Last modified: 2010-11-06 by rick wyatt
Keywords: eastern shawnee | oklahoma | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 4 January 2008
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Eastern Shawnee - Oklahoma
The ancient homelands of the Shawnee Nation covered an area that today incorporates the states of Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The Shawnee people were nomadic, and some attribute to their constant movement their merging of distinctive Native American beliefs, ceremonies, crafts, and lifestyles as they interacted with other tribes and bands.
The Shawnee gave Native Americans one of their greatest leaders, Tecumseh. A man of compassion and wisdom, Tecumseh was a brilliant military strategist. Tecumseh sided with the British against the Americans in the War of 1812 in the hope of securing a true Nation for the Indians west of the Appalachians. Under the leadership of Tecumseh the fort at Detroit fell to the British. But when an advancing American army forced the British to flee to Canada, the Americans' superiority in numbers and weaponry sealed the fate of Tecumseh's forces and led to his death in 1813.
Today the Eastern Shawnee have a historic tribal area of just over 1,000 acres in Oklahoma. Despite the small size of their landholdings, the Shawnee continue to prosper through a mix of old and new ways.
© Donald Healy 2008
The flag of the Eastern Shawnee is red, bearing their tribal emblem in the center (Annin & Co.). The emblem is encircled by "EASTERN SHAWNEE TRIBE OF OKLAHOMA" in black. The emblem consists of a light blue disk representing a warrior's shield. Across the center of the shield appears an Indian spear. Above it is a black panther, a rare variation of the now nearly-extinct Florida panther or cougar, which once roamed the old lands of the Shawnee. The panther was respected for its ingenuity and ferocity. On the seal it also represents the great Tecumseh, whose name in Shawnee means "panther". Below the spear is a swan - a graceful, majestic bird epitomizing tranquility, peace, and beauty. These two animal totems represent attributes desired by the Shawnee people.
Four eagle feathers hang from the round shield, denoting the prime directions of the compass. This use of four feathers is a recent modification to the flag. The flag formerly bore five feathers, one for each of the five ancient clans of the Shawnee when they lived around the Ohio River.
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 4 January 2008
The image at eighttribes.org/flags/eshawnee.jpg (no longer active) shows the flag without lettering, and the background is white, not (light) blue.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 4 January 2008