The Miami (Miami- Illinois: Myaamiaki) are a Native American nation originally speaking one of the Algonquian languages. Among the peoples known as the Great Lakes tribes, it occupied territory that is now identified as North -central Indiana, southwest Michigan, and western Ohio.
Portrait of Mi-A-Qu-A, a Miami chief. The Miami natives originally lived in Indiana, Illinois, and southern Michigan at the time of European colonization of North America. They moved into the Maumee Valley around 1700. They soon became the most powerful American Indian tribe in Ohio.
They lived in oval-shaped houses made of woven reeds, also called wigwams. Wooden sticks were wrapped around them for support. The tightly wrapped reeds made for a good, waterproof roof. There would be many of these houses in a village.
The Miami Tribe people were farmers. They grew food crops which included beans, corn and squash. The Miami Tribesmen were expert hunters and they mostly hunted wild buffaloes. They used fire to drive the buffalo towards the hunters.
The Illinois spoke a language in the Algonquian language family called ” Miami-Illinois.” Miami and Illinois peoples could easily understand one another. The only differences in their speech were different ways of pronouncing certain words.
Miami is named after the Mayaimi, a Native American tribe that lived around Lake Okeechobee until the 17th or 18th century. The Miami area was better known as “Biscayne Bay Country” in the early years of its growth.
What kinds of clothing did Myaamia ( Miami Indian ) people wear prior to contact with Europeans? In the period of time prior to contact with Europeans, Myaamia people wore clothing made from hides: leggings, breechcloth, moccasins, skirts, shirts, and added large blanket robes during colder weather.
Also known as the Prairie Algonquians, the Miami Indian tribe got their name from the Ojibwa word, oumamik, which means “people of the peninsula.” They liked to hunt buffalo on the open prairies, which is another way they got their name.
Government and programs. The headquarters of the Miami Tribe are based in Miami, Oklahoma. Of the 3,908 enrolled tribal members, 775 live in the state of Oklahoma.
Wigwams are made of wooden frames which are covered with woven mats and sheets of birchbark. The frame can be shaped like a dome, like a cone, or like a rectangle with an arched roof. Once the birchbark is in place, ropes or strips of wood are wrapped around the wigwam to hold the bark in place.