Shawnee Tribe Guide

Important Cultural Practices of the Piqua Shawnee Tribes


The Piqua Shawnee peoples, just like any other traditional tribe in the world, had traditional customs and practices. The customs had various objectives such as to unite the family, facilitate rites of passage as well as preserve history. Some of their practices are discussed below.


Social Organization


The Piqua Shawnee Tribe was subdivided into five villages which include the Piqua, Hathawekela, Kispogogi, Chillicothe and the Mequachake. The village was the most important social unit in the clan. The clan had a paternal system with children assigned names after totems. The villages were independent enough to make their own economic and political decisions


Arts And Crafts


The Piqua Shawnee tribes were highly artistic people who were well known for their artifacts used for decorative as well as functional purposes. Their various works of art included pottery and ceramics, baskets, paintings, totem poles amongst several others. They were used for domestic chores, religious purposes, adornment for their clothes and also charms for protection from evil spirits. The objects were created to represent and evoke various emotions such as respect and honor, happiness and joy and sometimes sorrow and sadness in those using them


Wedding and Marriage


The marriage ceremony was also ritualistic. The bride was supposed to clothe herself in a white dress made from deer or elk hide, accompanied with white moccasins. The grooms dressing consisted of black pants and moccasins with a reddish brown ribbon shirt. They would then walk to the center of the council area that contained the sacred fire, accompanied by their relatives and friends as well. This is where their holy man blessed their marriage. The newlyweds would then exchange baskets that represented their promise to each other, after which they would be prayed for and blessed.


Games and Entertainment


The Shawnees, as well as the other South-eastern tribes, played stick ball. The game makes use of ball sticks made from hickory by hand and a small ball constructed from deer hide and hair. The ball, once tossed into the air by the medicine man, was then passed to and fro, the men women using hands while the men had the pair of sticks. The objective of the game was to strike a 25-feet tall pole to gain points. They also practiced the famous stomp dance. The dance held spiritual significance for the members of the community. It is held on a ground regarded as sacred where a fire is lit in a pit dug in the middle of the ground. The dancers then circle the fire in an anticlockwise direction as they slowly stamp their feet to the rhythm from the women's shell shakers. Read more about Shawnee tribes at