Ahtena

noun Ah·te·na \ ˈä-tə-nə \
variants: or less commonly Ahtna \ˈät-nə\

Definition of Ahtena

plural Ahtena or Ahtenas or Ahtna or Ahtnas
1 a :an Athapaskan people of the Copper river valley in southeastern Alaska
  • The Ahtena hunted a variety of animals, including moose, caribou, mountain sheep, and rabbits.
  • —Carl WaldmanEncyclopedia of Native American Tribes(1999) 2006
  • The Ahtna lived in extended family groups close to good salmon runs, which provided the mainstay of their diet.
  • —Greg FenstermanHiking Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve2008
b :a member of such people
2 :the language of the Ahtena people
  • The Ahtena language is spoken by a minority of tribal members; a dictionary was published in 1990 in the hope of preserving it.
  • —Carl WaldmanEncyclopedia of Native American Tribes(1999) 2006
  • His rebuke caused no little tension and was immediately followed by a conciliatory speech in both Ahtna and English …
  • —William E. SimeoneRifles, Blankets, and Beads1995

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Origin and Etymology of ahtena

borrowed from Russian Atna, borrowed from Ahtna ʔatnaʔ, name for the lower Copper River (in ʔatnaʔ Wt̓e·, literally, “lower Copper River people”)


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