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The traditional homelands of the Miami (my-am-ee) include an area to the south and west of Lake Michigan. The people were relocated to Oklahoma in the mid-1800s by the whites. Today the two main groups of Miami are in Oklahoma and in Indiana.
The Miami language is classified in the Central Algonkian linguistic group. The Miami and Illinois languages are very similar and only have minor dialectical differences. The Miami language has been considered dead since about 1965, but some Miami still have a limited vocabulary in the language.
Before European settlement, the Miami were a hunting and farming people. They grew crops such as maize, beans, melons, and tobacco. The people would also collect nuts and fruits from the forests and prairies. Their meat was usually deer or bison, but they also hunted small game. After planting crops in early June most of the village would leave on five week buffalo hunt, and during the winter the tribe would break up to hunt deer.
Most of the Miami had sold their land to American settlers by 1820, and were moved to reservations in Missouri. In 1846 the remaining Miami were forcibly moved to Kansas and then again to Oklahoma in the 1870s.
"Miami." Encyclopedia of the People of the World. 1993 Ed.
"Miami." Encyclopedia of World Culture: North America. 1991 Ed.
Indian Tribes of Oklahoma
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