Native North American Indians in Canada referred to domestic cats as q’umsciwaalhh

Native Americans
Native Americans
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There is an interesting post on the website by a linguist who is an expert in the Native American languages and how to pronounce the words. You can read his post below. It is interesting that when Native North American Indians first saw domestic cats brought over with white settlers (1793 – Alexander MacKenzie and his Metis companions) they named them after their pale human owners who were labelled as returning from the dead!

Muskwatch (the man who posted the information) says that domestic cats were “q’umsciwaalhh” which translates to “the thing that came with the q’umsciwa” and “q’umsciwa” is something returned from the dead. So domestic cats were seen as creatures accompanying things that had returned from the dead. That’s a bit strange because Native Americans must have been familiar with the puma (cougar) and recognised the similarity to the domestic cat.

The word q’umsciwaalhh is pronounced as follows by Muskwatch (please click the audio file player):

The post on

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