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White Man - Indians had no general name for the white man, except "Pale Face," which the white man himself gave them.  Different tribes called the white man by some term which referred to his personal appearance, his arrival in ships, his arms or his clothes, his actions, or perhaps the merchandise he brought with him to trade.

Many tribes used a term to indicate that the white man's skin was a lighter color than their own.  The Arapaho called a white man "yellow hide," or "white skinned."  The Miami spoke of the white man as "he of the hairy chest."  The Delaware called him "person from the salt (sea)."

The Navajo used the word "Belagana," which was their pronunciation of the Spanish word Americano.  The Iroquois, besides using a term which meant white skin, also called the white man a name meaning "he makes axes."  The Wyandot used the terms "morning-light people" and "big knife."

To the Kiowa the white man were "hairy mouths," also "ears sticking out."  To the Comanche they were "easterners."  Among the Sioux the white man was "iron maker," "rich people," as well as "long knife" or "big knife."  "Long knife" was used by eastern Indians to denote American colonists, and the British were called "coat men."

Related Information within this Site
[ Indian Names ][ Long Knives ]