The Social, Economic and Political Activities of Piqua Shawnee Tribe


The Shawnee people are among the Shawnee Native American tribes residing in Oklahoma, U. S. The word ‘Shawnee’ comes from the word ‘shawanwa’ which refers to the ‘southerner.’ Originally, the Shawnee people were hunters and farmers who migrated from western Pennsylvania and Ohio to America’s southeast and northeast due to the Indian Removal Act in 1830. However, in 1831, they first settled in Kansas until 1861 where they merged with the Cherokee tribe in Oklahoma as a result of being forced to move out by the Kansas people. But later they sought their independence in 1980 where the Shawnee Tribe Status Act of 2000 recognized them as a centralized tribe.

Because the Piqua Shawnee people moved a lot, they made temporary homes out of tents and birch bark houses which had a dome, rectangle or cone shapes. The climate dictated their clothing like, during warm seasons, the men wore breechcloths and leggings while the women wore skirts and legging. In cold seasons, both men and women wore fringed tunics, shirts or leggings, warm robes, and cloaks. Also, through trade, they could acquire the clothes worn by the white settlers. Moreover, the Piqua Shawnee men had a unique clothing style since they only wore clothes made of cotton or calico.

The Shawnee people maintained their long hair, except during wars when they had to cut their hair short. However, some Shawnee people would sport a Mohawk. More so, they face painted and wore moccasins.

Their economic activities included farming, hunting, and fishing. Corn was the main crop that the Shawnee people planted. The women were responsible for harvesting and squashing the corn while the men were busy hunting and fishing.

Further to that, the Shawnee people were good at arts and crafts as they made wood carvings, pottery, and beadwork. Although the Piqua Shawnee tribe made spears, bows, and arrows, they did not have a warrior-like way of life, but they would use these tools to protect their families, land, and culture. What’s more, the Shawnee used word of mouth to pass their way of life from one generation to another.

As it is with other Indian Nation, the Shawnee tribe had two chiefs- the peace chief and the war chief. The role of the peace chief was to resolve domestic problems while the war chief would lead other members to wars. The peace chief position was inherited while the post of the war chief was an earned position.

In addition to that, they were two female chiefs. The first was a female peace chief who would supervise the planting of vegetable foods and also prepare for feasts while the second female war chief was in charge of preparing meat. Know more about Shawnee tribe at


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