Kekionga

Human settlement in Indiana, United States of America

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Coordinates: 41°5′19″N 85°7′26″W / 41.08861°N 85.12389°W / 41.08861; -85.12389

Kekionga (meaning "blackberry bush"),[1][2] also known as Kiskakon[3][4] or Pacan's Village,[5] was the capital of the Miami tribe. It was located at the confluence of the Saint Joseph and Saint Marys rivers to form the Maumee River on the western edge of the Great Black Swamp in present-day Indiana. Over their respective decades of influence from colonial times to after the American Revolution and Northwest Indian Wars, the French, British and Americans all established trading posts and forts at the large village, as it was located on an important portage connecting Lake Erie to the Wabash and Mississippi rivers. The European-American town of Fort Wayne, Indiana started as a settlement around the American Fort Wayne stockade after the War of 1812.

  1. ^ According to J. Dunn, Jr., the name "usually said to mean "blackberry patch," or "blackberry bush," this plant being considered an emblem of antiquity because it sprang up on the sites of old villages. This theory rests on the testimony of Barron, a longtime an old French trader on the Wabash. It is more probable that Kekioqa is a corruption or dialect form of Kiskakon, or Kikakon, which was the original name of the place." J. P. Dunn, INDIANA: A REDEMPTION FROM SLAVERY New York: HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY, 1888, 48, Note 1.
  2. ^ Michael McCafferty, an Algonquian and Uto-Aztecan linguist professor at Indiana University, exhaustively examined the etymology of 'Kekionga' and dismissed Dunn's explanation and several others. See the chapter "Trails to Kekionga" in the relevantly titled 'Native American Place Names of Indiana' (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2008), esp. p. 76.
  3. ^ Charles R. Poinsatte, Fort Wayne During the Canal Era 1828-1855, Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau, 1969, p. 1
  4. ^ Kiskakon, meaning "cut tail," was the principal tribe of the Odawa nation. At a very early time, they had a village on the Maumee River. Poinsatte, pg 23, fn 1
  5. ^ Andrew R. L. Cayton, Frontier Indiana (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996; ISBN 0-253-33048-3), 86.

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