Wébaxu Ní Wébaxu Ní

Wébaxu Ní is a decorative alphabet invented by Ben Norton for Omaha-Ponca (Umoⁿhoⁿ–Paⁿka), a Siouan language spoken in Nebraska and Oklahoma in the USA. The name Wébaxu Ní means ink or literally “water for writing” in Omaha-Ponca. It can also be used to write other Siouan languages such as Crow and Hidatsa.

As with many languages around the world, the Latin alphabet is conventionally used to write Siouan languages, though differing orthographies are in use. Most of these orthographies include diacritical marks, such as the acute ( ́), superscript n (ⁿ), and superscript h (ʰ), but Wébaxu Ní uses auxiliary letters to represent these phonemes.

Wébaxu Ní is by no means a replacement for the generally used Umóⁿhoⁿ Nation Public School’s spelling system, but rather, an attempt to reimagine the Omaha–Ponca language with its own unique writing system.

Notable features

Wébaxu Ní alphabet

Wébaxu Ní alphabet


Sample text

Part of a recipe for cowboy bread (wamóskeshúga)

Sample text in Wébaxu Ní


  1. Wamóskeshóga páxe tamiⁿkʰe.
  2. Úxpe tóⁿga théde btháska móⁿ.
  3. Wamóskexóde ózhiha wéthihoⁿ sáthoⁿ, niskiⁿthe, téskamoⁿsenibthípe, ní kí wawégahi shénoⁿ.
  4. Néxetishóga kʰé unéthe gahá ináthe péde moⁿshíatʰa.
  5. Thénoⁿ, wamóskexóde ithágahi támiⁿkʰe.
  6. Wamóskexóde tʰé ózhiha widénoⁿ óbimoⁿ.


  1. I will make cowboy bread.
  2. I use a large bowl with a flat bottom.
  3. I use a five pound bag of flour, salt, powdered milk, water and baking powder.
  4. I place the skillet on the grill above the fire.
  5. Next, I will mix the dough.
  6. I pour one half of the bag of flour into the bowl.

From: http://omahalanguage.unl.edu/recipes/Cowboy.html

Videos with subtitles in Wébaxu Ní

More information about Wébaxu Ní
Introduction to Wébaxu Ní (PDF)

Information about the Omaha language

Constructed scripts by Ben Norton

Nortish, Pī‘āpā Hou, Wébaxu Ní

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