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In Navajo culture, spoons were originally made of deer antler, and the word adeeʼ (originally meaning "antler" or "horn"), in the meaning of "spoon," was kept even as spoons were later made from the dried fruits of the gourd (ndilkal) plant. Since adeeʼ is no longer used to mean "deer antler," it becomes independent in that meaning and grammatically loses its inalienable status: bįįh bideeʼ (deer's horn), beʼadeeʼ ("his spoon").



  1. antler, horn, tusk, antenna (of an animal) (possessed form bideeʼ)
  2. ladle, dipper, spoon (possessed form beʼadeeʼ)
  3. gourd (the dried and hardened shell of a gourd fruit) (possessed form beʼadeeʼ)

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