a list of the words I found. In the dictionary, you can also click on the links to learn about word forms: find the correct form for plurals, or possessives, or – in the case of verbs – how to say who is doing the beading, past, present and future!

akokwâsow(sew trimming [e.g. on a dress])
akokwâtam(sew s.t. on)
akostaham(sew s.t. on [as trimming])
akostahamawêw(sew [it/him] on for s.o.)
akostahwêw(sew s.o. on [as trimming])
âniskokwâtam(sew s.t. on as an extension)
apihkêw(knit. Or he braids. Could also mean "wear braids"., braid, braid hair; weave, make a net; knit, do knitting)
apisâpêkan(be small [e.g. thread, rope])
apisâpêkisiw(be small [e.g. thread size])
astis(thread made from dried sinew)
astisihkêw(make sinew thread)
astisîhkêw(make sinew thread)
astisiy(thread made from sinew)
cista(poke him or an animate object with something sharp. E.g. with a needle or pin.)
cîstahêw(pierce s.o.; give s.o. an injection, needle; prick s.o. with an awl or pin)
cîstahwêw(prick s.o., pierce s.o., jab s.o., spear s.o. with a pointed object; give s.o. an injection, inject s.o., vaccinate s.o.)
êsawêhkwak(square needle for sewing leather)
êsawêhkwakos(small square needle for sewing leather)
isawêhkwak(square needle for sewing leather)
isawêhkwakos(small square needle for sewing leather)
isikwâtam(sew s.t. thus)
itistaham(sew s.t. on thus)
itistahikêw(sew things on thus)
itistahwêw(sew s.o. [e.g. porcupine-quills] on thus)
kaskikwâcikêw(sew by hand, giving attention to detail. sew things)
kaskikwâsow(sew by machine. sew, do his/her own sewing; sew s.t.)
kaskikwâswâkêw(sew with something, use something in sewing)
kaskikwâswêw(sew s.o.)
kaskikwâtam(work on it by sewing. sew s.t.)
kaskikwâtamâsow(sew [it/him] for him/herself)
kaskikwâtamawêw(sew [it/him] for s.o.)
kaskikwâtêw(sew him [animate- as a pants]., be sewn)
kaskikwâtêw(sew him [animate- as a pants]., sew s.o. [e.g. pants]; sew for s.o.)
kaskikwâtisow(sew for him/herself)
kaskitêmin(1. black bead 2. prune)
kîpikwâsow(sew quickly)
kîpikwâtam(sew s.t. quickly)
kîpikwâtêw(sew s.o. quickly)
kipokwâtam(sew it shut., sew s.t. closed or together)
kipokwâtêw(sew s.o. closed or together)
kipostaha(sew it shut.)
kipostaham(sew s.t. shut)
kipostahikêw(sew things shut)
kipostahikkew(sew thing shut.)
kipostahwêw(sew s.o. shut)
kiskinawâcihôkispison(bracelet, charm-bracelet)
kispakikwâtam(sew s.t. thickly)
mâwasakostaham(sew s.t. together)
mâwasakostahwêw(sew s.o. together)
mâyikwâsow(sew badly)
mihcâpêkisiw(be a large strand [of thread or wool])
mihkominak(red beads or red berries.)
mîkisasâkay(beaded jacket, beaded coat, beaded dress)
mîkisaskisin(beaded moccasin)
mîkisayiwinisa(beaded clothing)
mîkisihkahcikêw(do beadwork, bead things)
mîkisihkahtam(bead s.t., put beads on s.t.)
mikisikahta(bead it.)
mikisikahtam(bead it.)
mîkisistaham(bead s.t.; put beadwork on s.t.; adorn s.t. with beadwork, work beads on s.t.)
mîkisistahikan(bead ornament, beaded article)
mîkisistahikêw(bead, do beadwork)
mîkisiwi-pakwahtêhon(beaded belt)
misi-sâponikan(large needle)
miyokwâsow(sew well)
miyokwâtam(sew s.t. well)
miyokwâtêw(sew s.o. well)
moscikwâsow(sew by hand)
moscikwâtam(sew s.t. by hand)
moscikwâtêw(sew s.o. by hand)
môswêkin(moose hide, leather)
nanâtohkokwâsow(sew patchwork blankets)
nanâtostahikêw(use different stitches)
nihtâwikwâsow(sew well, be a good seamstress; do fancy sewing)
nihtâwikwâtam(sew s.t. well)
nihtâwikwâtêw(sew s.o. well; sew well for s.o.)
ocipicikanêyâpiy(harness, leather straps of harness)
omîkiwahpihkêw(one who sews tipis, one who makes tipis)
opahkêkiniw(have leather, hide)
osaponikanim(his needle.)
osâponikaniw(have a needle or needles. have a needle)
osâwasapâp(yellow thread)
osâwi-mîkis(yellow bead)
otapiskahkan(her tie or necklace or handkerchief.)
otâpiskâkaniw(have a tie, necklace, handkerchief)
otastinwâniw(have sinew)
oyâpîhkâtam(arrange s.t. on a string, thread s.t. on a string)
pahkehkin(hide, leather.)
pahkêkin(hide; tanned hide, dressed hide, finished hide, leather)
pahkekiniwat(a leather bag.)
pahkêkinohkêw(make dressed hides, make leather)
pahkêkinos(a small piece of leather., small dressed hide, small piece of leather)
pahkêkinowat(leather bag)
pahkêkinwêsâkay(a leather coat., leather coat, leather jacket)
pahkêkinwêskisin(leather moccasin)
paskinêw(break s.o. off [e.g. thread])
paskipayiw(snap and breaks. Animate. snap [when pulled; as thread])
pêhpêkahâkan(stone in leather as war-club)
pîhtawêkwâtam(sew s.t. as lining into a garment; sew s.t. in between covers, sew covers on s.t.)
pîhtawêkwâtêw(sew s.o. as lining into a garment; sew s.o. in between covers, sew covers on s.o.)
pîmikwâtam(sew s.t. crooked)
pîmikwâtêw(sew s.o. crooked)
piskihcikwâtam(sew an extension on s.t. [e.g. canvas])
piskihcikwâtêw(sew an extension on s.o. [e.g. pants])
pîwâpiskominis(bead of metal)
pîwâpiskos(a piece of metal. E.g. peyak piwapiskos- One penny. penny, cent; coin; wire; needle)
sakâpâtam(attach s.t. by sewing, sew s.t. on)
sâponikanis(small needle)
sâpostaham(pierce s.t. through with a needle)
sâpostahwêw(pierce s.o. through with a needle)
sênipânisapâp(silk thread)
sêscakos(thread; one-ply yarn)
sêstak(yarn., yarn, thread)
sihtapekin(pull on it tight. As thread.)
sîhtâpêkinêw(pull s.o. tight [e.g. yarn, thread])
sîpâpitêw(pull him under., pull s.o. under; pull thread under the sewing machine)
sîpostaham(sew s.t. up [as a rip in his/her own clothes])
sîpostahamawêw(sew [it/him] up for s.o.)
sîpostahwêw(sew s.o. up)
sôhkâpêkisiw(be strong [e.g. thread, yarn])
tahpisiminak(necklace of beads)
tapisa(thread it. Animate.)
tapisaha(thread the needle.)
tâpisaham(thread s.t. [e.g. needle])
tâpisahamawêw(thread [it] for s.o.)
tapisahwaw(be threaded.)
tâpisahwêw(thread s.o. [e.g. bead])
tapisayihkan(the eye of the needle.)
tapisayihkew(be threading.)
tâpisiminêw(thread beads)
tâpiskahêw(put a necklace or collar on s.o.)
tâpiskâkan(a collar or a necklace. Usually anything worn around the neck. scarf, necktie; necklace; handkerchief)
tâpiskâkan(a collar or a necklace. Usually anything worn around the neck. collar, horse-collar; necklace)
tâpiskâkanêmin(bead from a necklace; [plural:] bead necklace, necklace of beads)
têpipayihêw(make s.o. last [such as thread])
tipikwasiw(sew along the edge.)
titipikwanaham(sew s.t. in overcast stitch [e.g. the spiral loops around the vamp of a moccasin])
wanahpitêw(tangle s.o. [e.g. thread, yarn])
wâpimin(white bead, white kernel)
wâpiskimin(white bead)
wâwiyêkwâtam(sew s.t. into a circle)
wâwiyêkwâtêw(sew s.o. into a circle)
wîskwastêw(be smoked [e.g. leather])
wîskwastêwinâkwan(be brown in appearance; literally: "it looks like smoked leather")
wîstêpahkway(piece of old [smoky] leather)

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