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| by Kaitlin Buerge

Special Collections

Henry Lorne Masta was an Abenaki language scholar, teacher, and leader within the Abenaki community. 

Born in 1853, Masta attended school in Quebec, where he studied under Joseph Laurent, chief of the Abenaki reserve of Odanak and author of New Familiar Abenakis and English Dialogues (1884). (See our post featuring this book here.)

In 1932, Masta published Abenaki Legends, Grammar and Place Nameswhich he began writing two years earlier when he was 77 years old. 

Middlebury recently acquired a first edition copy. 

Title page of Abenaki Legends, Grammar and Place Names by Henry Lorne Masta
Middlebury’s copy of Abenaki Legends, Grammar and Place Names by Henry Lorne Masta, 1932.

Inside, you’ll find Abenaki words and phrases translated into English.

Page inside Abenaki Legends, Grammar, and Place Names by Henry Lorne Masta
Examples of Abenaki-to-English translations inside Henry Lorne Masta’s Abenaki Legends, Grammar and Place Names, 1932.

Our bookish celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day started on Instagram. Check out Leslie Marmon Silko’s Sacred Water here.

Visit to view more posts, including one on Sarah Winnemucca and one on Ai

Questions? Email