Besides hunting and trapping buffalo, the Miami’s also farmed a great amount of white corn, in which they would trade with other tribes during the 18th century. They would also trade with the French and English between the borders of Ohio and Illinois.
The Miami obtained most of their food by farming. Their most important crop was corn (maize), but they also grew melons, squash, beans, and pumpkins. After the harvest they left their villages to go on their annual buffalo (bison) hunt on the prairie.
The US government has recognized the what is now the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma as the official tribal government since 1846. In the 20th Century, the Indiana-based Miami unsuccessfully sought separate federal recognition. Today the Oklahoma-based Miami tribe has about 5,600 enrolled members.
Miami is 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 Indiana, southwest Michigan, and western Ohio.
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.
Miami religion centered around Individual and group attempts to gain power from spirits known as manitous. The Miami believed that manitous roamed the world and could take the form of humans, animals, and Perhaps even plants or nuts.
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 Miamis didn’t live in tepees. They lived in villages of small oval houses with walls made of woven reeds. Each Miami village also had a larger wooden council house. Today, Native Americans only build a reed house for fun or to connect with their heritage, not for shelter.
Albert Hood of Oklahoma City wants to know the correct pronunciation of ” Miami.” Albert says he’s heard that the original pronunciation of the tribal name was “My-AH-ma.” “But usually we hear “My-AH-Mee,” he said.
The word Miami is related to the word Myaamia. Myaamia means “downstream person” though we often translate it into the plural “people.” In the distant past, this was a term that other indigenous peoples applied to us, but over time we began to use it for ourselves.
Little Turtle, (born c. 1752, near Fort Wayne, Indiana—died July 14, 1812, Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S. ), American Indian, chief of the Miami, who achieved fame during the turbulent period when the U.S. Congress launched a punitive campaign against the Indians who were raiding settlers in the Northwest Territory.
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.