Shawnee Indian Divisions

    The Shawnee have 5 divisions, which may be regarded as phratries, or perhaps
as originally distinct tribes, and the members of these divisions occupied different sides of the council house in their public assemblies. Their names are
Chilahcahtha (Chillicothe)
Kispokotha (Kispogogi)
Spitotha (Mequachake?)
Bicowetha (Piqua)
Assiwikale (Hathawekela)
     The villages of the tribe have generally taken their names from these divisions. The Woketamosi division mentioned by Heckewelder is probably one of these, but is not the Piqua.
     According to Morgan (Anc. Soc., 168, 1877) the Shawnee have 13 clans, as follows:

M’-wa-wä’, wolf;
Ma-gwä’, loon;
M’-kwä’, bear;
We-wä’-see, buzzard;
M’-se’-pa-se, panther;
M’-ath-wa’, owl;
Pa-la-wä’, turkey;
Psake-the’, deer;
Sha-pä-ta’, raccoon;
Na-ma-thä’, turtle;
Ma-na-to’, snake;
Pe-sa-wä’, horse;
Pä-täke-e-no-the’, rabbit.

     The Turtle clan occupies an important place in their mythological traditions. At a conference in 1793 the Shawnee signed with the snake totem.
     The early estimates of the numbers of the Shawnee are only partial, owing to the fact that the tribe was not united. The highest estimate given is that of 1817, which places them at 2,000 souls. Others are 1,750 (1732); 1,000 (1736); 1,500 (1759, 1765, 1778, 1783, 1794, 1812); 1,900 on Auglaize river (1794); 1,600 (1812 one-half in Missouri). In 1909 the Eastern Shawnee numbered 107; the Absentee Shawnee 481; and those incorporated with the Cherokee Nation about 800, making, with a few individuals, resident Cherokee, a present total of about 1,400 for the tribe, a considerable decrease in the last twenty years.

The books presented are for their historical value only and are not the opinions of the Webmasters of the site.   Handbook of American Indians, 1906

Index of Tribes or Nations


Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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