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In Navajo culture, spoons were originally made of deer antler, and the word adeeʼ (originally meaning "antler" or "horn"), in the meaning of "spoon," was kept even as spoons were later made from the dried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)
  2. ladle, dipper, spoon
  3. wild gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima)
  4. bottle gourd, calabash vine (Lagenaria siceraria)
  5. gourd (the dried and hardened shell of a gourd fruit)


Antler, horn
Gourd, ladle, spoon

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