Hello I wanted to know about the word Auntie in the Native American culture I use it as a term of endearment does it have any other meanings?
Hi there! Thanks for writing in!
Yes, the role and term for Auntie in Tribal communities is also a term of endearment, though the actual term varies from Tribe to Tribe. My nieces and nephews call me Kuku (the Zuni word for Auntie)
However, the role of Auntie in Tribal communities can include the dynamic of having parental-like responsibilities, which can also extend out to other family members like Grandparents, Uncles, and older cousins. Each person within the familial unit (and the Tribe as a whole) plays a distinct role of contributing to the knowledge and growth of our younger ‘siblings’, weather those ‘siblings’ are through blood, clan groups, or simply in terms of being ‘younger’ than us.
If you’ve heard the term “All My Relations” or “My Relatives”, this is what it refers to: we are all related and therefore as family, we all must treat each other as such.
Along with older relatives, the role of Auntie and Uncle has been that of the softer version of the parental role; relatives you can go to and ask for help or guidance about things you wouldn’t necessarily want to talk to your parental figure about.
Hope this help and thanks for writing in!
Auntie (Kuku) Manda