Algonquian-speaking North American Indian people from the central Ohio River valley. Closely related in language and culture to the Fox, Kickapoo, and Sauk, the Shawnee were also influenced by the Seneca and Delaware. Traditionally the Shawnee lived in bark-covered houses grouped into large villages near cornfields. Women farmed and the primary male occupation was hunting. In winter the village broke into small patrilineal family groups, which moved to dispersed hunting camps. In the 17th century the Shawnee were driven from their home by the Iroquois and scattered into widely separated areas. After 1725 the Shawnee reunited in Ohio. Following their defeat by Gen. Anthony Wayne (1794), they broke into three independent branches that eventually settled in Oklahoma. Early 21st-century population estimates indicated some 12,000 individuals of Shawnee descent. See also Tecumseh.
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