The History And Culture Of The Piqua Shawnee Tribe

The Shawnee people are an Algonquian speaking group indigenous to North America. In the colonial era, they were a semi-migratory nation mainly inhabiting areas of Ohio Valley and extended to other parts. Due to European-American pressure, the Shawnee migrated to Missouri and Oklahoma. There are some Shawnee people that did not move to Oklahoma until after the civil war. The population of Shawnee people was high, but it later declined due to various reasons. One of the causes of the decrease of population was the civil war. Diseases like flu and fever also contributed to the reduction in the population of Shawnee people.


The Piqua Shawnee People is one of the five total sub-nations. The others are Hathawekela, Chillicothe, Kispoko, and Mequachake. The Piqua Shawnee was named for a mythical evil man who came back from death to lead a group to walk in harmony with the inordinate spirit.  The man appeared to the group in the form of a cloud rising from the coals of the fire. The Piqua Shawnee tribe was enforced to scatter twice, and the first was by the Iroquois. The Shawnee have always sustained a significant sense of tribal identity. When it was summer, the Shawnee people assembled into large villages for meetings and religious ceremonies. In the fall, they divided to small hunting groups of extended families.


The fishing and hunting were primarily done by the men who were also warriors. Farming of corn was left for the women to do. Cooking and taking of the children was also done by the women. A majority of ceremonies that the Shawnee people carried were related to the agricultural cycle. For instance, the spring dance was during plant time, green corn dance when produce ripened and the autumn dance to rejoice the harvest. The Shawnee interacted with many other tribes because of their migratory nature. They at times traded with these tribes.  Know more about Shawnee tribes at


After the Indian war, a majority of the indigenous people were relocated in the Oklahoma territory. The Piqua Shawnee characterizes a small number of families that are interrelated that preserve the Shawnee heritage. They are scattered in various parts. The tribe has been officially recognized in some countries like Alabama and Kentucky. The tribe is governed by a tribal council. The Shawnee are known to make arts and crafts like pottery, beadwork and wood carving. The Shawnee also made wampum beads which were traded as currency and also culturally vital as an art material. The pictures and designs that were crafted on the wampum belts represented a story or a person's family.