Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Magic power believed to be present in all bodies: proposed as a technical term for magic power by J. N. B. Hewitt. It has, however, not come into common use. See wakanda and manito.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A mystical power thought to pervade all things.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Supposedly coined in 1902 by American ethnologist John Napoleon Brinton Hewitt using a Wyandot (Iroquoian) cognate to Mohawk orę́˙naʔ ("inherent power").

Examples

  • The Indians wanted very much to observe Champlain himself and judge the strength of his vital spirit, which the Huron called orenda.

    Champlain's Dream

  • The Indians wanted very much to observe Champlain himself and judge the strength of his vital spirit, which the Huron called orenda.

    Champlain's Dream

  • In a land dominated by disparate native tribes, some wanting trade, others wanting scalps, having good orenda is a must.

    Tom Alderman: The Man With Big Orenda - An Audio Book Review

  • For discussion of orenda, see William Engelbrecht, Iroquoia, 4–6, 145–46; Hope L.

    Champlain's Dream

  • Among the Indians, his abstinence added to his orenda, or spiritual power.69

    Champlain's Dream

  • One ethnohistorian has written of the Indian belief that “orenda can reside in an object, and clearly guns had power.”

    Champlain's Dream

  • They believed that all natural things had orenda in different degrees.

    Champlain's Dream

  • One ethnohistorian has written of the Indian belief that “orenda can reside in an object, and clearly guns had power.”

    Champlain's Dream

  • Good hunters had strong orenda, more so than the animals they killed.

    Champlain's Dream

  • It was an act of extravagant generosity—and a splendid display of orenda.19

    Champlain's Dream

Comments

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  • dictionary.com entry: "a supernatural force believed by the Iroquois Indians to be present, in varying degrees, in all objects or persons, and to be the spiritual force by which human accomplishment is attained or accounted for."

    February 12, 2009

  • It's on every pubescent agenda

    To study with care the pudenda.

    It's the way of the whelp,

    A thing he can't help;

    He's drawn by a mystic orenda.

    February 3, 2015

  • Au contraire, the pudenda is vastly understudied. It's perhaps the greatest failure of democracy thus far ^^

    February 7, 2015