Shawnee (Sawanwa)

Shawnee is a Central Algonquian language with about 200 speakers in central and northeastern Oklahoma in the USA. It was originally spoken in Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania.

During the 19th century and 20th century, a number of spelling systems for Shawnee were developed by missionaries, linguists and anthropologists. One system was devised by a Shawnee, Thomas Wildcat Alford. None of these spelling systems were widely adopted. The earliest known text in and about the Shawnee language was A Story of the Shawnee, by George Blue Jacket, which was published in Wapaughonnetta on 29 October 1829.

Shawnee pronunciation)

Shawnee pronunciation

Further information about Shawnee pronounciation and a comparison of the spelling systems for Shawnee can be found at:

Download an alphabet chart for Shawnee (Excel)

Sample text in Shawnee

Waske pakekiliwewa, chena pakekiliwewa wece hipemile Tapalamalikwa, chena pakekiliwewa Tapalamalikwa.


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1: 1

Sample videos in and about Shawnee

Information about Shawnee | Phrases | Numbers


Information about the Shawnee language and culture

Say it in Shawnee - a book and CD that teaches conversational Shawnee

Official site of the Absentee Shawnee

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 last modified: 06.05.23


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