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mun dah gee yah

If you’re familiar with the Navajo alphabet, a red flag should’ve gone up right off the bat with this word. That’s because there’s an ‘m’ in there, and the Navajo language doesn’t have very many words that do.

Mandagíiya is an adopted word from the Spanish language, specifically the word ‘mantequilla.’ In both languages it refers to butter.

What does it say about the butter trade in the early days that Navajos adopted the Spanish word instead of the American word?

[Related: View ‘The Navajo Alphabet’ post]# March 2012

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