Tribes of Native America

The Shawnee Nation
By: Allison L. and Renee I.

General Overview: The Shawnee Indians lived in Southern Ohio, West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania. They were driven from this area by the Iroquois around the 1660's. Then they were scattered to South Carolina, Tennessee's Cumberland Basin, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Southern Illinois. Then they returned to their homeland and were driven out again but this time by the American settlement. Their population was from 3,000 to 50,000 but they were mostly guessed to be around 10,000.

Food: They cooked food by drying, baking, boiling, and roasting over a fire. The Shawnee ate deer, bear, bison meat, raccoon, rabbit, squirrel, muskrat, woodchuck, turkey, duck, geese, grouse, partridge, seagulls, snakes, and eels. If they had to, they would also eat pigeon. From farming they would raise maize, beans, squashes, pumpkins, melons, and wild fruit like berries and nuts. Corn meal, corn fritters, and bread were made by grinding corn between two rocks until it turned into flour. They grew sunflower for the seeds, rice, vanilla pods and some near the ocean ate lobsters, clams, and oysters.


Clothing: At first, they didn't wear any clothes. Then the man wore a loincloth.  They had very simple clothing compared to many tribes. Their outfit often changed because of them trading with the whites. The women saved clothes for a special occasion. For shoes, they wore moccasins in the summer and snowshoes in the winter. Men wore leggings and breechcloths usually down to their knees. Also in the winter they added caps of fur and skins and when really cold, they wore robes. Braves wore bandanas with feathers in them from a hawk or an owl.


Shelter: They had three main houses, wigwams, lodges, and Seminoles. Seminoles were used in the summer or when it was hot out. Wigwams and lodges were used anytime. Wigwams were round and small. Lodges, rectangular and made of bark, sticks, and wood. The village had a wall around it so that other tribes and animals couldn't get in.


     The men of the tribe enjoyed hunting. They were usually followed by long and friendly talks around the campfire. During this the women and children sat quietly and listened to the conversation.

     The Creator is the shawnee's god. She
lives in the sky. She is an old woman with
gray hair and brown eyes. She has a dog and a grandson named cloudy boy. Few
people still believe in the Shawnee's religion.

     Shawnee artists made really simple drawings with out much details like birds, people, and everything that has to do with nature. They made bark canoes and log dugouts, burrow bowls, war clubs, prayer sticks, bone fetishes, and scrimshawed power horns. They made many tools out of bark materials, such as tree bark. A lot of trading was going on with the Europeans, but not much traditional culture is left because of it. Artists made containers out of clay and masks out of wood. They made abstract of humans, animals, birds, trees, mountains, and many other things. Husk masks were made of hay and clay. Rattles were made of turtle shells, water drums were made of skin, and beaters out of sticks. The color of the water drums were from fruit.

Family Life: 
     The Shawnee men were hunters and warriors. The women in the family did the domestic labor. They built lodges, dressed the game, cooked, planted and cultivated the gardens, scraped and tinned hides, made clothes and blankets, wove baskets, and made vessels of clay. They also cared for the ailment within the tribe, and extremely skillful and mixing herbs and setting fractured bones. 
     The children grew up like animals, wild and free. Their elders encouraged the boys to engage in sports like running and swimming. They also wanted to practice archery. Young girls busied themselves imitating their mothers.

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