Shawnee (Shaawanwaki, Ša˙wano˙ki and Shaawanowi lenaweeki)
are an Algonquian-speaking ethnic group indigenous to North America.
In colonial times they were a semi-migratory Native American nation,
primarily inhabiting areas of the
Ohio Valley, extending from what
Kentucky eastward to West Virginia, Virginia,
Pennsylvania, and Western Maryland; south to
Alabama and South
Carolina; and westward to Indiana, and Illinois.
Pushed west by European-American pressure, the
Shawnee migrated to
Missouri and Kansas, with some removed to
Indian Territory (Oklahoma)
west of the
Mississippi River in the 1830s. Other
Shawnee did not
Oklahoma until after the Civil War. Made up of different
historical and kinship groups, today there are three federally
Shawnee tribes, all headquartered in Oklahoma: the
Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, Eastern
of Oklahoma, and
2.2 17th century
2.3 18th century
2.4 American Revolution
Tecumseh's War and the War of 1812
3 Social and kinship groups
4 State-recognized tribes
5 Unrecognized groups who claim
6 Flags of the Shawnee
7 Coins of the
8 Notable Shawnee
9 See also
12 External links
12.1 Federally recognized
Shawnee language, an Algonquian language, was spoken by 200 people
in 2002, including over 100
Absentee Shawnee and 12 Loyal Shawnee
speakers. The language is written in the Latin script. It has a
dictionary and portions of the Bible were translated into Shawnee.
Fort Ancient Monongahela cultures by Herb Roe
Algonquian peoples and Proto-Algonquian language
Some scholars believe that the
Shawnee are descendants of the people
of the precontact
Fort Ancient culture
Fort Ancient culture of the
Ohio region, although
this is not universally accepted. Fort Ancient culture
flourished from 1000 to 1650 CE among a people who predominantly
inhabited lands along the
Ohio River in areas of southern Ohio,
Kentucky and western West Virginia. They were mound builders.
Fort Ancient culture
Fort Ancient culture was once thought to have been an extension of the
Mississippian culture. But, scholars now believe Fort Ancient culture
developed independently and was descended from the Hopewell culture
(100 BCE—500 CE), also a mound builder people.
Serpent Mound, Peebles, Ohio
Uncertainty surrounds the fate of the Fort Ancient people. Most likely
their society, like the
Mississippian culture to the south, was
severely disrupted by waves of epidemics from new infectious diseases
carried by the first Spanish explorers in the 16th century. After
1525 at Madisonville, the type site, the village's house sizes became
smaller and fewer, with evidence showing the people changed from their
previously "horticulture-centered, sedentary way of life".
There is a gap in the archaeological record between the most recent
Fort Ancient sites and the oldest sites of the Shawnee. The latter
were recorded by European (French and English) explorers as occupying
this area at the time of encounter. Scholars generally accept that
similarities in material culture, art, mythology, and
history linking them to the Fort Ancient peoples can be used to
support the connection from Fort Ancient society and development as
Shawnee traditionally considered the
Lenape (or Delaware) of the
East Coast mid-Atlantic region, who were also Algonquian speaking, as
their "grandfathers." The Algonquian nations of present-day Canada
regarded the US
Shawnee as their southernmost branch. Along the East
Coast, the Algonquian-speaking tribes were mostly located in coastal
areas, from Quebec to the Carolinas.
Algonquian languages have words similar to the archaic shawano (now:
shaawanwa) meaning "south". However, the stem šawa- does not mean
"south" in Shawnee, but "moderate, warm (of weather)": See Voegelin
"šawa (plus -ni, -te) MODERATE, WARM. Cp. šawani 'it is
moderating...". In one
Shawnee tale, "Sawage" (šaawaki) is the
deity of the south wind. Curtin translates Sawage as 'it thaws',
referring to the warm weather of the south. šaawaki is attested as
the spirit of the South, or the South Wind, in this account, in one of
Voegelin's tales, and in a song collected by Voegelin.
Europeans reported encountering
Shawnee over a widespread geographic
area. One of the earliest mentions of the
Shawnee may be a 1614 Dutch
map showing some Sawwanew located just east of the Delaware River.
Later 17th-century Dutch sources also place them in this general
location. Accounts by French explorers in the same century usually
Shawnee along the
Ohio River, where the French encountered
them on forays from eastern Canada and the
Shawnee town might have from forty to one hundred bark-covered
houses similar in construction to
Iroquois longhouses. Each village
usually had a meeting house or council house, perhaps sixty to ninety
feet long, where public deliberations took place.
According to one European legend, some
Shawnee were descended from a
party sent by Chief Opechancanough, ruler of the
1618–1644, to settle in the Shenandoah Valley. The party was led by
his son, Sheewa-a-nee. Edward Bland, an explorer who accompanied
Abraham Wood's expedition in 1650, wrote that in Opechancanough's day,
there had been a falling-out between the Chawan chief and the weroance
Powhatan (also a relative of Opechancanough's family). He said
the latter had murdered the former. The
Shawnee were "driven from
Kentucky in the 1670s by the
Pennsylvania and New York,
who claimed the
Ohio valley as hunting ground to supply its fur
trade. The explorers Batts and Fallam in 1671 reported that the
Shawnee were contesting control of the
Shenandoah Valley with the
Haudenosaunee Confederacy (Iroquois) in that year, and were losing.
Sometime before 1670, a group of
Shawnee migrated to the Savannah
River area. The English based in Charles Town,
South Carolina were
contacted by these
Shawnee in 1674. They forged a long-lasting
Shawnee were known to the Carolina
English as "Savannah Indians". Around the same time, other Shawnee
groups migrated to Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and other regions
south and east of the
Ohio country. d'Iberville, writing in his
journal in 1699, describes the
Shawnee (or as he spells them,
Chaouenons) as "the single nation to fear, being spread out over
Virginia in the direction of the Mississippi."
Alan Gallay speculates that the
Shawnee migrations of
the middle to late 17th century were probably driven by the Beaver
Wars, which began in the 1640s. The
Shawnee became known for their
widespread settlements, extending from
Illinois and to
Georgia. Among their known villages were Eskippakithiki in Kentucky,
Sonnionto (also known as Lower Shawneetown) in Ohio, Chalakagay near
what is now Sylacauga, Alabama,
Chalahgawtha at the site of
present-day Chillicothe, Ohio, Old Shawneetown, Illinois, and Suwanee,
Georgia. Their language became a lingua franca for trade among
numerous tribes. They became leaders among the tribes, initiating and
sustaining pan-Indian resistance to European and Euro-American
Shawnee occupied areas in central Pennsylvania. Long without a
chief, in 1714 they asked Carondawana, an Oneida war chief of the
Iroquois, to represent them to the
Pennsylvania provincial council,
which accepted the
Shawnee choice. About 1727 Carondawana and his
wife, a prominent interpreter known as Madame Montour, settled at
Otstonwakin, on the west bank at the confluence of
Loyalsock Creek and
the West Branch Susquehanna River.
By the time European-American settlers began to arrive in the
Shenandoah Valley (c. 1730) of Virginia, the
Shawnee were the main
residents of the northern part of the valley. They were claimed as
tributaries by the
Haudenosaunee or Six Nations of the Iroquois, who
had helped some of the
Tuscarora people from North Carolina resettle
in the vicinity of what is now Martinsburg, West Virginia. Also at
this time, Seneca and
Lenape war parties from the north often fought
pitched battles with pursuing bands of Catawba from Virginia, who
would overtake them in the Shawnee-inhabited regions of the Valley.
By the late 1730s pressure from colonial expansion produced repeated
Shawnee communities were affected by the fur trade in which
furs were often traded to European traders for rum or brandy, leading
to serious social problems related to alcohol abuse. Several Shawnee
communities in the Province of Pennsylvania, led by Peter Chartier, a
métis trader, opposed the sale of alcohol in their communities,
resulting in a conflict with colonial Governor Patrick Gordon. As a
result, in 1745 some 400
Shawnee migrated from
Pennsylvania to Ohio,
Alabama and Illinois.
Prior to 1754, the
Shawnee had a headquarters at
Shawnee Springs at
modern-day Cross Junction,
Virginia near Winchester. The father of the
Cornstalk held his council there. Several other Shawnee
villages were located in the northern Shenandoah Valley: at
Moorefield, West Virginia, on the North River, and on the Potomac at
Cumberland, Maryland. In 1753, the
Shawnee on the
Scioto River in the
Ohio country sent messengers to those still in the Shenandoah Valley
suggesting that they leave
Virginia and cross the
Alleghenies to join
the people further west, which they did the following year.
The community known as Shannoah (Lower Shawneetown) on the
reached a population of around 1,200 by 1750.
Ever since the Beaver Wars, the
Haudenosaunee Confederacy ("Five
Nations") had claimed the
Ohio Country as their hunting ground by
right of conquest, and treated the
Lenape who resettled
there as dependent tribes. Some independent
Iroquois bands from
various tribes also migrated westward, where they became known in Ohio
as the Mingo. These three tribes—the Shawnee, the Delaware, and the
Mingo—became closely associated with one another, despite the
differences in their languages. The first two were Algonquian speaking
and the third Iroquoian.
After taking part in the first phase of the French and Indian War
(also known as "Braddock's War") as allies of the French, the
Shawnee switched sides in 1758. They made formal peace with the
British colonies at the Treaty of Easton, which recognized the
Allegheny Ridge (the Eastern Divide) as their mutual border. This
peace lasted only until
Pontiac's War erupted in 1763. Later that
year, the Crown issued the Proclamation of 1763, legally confirming
the 1758 border as the limits of British colonization, with the land
beyond reserved for Native Americans. But, it had difficulty enforcing
the boundary, as European colonists continued to move westward.
Treaty of Fort Stanwix
Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768 extended that line westward, giving
the British colonists a claim to what is now
West Virginia and
Shawnee did not agree to this treaty: it was negotiated
between British officials and the
Haudenosaunee Confederacy ("Six
Nations"), who claimed sovereignty over the land, although
other Native American tribes also hunted there.
After the Stanwix treaty, Anglo-Americans began pouring into the Ohio
River Valley for settlement. Violent incidents between settlers and
Indians escalated into
Dunmore's War in 1774. British diplomats
managed to isolate the
Shawnee during the conflict: the
Lenape stayed neutral. The
Shawnee faced the British colony of
Virginia with only a few
Mingo allies. Lord Dunmore, royal governor of
Virginia, launched a two-pronged invasion into the
Ohio Country. The
Cornstalk attacked one wing but fought to a draw in the
only major battle of the war, the Battle of Point Pleasant.
Treaty of Camp Charlotte
Treaty of Camp Charlotte ending this war (1774),
Shawnee were compelled by the British to recognize the same Ohio
River boundary as that established with the
("Six Nations") by the 1768 Fort Stanwix treaty. The
Shawnee ceded all
claims to the "hunting grounds" of
West Virginia and Kentucky. Many
Shawnee leaders refused to recognize this boundary, however. A
Shawnee party attacked
Daniel Boone in
Kentucky in 1775.
United States declared independence from the British crown in
Shawnee were divided. They did not support the American
rebel cause, but
Cornstalk led the minority who wished to remain
Shawnee north of the
Ohio River were also unhappy about
the American settlement of Kentucky. Colin Calloway reports that most
Shawnees allied with the British against the Americans.
War leaders such as
Chief Blackfish and
Blue Jacket joined Dragging
Canoe and a band of
Cherokee people along the lower Tennessee and
Chickamauga Creek against the colonists in that area. Some colonists
called them Chickamauga because they lived along that river at the
time of what became known as the Cherokee–American wars, during and
after the American Revolution.
Shawnee later combined with the Miami into a great fighting force
Ohio Valley, after the Revolution, during the Northwest Indian
War between the
United States and a confederation of Native American
tribes. After being defeated at the
Battle of Fallen Timbers
Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794,
most of the
Shawnee bands signed the
Treaty of Greenville
Treaty of Greenville the next
year. They were forced to cede large parts of their homeland to the
new United States. Other
Shawnee groups rejected this treaty,
migrating independently to
Missouri west of the Mississippi River,
where they settled along Apple Creek near Cape Girardeau.
Tecumseh's War and the War of 1812
Tecumseh, by Benson Lossing in 1848 based on 1808 drawing.
Further information: Great Comet of 1811, 1812 New Madrid earthquake,
and Battle of Tippecanoe
In the early 19th century, the
Tecumseh gained renown
for organizing his namesake confederacy to oppose American expansion
in Native American lands. The resulting conflict came to be known as
Tecumseh's War. The two principal adversaries in the conflict, chief
Tecumseh and American politician William Henry Harrison, had both been
junior participants in the
Battle of Fallen Timbers
Battle of Fallen Timbers at the close of
Northwest Indian Wars
Northwest Indian Wars in 1794.
Tecumseh was not among the Native
American signers of the Treaty of Greenville, which had ended the war,
Shawnee and other Native Americans ceded much of their
historic territory in present-day
Ohio to the United States. However,
many Indian leaders in the region accepted the Greenville terms, and
for the next ten years pan-tribal resistance to American hegemony
In September 1809 William Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indiana
Territory, invited the Potawatomi, Lenape, Eel River people, and the
Miami to a meeting in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In the negotiations,
Harrison promised large subsidies and payments to the tribes if they
would cede the lands he was asking for. After two weeks of
Potawatomi leaders convinced the Miami to accept the
treaty as reciprocity, because the
Potawatomi had earlier accepted
treaties less advantageous to them at the request of the Miami.
Finally the tribes signed the Treaty of Fort Wayne on September 30,
1809, thereby selling the
United States over 3,000,000 acres
(approximately 12,000 km²), chiefly along the
Wabash River north
of Vincennes, Indiana.
Tecumseh was outraged by the Treaty of Fort Wayne, believing that
American Indian land was owned in common by all tribes, an idea
advocated in previous years by the
Blue Jacket and the
Mohawk leader Joseph Brant. In response,
Tecumseh began to expand
on the teachings of his brother, known as The Prophet, who called for
the tribes to return to their ancestral ways. He began to associate
the teachings with the idea of a pan-tribal alliance. Tecumseh
traveled widely, urging warriors to abandon the accommodationist
chiefs and to join the resistance at Prophetstown.
This portrait of Harrison originally showed him in civilian clothes as
the Congressional delegate from the
Northwest Territory in 1800.
In August 1810,
Tecumseh led 400 armed warriors to confront Governor
Harrison in Vincennes.
Tecumseh demanded that Harrison nullify the
Fort Wayne treaty, threatening to kill the chiefs who had signed
it. Harrison refused, stating that the Miami were the owners of
the land and could sell it if they so chose.
peacefully, but warned Harrison that he would seek an alliance with
the British unless the treaty was nullified.
The Great Comet of 1811, as drawn by William Henry Smyth
In March the
Great Comet of 1811
Great Comet of 1811 appeared. During the next year,
tensions between American colonists and Native Americans rose quickly.
Four settlers were murdered on the
Missouri River and, in another
incident, natives seized a boatload of supplies from a group of
traders. Harrison summoned
Tecumseh to Vincennes to explain the
actions of his allies. In August 1811, the two leaders met, with
Tecumseh assuring Harrison that the
Shawnee intended to remain at
peace with the United States.
Tecumseh traveled to the Southeast on a mission to recruit
allies against the
United States among the "Five Civilized Tribes."
His name Tekoomsē meant "Shooting Star" or "Panther Across The
Sky." He told the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Muscogee, and many others
that the comet of March 1811 had signaled his coming. He also said
that the people would see a sign proving that the
Great Spirit had
Tecumseh was traveling, both sides readied for the Battle of
Tippecanoe. Harrison assembled a small force of army regulars and
militia in preparation to combat the Native forces. On November 6,
1811, Harrison led this army of about 1,000 men to Prophetstown,
Indiana, hoping to disperse Tecumseh's confederacy. Early next
morning, forces under The
Prophet prematurely attacked Harrison's army
at the Tippecanoe River near the Wabash. Though outnumbered, Harrison
repulsed the attack, forcing the Natives to retreat and abandon
Prophetstown. Harrison's men burned the village and returned home.
This was the end of Tecumseh's dream of a united native alliance
against the whites.
On December 11, 1811, the New Madrid earthquake shook the Muscogee
lands and the Midwest. While the interpretation of this event varied
from tribe to tribe, they agreed that the powerful earthquake had to
have meant something. The earthquake and its aftershocks helped the
Tecumseh resistance movement as the Muscogee and other Native American
tribes believed it was a sign that the
Shawnee must be supported and
that this was the sign
Tecumseh had prophesied.
The Indians were filled with great terror ... the trees and wigwams
shook exceedingly; the ice which skirted the margin of the Arkansas
river was broken into pieces; and most of the Indians thought that the
Great Spirit, angry with the human race, was about to destroy the
— Roger L. Nichols, The American Indian
The New Madrid earthquake was interpreted by the Muscogee as a reason
to support the
The Muscogee (Creek) who joined Tecumseh's confederation were known as
the Red Sticks. They were the more traditional part of the people, as
their communities in the Upper Towns were more isolated from
European-American settlement. They did not want to assimilate. The Red
Sticks rose in resisting the Lower Creek, and the bands became
involved in civil war, known as the Creek War. This became part of the
War of 1812
War of 1812 when open conflict broke out between American soldiers and
Red Sticks of the Creek.
Portraits of the
Pushmataha (left) and Tecumseh.
These white Americans ... give us fair exchange, their cloth, their
guns, their tools, implements, and other things which the Choctaws
need but do not make ... They doctored our sick; they clothed our
suffering; they fed our hungry ... So in marked contrast with the
experience of the Shawnees, it will be seen that the whites and
Indians in this section are living on friendly and mutually beneficial
—Pushmataha, 1811 – Sharing
Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican,
Pocanet and other powerful tribes of our people? They have
vanished before the avarice and oppression of the white man, as snow
before the summer sun ... Sleep not longer, O
Choctaws and Chickasaws
... Will not the bones of our dead be plowed up, and their graves
turned into plowed fields?
After Hull's surrender of Detroit during the War of 1812, General
William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison was given command of the U.S. Army of the
Northwest. He set out to retake the city, then defended by the British
Colonel Henry Procter together with Tecumseh. A detachment of
Harrison's army was defeated at Frenchtown along the
River Raisin on
January 22, 1813. Procter left the prisoners with an inadequate guard;
they could not prevent some of his Native American allies from
attacking and killing perhaps as many as 60 Americans, many of whom
Kentucky militiamen. The Americans called the incident the
River Raisin Massacre." The defeat ended Harrison's campaign against
Detroit, and the phrase "Remember the River Raisin!" became a rallying
cry for the Americans.
In May 1813, Procter and
Tecumseh set siege to Fort Meigs in northern
Ohio. American reinforcements arriving during the siege were defeated
by the Natives, but the fort held out. The Indians eventually began to
disperse, forcing Procter and
Tecumseh to return to Canada. Their
second offensive in July against Fort Meigs also failed. To improve
Indian morale, Procter and
Tecumseh attempted to storm Fort
Stephenson, a small American post on the Sandusky River. After they
were repulsed with serious losses, the
Ohio campaign ended.
On Lake Erie, the American commander Captain Oliver Hazard Perry
Battle of Lake Erie
Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813. His decisive
victory against the British ensured American control of the lake,
improved American morale after a series of defeats, and compelled the
British to fall back from Detroit. General Harrison launched another
invasion of Upper Canada, which culminated in the U.S. victory at the
Battle of the Thames
Battle of the Thames on October 5, 1813.
Tecumseh was killed there,
and his death effectively ended the North American indigenous alliance
with the British in the Detroit region. American control of Lake Erie
meant the British could no longer provide essential military supplies
to their aboriginal allies, who dropped out of the war. The Americans
controlled the area during the remainder of the conflict.
Missouri became known as the "Absentee Shawnee" after
migrating from the
United States into Mexico, in the eastern part of
Spanish Texas. They were joined in the migration by some Delaware.
Although they were closely allied with the
Cherokee led by The Bowl,
their chief John Linney remained neutral during the 1839 Cherokee
In appreciation, in the late 1840s Texan president Mirabeau Lamar
fully compensated the
Shawnee for their improvements and crops at the
time of forcing their removal from Texas north to Arkansas
Shawnee settled close to present-day Shawnee,
Oklahoma. They were joined by
Shawnee pushed out of
below), who shared their traditionalist views and beliefs.
In 1817, the
Shawnee had signed the Treaty of Fort Meigs, ceding
their remaining lands in exchange for three reservations in
Wapaughkonetta, Hog Creek (near Lima), and Lewistown, Ohio. They
shared these lands with some Seneca who had migrated west from New
Missouri joined the Union in 1821. After the Treaty of St. Louis in
1825, the 1,400
Shawnee were forcibly relocated from Cape
Girardeau to southeastern Kansas, close to the Neosho River.
During 1833, only Black Bob's band of
Shawnee resisted removal. They
settled in northeastern
Kansas near Olathe and along the
River in Monticello near Gum Springs. The
Shawnee Methodist Mission
was built nearby to minister to the tribe. About 200 of the Ohio
Shawnee followed the prophet
Tenskwatawa and joined their Kansas
brothers and sisters here in 1826.
The main body of
Ohio followed Black Hoof, who fought every
effort to force the
Shawnee to give up their homeland. After the death
of Black Hoof, the remaining 400
Shawnee in Wapaughkonetta and
Hog Creek surrendered their land and moved to the
Shawnee Reserve in
Kansas. In 1831, the Lewistown group of Seneca–
Shawnee had left for
Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma).
In the 1853 Indian Appropriations Bill, Congress appropriated $64,366
for treaty obligations to the
Shawnee such as annuities, education,
and other services. An additional $2,000 was appropriated for the
Seneca and the
During the American Civil War, Black Bob's band fled from
joined the "Absentee Shawnee" in
Oklahoma to escape the war. After the
Civil War, the
Kansas were expelled and forced to move to
northeastern Oklahoma. The
Shawnee members of the former Lewistown
group became known as the "Eastern Shawnee".
Shawnee became known as the "Loyal Shawnee" (some
say this is because of their allegiance with the Union during the war;
others say this is because they were the last group to leave their
Ohio homelands). The latter group appeared to be regarded as part of
Cherokee Nation by the
United States because they were also known
as the "
Cherokee Shawnee" and were settled on some of their land in
In 2000 the "Loyal" or "Cherokee"
Shawnee finally received federal
recognition independent of the
Cherokee Nation. They are now known as
Shawnee Tribe". Today, most members of the three tribes of the
Shawnee nation reside in Oklahoma.
Social and kinship groups
Before contact with Europeans, the
Shawnee tribe had a patrilineal
system, by which descent and inheritance went through paternal
lines. Their government is by kings, which they call sachema, and
those reign by succession, but always of the mother's side: for
instance, the children of him who is now king, will not succeed, but
his brother, by the mother, or the children of his sister, whose sons
(and after them, the children of her daughter,) will reign, for no
woman inherits. The reason they render for this way of descent, is,
that their issue may not be spurious. The five divisions of tribes
commonly known are:
Chillicothe (Principal Place), Chalahgawtha, Chalaka, Chalakatha;The
Principal division of "Tschillicothi", appointed by the 1st Lead
Illini or man Kwikullay.
Kispoko, Kispokotha, Kishpoko, Kishpokotha; [from ishpoko as akin to
the Ispogi meaning swamps or marshy lands of the Muscogi or Creeks
most specific to the Tukabatchi]
Mekoche, Mequachake, Machachee, Maguck, Mackachack, etc.; Mackochee
Pekowi, Pekuwe, Piqua, Pekowitha. [Pickywanni or pickquay]
The war chiefs were hereditary and descended from their maternal line
In addition to the five septs, the
Shawnee are divided among six clans
or subdivisions according to kinship; each clan represented spiritual
values and had a role in the overall confederacy. Each name group
is common among each for the five divisions, and each
to a clan or name group. The six group names are:
Pellewomhsoomi (Turkey name group)—represents bird life,
Kkahkileewomhsoomi (Turtle name group)—represents aquatic life,
Petekoθiteewomhsoomi (Rounded-feet name group)—represents
carnivorous animals such as the dog, wolf, or whose paws are
ball-shaped or "rounded,"
Mseewiwomhsoomi (Horse name group)—represents herbivorous animals
such as the horse and deer,
θepatiiwomhsoomi (Raccoon name group)—represents animals having
paws which can rip and tear, such as those of a raccoon and bear.
Petakineeθiiwomhsoomi (Rabbit name group)—represents a gentle and
Each division had a primary village where the chief of the division
lived. This village was usually named after the division. By
Shawnee division and clan had certain roles it
performed on behalf of the entire tribe. By the time these kinship
elements were recorded in writing by European Americans, these strong
social traditions were fading. They are poorly understood. Because of
the scattering of the
Shawnee people from the 17th century through the
19th century, the roles of the divisions changed.
United States government recognizes three
all of which are located in Oklahoma:
Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, consisting mainly
of Hathawekela, Kispokotha, and Pekuwe divisions;
Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, mostly of the
Shawnee Tribe, formerly considered part of the
mostly of the Chaalakatha and
(Rabbit name group)—represents a gentle and peaceful nature. who
stands alone as the Tail or last.
As of 2008, there were 7584 enrolled Shawnee, with most living in
Shawnee Tribe is a state-recognized tribe in Alabama,
recognized by the
Alabama Indian Affairs Commission under the
Davis-Strong Act; in an honorary manner by
Resolution 188, adopted February 26, 1991, and by the
Ohio House of
Representatives 119th General Assembly Resolution No. 83, adopted
April 3, 1991; and Kentucky, by Governor's Proclamation dated
August 13, 1991. The Piqua
Shawnee tribe performed the Green
Corn Dance in
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in 2011.
Unrecognized groups who claim
Self identified groups that consider themselves
Shawnee reside in Ohio
and other states:
Chickamauga Keetoowah Unami Wolf Band of
Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia
East of the River Shawnee, Ohio
Kispoko Sept of
Ohio Shawnee, Louisiana
Kispoko Sept of
Shawnee (Hog Creek Reservation), Ohio
Ohio Mekoce Shawnee,
Ohio Letter of Intent to Petition
Ohio Mekojay Shawnee, Ohio
Shawnee Nation, Ohio
Piqua Sept of
Shawnee Indians, Ohio
Platform Reservation Remnant Band of the
Shawnee Nation Blue Creek Band, of Adams County, Ohio. Letter of
Intent to Petition 8/5/1998.
Shawnee Tribe / Piqua Sept of
Shawnee Tribe—Letter of
Intent to Petition 04/16/1991.
Ridgetop Shawnee, Kentucky. In 2009 and 2010, the State House of the
Kentucky General Assembly recognized the Ridgetop
Shawnee Tribe of
Indians by passing House Joint Resolutions 15 or HJR-15 and
Kentucky Shawnee, Kentucky
United Remnant Band of the
Shawnee Nation, Ohio
United Tribe of
Shawnee Indians, Kansas
Kispoko Band of the
Shawnee Nation, Indiana
Vinyard Indian Settlement of
Shawnee Indians, Illinois
Youghiogaheny River Band Of
Shawnee Indians, Maryland
These bands are not federally recognized. Neither
Ohio or Kentucky
have formal process for recognition of tribes, but its legislature has
acknowledged some groups in an honorary way by resolution.
Flags of the Shawnee
Flag of the Absentee-
Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma
Flag of the Eastern
Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
Flag of the
Coins of the
Shawnee Tribe coin issue: 2002—one dollar
Tecumseh commemorative dollar
Peter Chartier (1690–1759), also known as Wacanackshina,
Shawnee who opposed the sale of alcohol in Shawnee
communities and fought on the side of the French in the French and
Cornstalk (1720–1777), led the
Dunmore's War of 1774.
Nonhelema (1720–1786), sister of Cornstalk, helped compile the
dictionary for the
Blackfish (1729-1779), a
Shawnee chief of the Chillicothe division of
Blue Jacket (1743–1810), also known as Weyapiersenwah, a leader in
Northwest Indian War
Northwest Indian War and important predecessor to Tecumseh.
George Drouillard (1773–1810), scout on Lewis and Clark expedition
Black Hoof (1740–1831), also known as Catecahassa, respected Shawnee
chief who believed his people needed to adapt to European-American
culture to survive.
Kispoko war chief and older brother of
Shawnee leader; with his brother Tenskwatawa
attempted to unite tribes west of the Appalachians against the
expansion of European-American settlement.
Shawnee prophet and younger brother of
Black Bob, 19th-century leader and war chief in Ohio.
Link Wray (1929–2005), rock and roll guitarist, songwriter and
Nas'Naga (1941–2012), novelist and poet in United States.
Battle of Tippecanoe
Battle of Tippecanoe Outdoor Drama
^ a b
Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission.
Oklahoma Indian Nations
Pocket Pictorial. Archived February 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Algonquian, Algic". Ethnologue. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
^ Shawano was an archaic name for the tribes bearing these generic
namesShaawanwa lenaki. Reference:
^ "Shawnee". Ethnologue. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
^ O'Donnell, James H. Ohio's First Peoples, p. 31. Athens, Ohio: Ohio
University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-8214-1525-5 (paperback),
ISBN 0-8214-1524-7 (hardcover)
^ Howard, James H. Shawnee!: The Ceremonialism of a Native Indian
Tribe and its Cultural Background, p. 1. Athens, Ohio:
Press, 1981. ISBN 0-8214-0417-2; ISBN 0-8214-0614-0 (pbk.)
^ Schutz, Noel W., Jr.: The Study of
Shawnee Myth in an Ethnographic
and Ethnohistorical Perspective, Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of
Indiana University, 1975.
^ a b Peregrine, Peter Neal; Ember, Melvin, eds. (2003). Encyclopedia
of Prehistory. 6 : North America (1 ed.). Springer Publishing.
pp. 175–184. ISBN 0-306-46260-5.
^ Drooker 1997a:203
^ Clark, Jerry. "Shawnees". Tennessee Encyclopedia of Culture and
History. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
^ Voegelin, Carl F. 1938–40.
Shawnee Stems and the Jacob P. Dunn
Indiana Historical Society Prehistory Research
Series Volume 1, No. 8, Part III, p. 318 (October, 1939).
Shawnee Myth. Story of a Year. Old Sawage and her Grandson. MS 3906,
Smithsonian Institution National Anthropological Archives. Myth
collected by Jeremiah Curtin. 1850s-1880s.
^ C. F. Voeglin, fieldwork noteook XII, "Big Sacred Lizard"; fieldwork
^ Transcribed by Bruno Neti about 1951 from
Shawnee Song Cylinders
collected by C. F. Voegelin and now in the Archives of Traditional
Indiana University. Sheet 8, Song 38.
^ Charles Augustus Hanna, The Wilderness Trail: Or, The Ventures and
Adventures of the
Pennsylvania Traders on the Allegheny Path, Volume
1, Putnam's sons, 1911, esp. chap. IV, "The Shawnees", pp. 119–160.
^ a b c Kleber, John E. (18 May 1992). The
University Press of Kentucky. p. 815.
ISBN 978-0-8131-2883-2. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
^ Carrie Hunter Willis and Etta Belle Walker, Legends of the Skyline
Drive and the Great Valley of Virginia, 1937, pp. 15–16; this
account also appears in T.K. Cartmell's 1909 Shenandoah Valley
Pioneers and Their Descendants p. 41.
^ Edward Bland, The Discoverie of New Brittaine
^ McWilliams, Richebourg; Iberville, Pierre (1991-02-28). Iberville's
Gulf Journals. University of
Alabama Press. p. 175.
^ Jerry E. Clark, The Shawnee, University Press of Kentucky, 1977.
^ Gallay, Alan. The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire
in the American South, 1670–1717, p. 55. New Haven: Yale University
Press, 2002. ISBN 0-300-10193-7
^ Not to be confused with the nearby French Margaret's Town; see John
Franklin Meginness, Otzinachson: A History of the West Branch Valley
of the Susquehanna (rev. ed., Williamsport, PA, 1889), 1:94.
Ostonwakin is also spelled Otstonwakin.
^ Stephen Warren, Worlds the Shawnees Made: Migration and Violence in
Early America, UNC Press Books, 2014 ISBN 1469611732
^ Legends of the Skyline Drive and the Great Valley of Virginia, pp.
^ Joseph Doddridge, 1850, A History of the Valley of Virginia, p. 44
^ Calloway, Colin (2007). The Shawnees and the War for America. New
York: Viking. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-670-03862-6.
^ Gevinson, Alan. "Which Native American Tribes Allied Themselves with
the French?" Teachinghistory.org, accessed September 23, 2011.
^ a b Colin G. Calloway, "'We Have Always Been the Frontier': The
American Revolution in
Shawnee Country," American Indian Quarterly
(1992) 16#1 pp 39-52. in JSTOR
^ a b Owens, p. 201–203
^ a b Owens, p. 212
^ Langguth, p. 164
^ Langguth, p. 165
^ a b Langguth, p. 166
^ George Blanchard, the Governor of the Absentee
Shawnee Tribe of
Oklahoma, so describes the meaning of the name in the PBS documentary
We Shall Remain: Tecumseh's Vision: "Well, I've always heard
'Teh-cum-theh'—'Teh-cum-theh'—means, in our culture and our
belief, at nights when we see a falling star, it means that this
panther is jumping from one mountain to another. And as kids, we saw
these falling stars, we'd kind of hesitate about being out in the
dark, because we thought there were actually panthers out there
walking around. So that's what his name meant: Teh-cum-theh."
^ Langguth, p. 168
^ Funk, Arville (1983) . A Sketchbook of
Rochester, Indiana: Christian Book Press.
^ Langguth, p. 169
^ Langguth, p. 167
^ Jones, Charile (November 1987). "Sharing
Choctaw History". Bishinik.
Retrieved October 1, 2013.
^ Sherman, William Tecumseh. "H.B. Cushman, History of the Choctaw,
Chickasaw and Natchez Indians (Greenville, Texas: 1899), 310 ff.,
quoted in "Survival Strategies"". Digital History. University of
Houston. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
^ Turner III, Frederick (1978) . "Poetry and Oratory". The
Portable North American Indian Reader. Penguin Book.
pp. 246–247. ISBN 0-14-015077-3.
^ "Kentucky: National Guard History eMuseum – War of 1812".
Kynghistory.ky.gov. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009.
Retrieved October 22, 2008.
^ a b Lipscomb, Carol A.: "
Shawnee Indians" from the Handbook of Texas
Online. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
^ "Indian Appropriation". The New York Times. March 15, 1853.
^ Harvey, Henry (1855). History of the
Shawnee Indians: From the Year
1681 to 1854, Inclusive. Cincinnati: Ephraim Morgan & Sons.
^ Harvey, Henry (1855). "1". History of the
Shawnee Indians: From the
Year 1681 to 1854, Inclusive. Cincinnati: Ephraim Morgan & Sons.
^ a b c Voegellin, C.F. and Voegelin, E. W. (1935). "
Groups". American Anthropologist. 37 (4): 617–635.
doi:10.1525/aa.1935.37.4.02a00070. CS1 maint: Uses authors
Oklahoma Indian Commission.
Oklahoma Indian Nations Pocket
Pictorial. Archived February 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. 2008
Alabama Indian Affairs Commission
^ a b Watson, Blake A. "Indian Gambling in Ohio: What are the Odds?"
(PDF). Capital University Law Review 237 (2003) (excerpts). Retrieved
Ohio in any event does not officially recognize Indian
tribes. Watson cites legal opinions that the resolution by the
Ohio Legislature recognizing the United Remnant Band of the Shawnee
Nation was ceremonial and did not grant legal status as a tribe. But,
confirmation of the Remnant Band's recognition was referred to in
official letters and presented to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and The
President of the
United States in 1981.
^ Koenig, Alexa; Stein, Jonathan. "Federalism and the State
Recognition of Native American Tribes: A Survey of State-Recognized
Tribes and State Recognition Processes Across the United States".
Santa Clara Law Review Volume 48 (forthcoming). pp. Section 12.
Ohio. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
Ohio recognizes one state tribe, the
United Remnant Band. . . .
Ohio does not have a detailed scheme for
regulating tribal-state relations.
^ "Early History". The Piqua
Shawnee Tribe of Alabama. Retrieved
Green Corn Dance
Green Corn Dance to be performed at National Park". The Middlesboro
Daily News. 2011. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
^ "SHAWNEE TODAY". Big Bear's Den. 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
^ Catherine Morris (2007-10-09). "Local Native Americans Host Cultural
Dinner". Cincinnati.com. Cincinnati. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band". Retrieved 2013-02-17.
^ a b c "
Ohio Indian Tribes". AAANativeArts.com. Retrieved
^ "Native American Peace Tree Ceremony guest is former
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.
West Virginia University. October
7, 2009. Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved
February 17, 2013.
^ "Lower Eastern
Shawnee in Wilmington,
faqs.org, Tax-Exempt Organizations. 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
^ "The Inter Tribal Learning Circle". Fort Ancient. Retrieved
^ "Platform Reservation Remnant Band". Retrieved 2013-02-17.
^ "Platform Reservation Remnant Band Church Of The
Shawnee Inc. -
Indiana Company Profile". Bizapedia. 2012-04-26. Retrieved
^ Patricia Lowry (2006-06-26). "Places: Near Fort Necessity, a
National Road inn is reclaiming 1830s interior". Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
^ Paul Johnson (2008-01-22). "Native American Tribe Works Toward
National Recognition". TheLedger.com. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
Shawnee Nation -
Ohio Blue Creek Band, Inc. -
Profile". Bizapedia. 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
^ "Re: [NA-SHAWNEE] the
Indiana Blue Creek
Shawnee roll". RootsWeb:
NA-SHAWNEE-L. Retrieved 2013-02-17. There was no Blue Creek Band in
Indiana...that's our Band here indigenous to Ohio...documented as late
as 1870. You are looking for the Blue River Band.
Kentucky General Assembly 2010 Regular Session HJR-16".
kentucky.gov, updated 9-2-2010.
Kentucky General Assembly 2009 Regular Session HJR-15".
kentucky.gov, updated 5-2-2009.
^ "American Indians in Ohio",
Ohio Memory: An Online Scrapbook of Ohio
Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band, The
Society, retrieved September 30, 2007
^ "Joint Resolution to recognize the
Shawnee Nation United Remnant
Band" as adopted by the [Ohio] Senate, 113th General Assembly, Regular
Session, Am. Sub. H.J.R. No. 8, 1979–1980
^ Kara Briggs, "Link Wray's Native roots, family were the power source
behind his chords" American Indian News Service
Library resources about
Resources in your library
Resources in other libraries
Callender, Charles. "Shawnee", in Northeast: Handbook of North
American Indians, vol. 15, ed. Bruce Trigger. Washington, D.C.:
Smithsonian Institution, 1978. ISBN 0-16-072300-0
Clifton, James A. Star Woman and Other
Shawnee Tales. Lanham, MD:
University Press of America, 1984. ISBN 0-8191-3712-X;
ISBN 0-8191-3713-8 (pbk.)
Edmunds, R. David. The
Shawnee Prophet. Lincoln, Nebraska: University
of Nebraska Press, 1983. ISBN 0-8032-1850-8.
Edmunds, R. David.
Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership.
Originally published 1984. 2nd edition, New York: Pearson Longman,
2006. ISBN 0-321-04371-5
Edmunds, R. David. "Forgotten Allies: The Loyal Shawnees and the War
of 1812" in David Curtis Skaggs and Larry L. Nelson, eds., The Sixty
Years' War for the Great Lakes, 1754–1814, pp. 337–51. East
Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2001.
Langguth, A. J. (2006). Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought the
Second War of Independence. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Howard, James H. Shawnee!: The Ceremonialism of a Native Indian Tribe
and its Cultural Background. Athens, Ohio:
Ohio University Press,
1981. ISBN 0-8214-0417-2; ISBN 0-8214-0614-0 (pbk.)
Lakomäki, Sami. Gathering Together: The
Shawnee People through
Diaspora and Nationhood, 1600-1870. New Haven, CT: Yale University
O'Donnell, James H. Ohio's First Peoples. Athens, Ohio: Ohio
University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-8214-1525-5 (paperback),
ISBN 0-8214-1524-7 (hardcover).
Sugden, John. Tecumseh: A Life. New York: Holt, 1997.
ISBN 0-8050-4138-9 (hardcover); ISBN 0-8050-6121-5 (1999
Sugden, John. Blue Jacket: Warrior of the Shawnees. Lincoln and
London: University of Nebraska Press, 2000. ISBN 0-8032-4288-3.
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