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Miami Indian Bands and Gentes

The French authors commonly divided the Miami into six bands:

  1. Piankashaw,
  2. Wea,
  3. Atchatchakangouen,
  4. Kilatika,
  5. Mengakonkia
  6. Pepicokia.

Of these the first two have come to be recognized, as distinct tribes; the other names are no longer known. The Pepicokia, mentioned in 1796 with the Wea and Piankashaw, may have been absorbed by the a band known as Eel Rivers, formerly living near Thorntown, Boone county, Ind., but they afterward joined the main body on the Wabash.

According to Morgan1 the Miami have 10 gentes:

  1. Mowhawa(wolf),
  2. Mongwa (loon),
  3. Kendawa (eagle),
  4. Alipakosea (buzzard),
  5. Hanozawa (Kanwasowau, panther),
  6. I’ilawa (turkey),
  7. Ahseponna (raccoon),
  8. Monnato (snow),
  9. Kulswa (sun),
  10. Water.

Chauvignerie, in 1737, said that the Miami had two principal totems-the elk and crane-while some of them had the bear.

The French writers call the Atchatchakangouen (Crane) the leading division. At a great conference on the Maumee in Ohio in 1793 the Miami signed with the turtle totem. None of these totems occurs in Morgan’s list.


  1. Morgan, Anc. Soc., 168, 1877 

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