Sauk (Thâkiwâtowêweni)

Sauk is an Algonquian language spoken by the Sauk people in parts of Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska in the USA. Only a small number of elderly people speak Sauk, however efforts are being made to revitalize the language, and children and young people are learning it.

Sauk is also known as Sac. The native name for the language is Thâkiwâtowêweni, and the people who speak it call themselves (O)thâkîwa ('people of the outlet'). It is closely related to Fox and Kickapoo, which some consider to be dialects of one language. Sauk and Fox are fairly mutually intelligible.

The Sauk people belong to three federally recognized tribes:

Written Sauk

Sauk was first written in the 19th century using a variant of Great Lakes (Algonquian) syllabics similar to the Fox alphabet. A way to write it with the Latin alphabet was devised in the early 20th century. A number of new spelling systems have been introduced since then. The alphabet shown below was authorized by the Sac & Fox Nation of Oklahoma in 1995, and appears in A Concise Dictionary of the Sauk Language by Gordon Whittaker (2005).

Latin alphabet for Sauk

Latin alphabet for Sauk

Download an alphabet chart for Sauk (Excel)

Sample phrases


Sample videos in and about Sauk

Information about Sauk | Phrases | Numbers


Information about Sauk

Sauk (Meskwaki) legends

Algonquian languages

Abenaki, Algonquin, Arapaho, Atikamekw, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Cree (East), Cree (Moose), Cree (Plains), Cree (Swampy), Cree (Woods), Fox, Innu (Montagnais), Kickapoo, Malecite-Passamaquoddy, Loup, Massachusett (Wampanoag), Menominee, Miami, Míkmaq, Mohegan, Mohican, Munsee, Narragansett, Naskapi, Ojibwe, Oji-Cree, Ottawa, Penobscot, Powhatan, Potawatomi, Quiripi, Sauk, Shawnee, Unami (Lenape)

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 17.07.23. Last modified: 18.07.23


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