The origin and early history of the Piankashaw Indians is obscure. They are one of several Algonquian-speaking "Miami" groups mentioned in the 17th and 18th centuries which persisted into the l9th century and lived in the western Great Lakes area, moving from place to place generally within the area today included in southern Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, southern Michigan and western Ohio. From time to time some Miami groups also lived west of the Mississippi River. The "Miami" groups mentioned in the early historical sources on the middle west are the Atchatchakangouens, Kilaticas, Mengakokias, Pepikokias, Piankasbaws, and Weas. Occasionally the early French sources mention the Piankashaws and others of these groups separately. More often, however, the term "Miami" was used to designate all, any several, or any one of these bands, rather than just the specific group -- the Atchatchakangouen or Crane band -- which was often meant by the term in later historic times. This imprecise usage of "Miami" has continued to the present day. The early history of the Piankashaws, then, is generally embraced in the early history of the "Miamis," and has not been discussed specifically in this Report. The occasional early references to Piankashaws are cited below; fuller documentation for the group becomes possible only after it established a village on the
Vermilion River of Indiana during the third decade of the 18th century.
to Early References to Piankashaw Locations (1682-ca. 1708]
[return to Dockett 99 Table of Contents]
[return to Ohio Valley-Great Lakes Ethnohistory Archive Menu]
[return to Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology List of Publications]
[return to Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology Home]