The History and Culture of the Piqua Shawnee Tribe

The Shawnee are an Algonquian speaking tribe that is native to North America. They were a semi-nomadic group during the colonial times who made movements across North America in search of food and better living conditions. According to historians, the group were first found living in some areas of the Ohio Valley and extended from Ohio and Kentucky into present day Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. They were also located in Alabama and South Carolina while others were found to have lived in Illinois and Indiana.

When the European colonialists came to America, they pushed the Shawnee to Missouri and Kansas. Some of them moved to Oklahoma, which was an Indian territory situated west of the Mississippi river. The civil war caused further migration with more Shawnee tribe members moving to Oklahoma. The most recognized tribes were the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe, Eastern Piqua Shawnee Tribe, and the Shawnee Tribe, with both of them living in Oklahoma by the end of the civil war.

The main language spoken by the Shawnee is Algonquian. As of 2002, about 200 people were said to be native Americans who spoke the language. Among those include 12 Loyal Shawnee speakers and 100 Absentee Shawnee. Algonquian is written in Latin and has a dictionary. Some portions of the bible were also translated into Shawnee.

According to some scholars, the Piqua Shawnee are descendants of the precontact Fort Ancient Culture which existed in the Ohio region. However, this link isn't universally accepted and there is little evidence to support it. The Fort Ancient culture existed between 1000 and 1650 CE and was practiced among people who lived in the lands along Ohio river and in some areas of Southern Ohio. They were also found in West Virginia and Northern Kentucky. In some studies, Scholars also believe that the Fort Ancient culture is an extension of the Mississippian culture.

Like other Native Indian American tribes, the Shawnee have struggled to have their history and tradition remembered and honored. They have since been recognized by the states with the most notable being the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission which was passed under the Davis-Strong Act in an honorary way. It was later adopted in 1991, which is the same year it was also adopted in Kentucky. Although some of these tribes have been recognized, there are still over 20 groups that claim to be descendants of the Shawnee yet they aren't officially recognized in the laws of their states or the country. Check out this website at to know more about Shawnee tribes.