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About the Shawnee

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The following text has been moved from the profile of Jacob Castle. Since it is generally about the Shawnee and not specific to Jacob, it has been removed from his profile.

About the Shawnee

The name Shawnee means "southerner". It was said that the Shawnee, a large and united tribe were on of the early historic groups of southern Indiana, but this has been questioned due to conflicting reports. The Shawnee considered the Delaware the "grandfathers" of the Shawnee tribe and the source for all the Algonquin tribes. Shawnee comes from the Algonquin word "shawun" (shawunogi) meaning "southerner." However, this referred to their original location in the Ohio Valley relative to other Great Lakes Algonquin rather than a homeland in the American southeast. Shawnee usually prefer to call themselves the Shawano - sometimes given as Shawanoe or Shawanese. South Carolina colonists knew them as the Savannah or Savannuca. Other names: Ani-Sawanugi (Cherokee), Chaouanons (Chauenon) (French), Chaskpe (Chaouesnon) (French), Chiouanon (Seneca), Cumberland Indians, Ontwagnnn (Iroquois "one who stutters"), Oshawanoag (Ottawa), Satana (Iroquois), Shawala (Lakota), and Touguenha (Iroquois). More about the history of the Shawnee.

Pekowi (Bicowetha or Pequa) was the name of one of the five divisions (or bands) of the Shawnee, a Native American people, during the 18th century. The other four divisions were the Chalahgawtha, Mekoche, Kispoko, and Hathawekela. Together these divisions formed the loose confederacy that was the Shawnee tribe.

All five Shawnee division names have been spelled in a great variety of ways. Variations of the name "Pekowi" are reflected in many place names in the United States, including Piqua, Pickawillany, Pickaway, and Pequea.

The Shawnee were living in northwestern Indiana by 1788, but some bands of the tribe roamed around Indiana and in April of that same year, Kakinathucca’s band were hunting and making sugar in the southwestern part of Indiana. When the sugar making was done they the moved toward Vincennes, near where the Ohio and White Rivers meet and here the women of the tribe planted their crops. The men of the tribe were warriors and the care of the crops was the responsibilities of the women. Many of the tribal ceremonies were centered around the agricultural cycle. In the spring when it was time to plant they performed the corn dance. When the crops were ripe they did the Green Corn Dance and at harvest time it was the Autumn Bread Dance to celebrate the harvest. When the harvest was done the band moved again, north toward Fort Wayne. It was in the village near the White River where the Shawnee "Prophet" had his vision and he and his brother started their campaign among the central woodland tribes for the tribes return to the native way of life. The Prophet gained many followers but only a few Shawnee supported his ideas.

The Shawnee were divided into five divisions, the Pekowi, Chalakatha, the Theawikila, Kispola, and Miskohe. Each division had their own war chief, peace chief, woman chief, messenger and sacred bundle.

The Chalakatha and the Pekowi had established villages in Indiana and TECUMSEH and his brother the Prophet belonged by birth to the Kishpolo division.

The tribal chiefs were chosen from either the Chalakatha or the Thawikila divisions. Each division was divided into a number of patrilineal or gens groups. An individual’s name referred directly to some the animal or a characteristic of the animal that the gen took their name.

Live your life quote

Supposedly associated with Tecumseh.[citation needed]

"So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home."[citation needed]


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