In 2008, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma started to build a relationship with the Ohio Historical Society in an effort to learn more about the history of the Eastern Shawnee. The Eastern Shawnee were force marched out of Ohio to Oklahoma, beginning in the 1830s. Eastern Shawnee Chief Glenna Wallace was eager to learn more about the people of her tribe.
Now those good relations are paying off, as the Ohio Historical Society is lending the Oklahoma tribe a very special piece of tribal history.
The most noted chief of the entire tribe, Chief Tecumseh, was killed in the War of 1812. One of two pipes that Tecumseh left to officials in Ohio is coming to Oklahoma for a year-long stay.
Dr. Sharon Dean, director of museum and library services, brought the pipe to Oklahoma yesterday and will be putting it in an exhibit at the Indigo Sky Hotel, located on Highway 60, near the Oklahoma/Missouri state line.
Chief Wallace said she was thrilled to see the pipe.
"I had hoped to see it one time in my lifetime — maybe two times in Ohio — but I never imagined I would see it in Oklahoma," she said.
The pipe was given to Ohio Gov. Thomas Worthington in 1807. It remained with Gov. Worthington's estate and eventually was given to the people of Ohio in the 1930s.
The pipe is about 16 inches long and is made of wood and metal. It is normally displayed at Adena Mansion which was Gov. Worthington's home. When the mansion was given to the state, the pipe was included.
This is the first time the pipe has left the state of Ohio.
The Eastern Shawnee will hold an installation ceremony at 9:30 a.m. today which will include the unveiling of the pipe for public display. The public is invited to the ceremony which will be in the lobby of the Indigo Sky Hotel.
A Native American Arts Bazaar and Sale will also be held at the hotel, featuring several Native American artists. The bazaar will have handcrafted items such as paintings, pottery, sewing creation and Native American arts and crafts.
Chief Wallace considers this an historic event.
"We believe in the seventh generation and we, today, are the seventh generation,” she said. “Tecumseh said that the '…seventh generation shall bring my people back.' So I am happy to bring his pipe to Oklahoma in the seventh generation."