Kispoko (also spelled Kiscopocoke, Kispokotha, Spitotha) is the name of one of the five divisions (or septs) of the Shawnee, a Native American people. The Kispoko were the smallest of the five septs or divisions during the 18th century. They lived among the Creek as early as 1650, having been driven from their Ohio country homeland by the Iroquois Confederacy during the Beaver Wars. They returned about 1759. The other four divisions were the Chalahgawtha, Mekoche, Pekowi, and Hathawekela. (Each of the five division names have been spelled in a great variety of ways.) Together these divisions formed the loose confederacy that was the Shawnee tribe. The septs tended to serve different functions for the overall confederacy.
Traditionally, the Shawnee had a patrilineal system, by which descent and inheritance went through paternal lines. The war chiefs were hereditary and descended from their paternal line in the Kispoko division.
While historians have held that most of this sept relocated west of the Mississippi River in the 19th century, in the 20th and 21st centuries, two groups have organized and identified as Kispoko of the Shawnee; they are documented in Ohio and Indiana. Neither has any official recognition by respective state or federal governments.
Kispoko in Ohio
The Shawnee village of Peckuwe, which was located at 39° 54.5′ N, 83° 54.68′ W, near Springfield, Ohio was home to the Peckuwe and Kispoko divisions of the Shawnee Tribe until the Battle of Piqua, August 8, 1780, when they were defeated by European-American colonists. The Piqua Sept of Ohio Shawnee Tribe have placed a traditional cedar pole in commemoration, located "on the southern edge of the George Rogers Clark Historical Park, in the lowlands in front of the park's 'Hertzler House.'" Another Shawnee settlement in Ohio was called "Kispoko Town."
"Kispoko Town" was situated on the east bank of the [Scioto] river, across from the Pickaway Plains about midway between present day Circleville and Chillicothe. This town was peopled by the Chalahgawatha sept of the Shawnee tribe, one of five divisions making up the Shawnee Nation. The principal Chiefs of this area were the legendary Chief Cornstalk (Hokolewqua) and his tall sister, Grenadier Squaw (Non-hel-e-ma), who stood at six and a half feet tall.
21st-century Kispoko Shawnee
A Kispoko Sept of Ohio Shawnee (Hog Creek Reservation) was listed as residing in Cridersville, Ohio as of 2013, according to the 500 Nations website. But, an 1880 source states that the Shawnee, including those formerly living in the Hog Creek Reservation (present-day Shawnee Township), were removed to eastern Kansas in 1832, receiving payment of $30,000 in fifteen annual installments for their lands, which had an estimated value of over $200,000 at that time. An 1832 census lists the names of individuals from the Hog Creek Band who moved to Kansas.
- Lee Sulzman. "Shawnee History". First Nations Histories. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- John E. Kleber (18 May 1992). The Kentucky Encyclopedia. University Press of Kentucky. p. 815. ISBN 978-0-8131-2883-2. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- "Peckuwe Shawnee Memorial Marker". HNdb.org, The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- Mark Howes. "Stage's Pond Local Lore". Stage's Pond State Nature Preserve. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- "Ohio Tribes". 500 Nations. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- Harrison, R. H. (1880). Atlas of Allen County, Ohio from Records and Original Surveys, Philadelphia: R.H. Harrison. pp. 19.
- Roy, Jerry C. “A Shawnee Muster Roll: 334 Ohio of the Wapakoneta and Hog Creek Bands Emigrating to Kansas in 1832.” (929/J63/v. 7/no. 2/p. 38). From: "American Indians in Kansas: a bibliography - Kansas Historical Society". Retrieved 2013-02-17. "Provides census by individual tribes and names, in 1832. Interesting, with an excellent bibliography."
- "First director hired for Purdue's new Native American Educational and Cultural Center". Purdue University. 2007-08-23. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- Susan O'Leary (2008-01-06). "Tribal groups call Indiana home: Commission spreading word on American Indian presence, needs". nwi.com (Munster, Indiana). Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- "Native American Tribes of Indiana". Retrieved 2013-02-17.
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- "Shawnee". Four Directions Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-17.