A further corrupted form of Ojibwa, a term for a large Great Lakes Native American tribe known to itself as the Anishnabwe.

The name Chippewa evolved from the tribe's heavy contact with French traders and missionaries, who used the Algonquin word otchipwa (to pucker) in reference to the tribe's unique style of moccasins.

The tribes were primarily hunter-gatherers, expert trappers, and comprised of patrilineal clans.

Federally recognized branches of this tribe are found in Canada, as well as in Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and Wisconsin in the United States.

Anishinabe can roughly be translated from the following:

  • ani - from
  • nishi - before
  • abe - man
These literal terms are often translated as first man or the original people.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem The Song of Hiawatha is based on Chippewa stories, although the title comes from the language of a rival tribe.


References:
Much more information about the Chippewa can be found in the following books and Internet sites:

  1. Mooney, James and Thomas, Cyrus. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, Webb Hodge, Frederick, ed. (Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 30). GPO: 1910.
  2. http://www.turtle-island.com/home.shtml

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