The Northern Arapaho Flag Song





Everyone sings the Flag Song very often on the Wind River Reservation. It honors the flag, and also the veterans who have fought for it. It's a bit like a national anthem. But do you know what it means and what you're singing? Here are the words and their meaning (not including the 'rhyme words' that fill in the rhythm, but don't have any actual meaning like 'oh neito'eino' uuhuu etc).


Neito’eino’ noohootowu’
Heniiwohoenin honou’u’
Honouute’, nonoh’oobeese’


My relatives, look at it,
Our flag up in the sky.
It is hanging there, blowing in the breeze.


Play Listen to the Flag Song


Now let's look at the words in detail, one by one. We have given you some similar words as well - look for the patterns in the various words. Do you see that many Arapaho words have different parts, each with their own meaning? Can you figure out what the different parts mean?


Play Neito'ei-no' = 'my relatives'

Play Heito'ei-no' = 'your relatives'

Play Hiniito'ei-no = 'his/her relatives'

Play Neito'ei = 'my relative'

Play Heito'ei = 'your relative'


Play Noohoot-owu' = 'see/look at it,' talking to more than one person

Play Noohoot-oo = 'see/look at it,' talking to just one person

Play Ni'eeneet-owu' = 'like it,' talking to more than one person

Play Ni'eeneet-oo = 'like it,' talking to just one person

Play Hiten-owu' = 'take it,' talkingto more than one person

Play Hiten-oo = 'take it,' talking to just one person


Play He-niiwohoen-in = 'our flag'

Play He-isonoon-in = 'our father'

Play He-ito'ein-in = 'our relative'

Play He-tei'yooniib-in = 'our child'


Play Ne-niiwohoe = 'my flag'

Play He-niiwohoe = 'your flag'

Play Hi-niiwohoe = 'his/her flag'


Play Honou'-u' = 'in the sky'

Play Hono' = just 'sky'

Play Ho3o'-u' = 'at, on the star'

Play Ho3o' = just 'star'

Play Ni'ec-i' = 'in the lake'

Play Ni'ec = just 'lake'

Play Nec-i' = 'in the water'

Play Nec = just 'water'

(remember, i turns into u after an o when there is an h, ' (glottal stop), w, x or k in between)


Play Honouute' = 'it is hanging'

Play Honouutei'i = 'they are hanging'

Play Coo'ouute' = 'it is high up'

Play Coo'ouutei'i = 'they are high up'


Play Ceenise' = 'it is falling'

Play Ceen(i)sei'i = 'they are falling'


Play Nonoh'oob-eese' = 'it is moving in the wind, blowing in the breeze'

Play Tooyoob-eese' = 'there is a cold breeze'

Play Nono'ot-eese' = 'there is a strong breeze or wind'

Play Ceniin-eese' = 'the breeze is dying down, stopping'


Play Nonoh'oow-oonineekoohu-t = 'it is moving, wagging it's tail'

Play Nonoh'oow-oho'oe-t = 'he is waving, moving his hand'
(remember, b + o turns into wo)