Frode Omdahl ,, and Ida Jane Gallagher
- Mike and all...this from two of my site members:
600-year-old American Indian historical account has Old Norse words
By Larry Stroud, Guard Associate Editor
Features | Published on Wednesday February 28, 2007
BIG BAY, Mich. Two experts on ancient America may have solved not
only the mysterious disappearance of Norse from the Western Settlement
of Greenland in the 1300s, but also are deciphering Delaware (Lenape)
Indian history, which they're finding is written in the Old Norse
The history tells how some of the Delaware's ancestors migrated west
to America across a frozen sea and intermarried with the Delaware and
other Algonquin Indians.
Myron Paine, 72, and Frode Th. Omdahl, 51, met on the Internet six
years ago when they were each looking for a rare book, "The Viking and
the Red Man," written by the late Reider T. Sherwin. Together they
found copies of all eight volumes with the same name, published mostly
in the 1940s.
Using Sherwin as a reference, they found that much of the Algonquin
language consists of Old Norse, including Old Norse root words often
strung together to make new words that were adopted by Algonquin speakers.
Paine and Omdahl were featured speakers on "Norse Tracks in America"
at the first Ancient American Artifact Preservation Foundation annual
conference in Big Bay, Mich. in 2005. Paine spoke again at the '06
Paine is a lifelong student of history who has a doctorate in
agriculture engineering. He taught in two universities, and served as
a state and regional Extension engineer covering 10 Great Plains states.
He later worked as an electrical engineer for three aviation
companies, a career that included being a primary writer of test
reports for the certification of the Cessna 208 aircraft, the Caravan.
He grew up as a farm boy in South Dakota, where the "white faces among
the Mandan Indians" intrigued him.
Omdahl is a native of Stavanger, Norway who now lives in Asker in the
same country. He is educated in journalism, graphic design and
marketing communications. A lifelong student of history and an eager
genealogist, Omdahl got interested in Norwegian emigration to America.
Researching his family history, he also caught interest in "the first
wave" of Norwegian emigrants to America, 800 years before the next "wave."
That the Algonquin Indian languages have many words identical to Old
Norse is not a new discovery, as evidenced in books other than
Sherwin's, but the application Paine and Omdahl are using is new. The
two are using Sherwin's eight volumes to decipher the Lenape's ancient
picture stick writing, the Walam Olum. For each picture stick, Lenape
historians recited or sang a verse.
"The memory verses of the Walam Olum were created by people speaking
Old Norse," Paine said. "The Walam Olum is a 600-year-old American
history composed of pictographs and memory verses. The history tells
of fighting the mound builders, Iroquois, and of the arrival of white men.
"Our efforts to decipher the Walam Olum have found a striking
correlation of the Walam Olum words to Old Norse phrases," Paine said.
"This relationship strongly supports the hypothesis that Old Norse
speakers visited eastern ancient North America and left very tangible
evidence of their presence."
"The Algonquin language is Old Norse," Sherwin wrote in the preface of
his Vol. 4. Sherwin, a native of Norway before he moved to the U.S.,
began comparing the languages because he heard a New England place
name before he saw it in print, and was told it was of American Indian
Sherwin disputed this because he recognized the word as one he had
long known and the meaning was the same. Finding a New England map,
Sherwin, familiar with dialectical Norwegian, which is much closer to
the Old Norse language than literary Norwegian, immediately recognized
dozens of place names as Old Norse. They had the same meanings in both
Algonquin and Old Norse.
Michigan and Milwaukee are two examples from his books. Those are
names said to be Algonquin, with Michigan meaning "middle sea basin"
and Milwaukee meaning "good, beautiful land."
In Old Norse, "midh" means "middle," or "lying in the middle": and
"sjoe-kum" or "sjoe-kumme" means "sea basin" or "sea reservoir."
"Lake Michigan lies midway between Lake Huron and Lake Superior, hence
the translation would be correct," Sherwin wrote.
Milwaukee, in Old Norse, is "milde aak(r)e," meaning "the pleasant
land" an almost perfect match for the pronunciation and meaning in
Algonquin, Sherwin said.
Omdahl points out that in old Norwegian languages and dialects, "`aa'
is pronounced as something between the `a' in `war' and the `o' in
"Today it is one of the typical Scandinavian letters an `a' with a
tiny ring over it," Omdahl said.
"Sherwin's books have been overlooked because of World War II and
because the last six of Sherwin's books were self published, so only a
few books went into libraries," Paine said. "An original catalog error
shelved the books in the rarely used dictionary section of libraries
instead of in the linguistic section where they belong."
"After 16 generations of memorization, the consistency of the recorded
sounds is remarkable," Paine said. "This provides strong evidence that
the Walam Olum is an authentic historical document that was first
created by people who spoke Old Norse or a language strongly
influenced by Old Norse.
"The last seven verses in chapter 3 of the Walam Olum describe the
Norse people of Greenland walking to America on the ice," Paine said.
The verses describe a mass of people walking to the west to a better
land, across the "slippery water, the stone hard water." The migration
corresponds with the "Little Ice Age."
"I invite everyone to view the evidence online at
www.frozentrail.org," Paine said.
Respected author Ida Jane Gallagher of Mount Pleasant, S.C., who spent
28 years working beside authoritative professionals researching
ancient America with much of that work in New England also
compares Sherwin's Algonquian and Old Norse words and confirms Norse
migrations in her book, "Contact With Ancient America," co-authored
with Warren D. Dexter andpublished in 2004.