Rusty Talbot Statue of Sacagawea

Sacajawea, Sacagawea, Sakakawea

There are three different spellings and pronunciations for the name of this most honored heroine in American history. To the Lemhi Shoshoni, her people, she is known as Sacajawea (boat launcher). To the Hidatsa she is Sakakawea (bird woman).

"Scholars generally agree that from the journals her name must have been pronounced Sacagawea. However in popular cultures and through generations of Idahoans have always called her Sacajawea".

    Carol Lynn MacGregor, Historian

"Lewis and Clark and the other men wrote her name exactly the way they thought it sounded. We have to remember that a Frenchman was pronouncing her name, so they wrote her name phonically in the journals. If you look at the name you can see the g spelling, Sah cah gah we a".

    Amy Mossett, Hidatsa

Captain Clark created the nickname "Janey" for Sacagawea. It is thought that Clark's use of "Janey" derived from "jane", colloquial army slang for girl.

Check out Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation for more information on her name.


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