Shawnee Indians

The Shawnee Indians liked to move around a lot, mostly trying toavoid conflict with the colonists as well as marauding Indians from other tribes. The Shawnee originally came from what is now known as Ohio. However thanks to those colonists and opposing Indian tribes, the Shawnee could have been found as far away as New York. For the most part, many settled into what is now the state of Oklahoma.

Before the onslaught of colonists, the Shawnee Indians had numbers of over 10,000 people. After the War of 1812 and after many conflicts, the number of Shawnee Indians dwindled to only about 3,500 people. Diseases like the flu and scarlet fever that settlers from Europe brought also decimated the population. Today, almost 15,000 Shawnee Indians live in the United States.

Because the Shawnee Indians moved around, they did not live in the more permanent shelters. Rather, they lived in round wigwams which were reminiscent to what we would call igloos. But instead of being made from ice, these wigwams were made from sheets of tree bark, tree saplings (which helped form the framework), cattails, thick brush grass and other natural materials.

In their everyday lives, the Shawnee Indians had no elaborate clothing or the stereotypical feathered headdress. Rather, they wore what other Indians wore – long skirts for the ladies and breechcloths to pants for the men. Except for battle, the Shawnee kept their hair long. They wore face paint and moccasins. For their sustenance, the Shawnee Indians farmed the land. The female Shawnee harvested corn as their main crop as well as other things like squash. The male Shawnee Indians did the hunting and fishing.

The Shawnee Indians did not, for the most part, have a warrior-like existence. While this is true, they did their share of fighting to protect their families, the land and way of life. These Indians were also proud of their heritage and used storytelling as a way to pass along the history and stories of their ancestors.

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