Many of the nomadic Shawnee tribe lived in Wigwams, aka wetus or wikkums, which are also known as birchbark houses. This type of temporary shelter was used by Algonquian speaking Native Indian tribes who lived in the woodland regions.
The traditional Shawnee home was a wigwam, not a tepee. These were round houses made of wooden frames covered with birchbark and woven mats. They could be shaped like domes, cones, or rectangles. Traditional Shawnee clothing included skirts and leggings for women, and breechcloths and leggings for men.
Today three federally recognized Shawnee tribes, made up of descendants of different historical and kinship groups, are all headquartered in Oklahoma: the Absentee- Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, and Shawnee Tribe.
During the summer the Shawnee lived in bark-covered houses. Their large villages were located near the fields in which women cultivated corn (maize) and other vegetables. The primary male occupation was hunting. In winter village residents dispersed to family hunting camps.
The word Shawnee comes from the Algonquian word ‘shawun’ which means southerner. Other interpretations of the word suggest it might mean “those who have silver”. The Iroquois called them the Ontoagannha, which meant People of Unintelligible Speech according to Allan Eckert in his book “That Dark and Bloody River.”
Religion – The Shawnee. Like many indian tribes, the Shawnee worshipped the Great Spirit. The Great Spirit had two deities under it. The one referred to as “Grandmother” was in charge of indian affairs.
“Originally there were five clans ‘ composing the Shawnee tribe, including the two principal clans, Tha-we-gi-la and Cha-lah-kaw-tha, from one of which came the national or principal chief.
The Shawnee language is a Central Algonquian language spoken in parts of central and northeastern Oklahoma by the Shawnee people. It was originally spoken in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. It is closely related to other Algonquian languages, such as Mesquakie-Sauk (Sac and Fox) and Kickapoo.
Shawnee Words ko’tha-father. neegah-mother (nikya-my mother) Nikitakwelemele- I love you. neahw/niyaawe- thank you. hatito-Hello. thétha(?)-brother. Neeme Waapa Nepi Kweewa(?)- my beautiful perfect wife.
In the growing season they settled in rather large villages where they raised crops of corn, squash, and beans. The tribe carried on extensive trade in animal skins and salt; production of the latter was a major industry for the Shawnees, who extracted the mineral from the many salt springs in Kentucky.
Shawnee as a girl’s name is of Native American origin means “southern people”. It is the name of the tribe that came from the eastern American forests and migrated westward. There is a town in Kansas named Shawnee Mission.