Why the name 'Iron Fish'?
During World War 2, the US recruited Native Americans to use their tribal languages to send secret communications to and from the battlefield – a system that was unbroken until it was declassified in the late 60s.
One of their code systems contained words that were directly translated from English to Navajo for common military words. Certain modern military words didn’t have a direct translation to Navajo, and so they had to improvise. The term for ‘submarine’ therefore became what directly translates to as ‘iron fish’.
We chose this as our name because it shows the power of cryptography, how a complex modern concept can be described using relatively simple words, and it even has two tradable commodities (iron and fish) right in its name.
Interested in learning more? Read more about the Code Talkers on the companion website to the traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition, Native Words, Native Warriors.