Thursday, April 23, 2009

Illinois

The origins of the word Illinois lie in the distant past of the nations who, from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, spoke some form of the Algonquin language. The first transliteration of their name by the Jesuits were diverse: Illimoueck, Illinewek, Alliniwek, Liniwek--until Father Jolliet, havin spend a longer period of time in their company, determined that the correc word was "Illinois" (phonetically in English: "EE-LEE-NWA"). Like the Iroquois, they were not a single group, but a confederacy of subgroups, in their case numbering five: the Chahokia, the Kaskaskia, the Peoria, the Tamaoroa, and an adopted band, the Metchigami. The Metchigami were refugees from the West who crossed the Mississippi in search of protection at a time when the Illinois were at the apogee of their power.
--p 234, The Time of the French in the Heart of North America 1673-1818, by Charles J. Balesi

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