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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Wayne in Allen County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Miami Legend of the Sandhill Crane

 
 
Miami Legend of the Sandhill Crane Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 30, 2008
1. Miami Legend of the Sandhill Crane Marker
Inscription. Long before settlers appeared on the scene, the American Indian people here used the sandhill crane as a symbol for their tribe. Early British and American officials referred to the people we know as Miami as “Twightwees” in various spellings such as the English “Twaatwaa”, “Tweeghtwees” or “Twicktwigs.” A legend about how the name became associated with Miamis extends deep into the early history of its people. It is said that the early Miamis were making war with the Cherokee, when on one occasion the Cherokee decided to counterattack. Carefully planning their tactics, the Cherokee tracked the Miamis to an open prairie where they observed two sandhill cranes. Driving the cranes ahead toward the Miami, the large birds called out “twau, twau, twau,” and took to the air in a great rush. At this, the Miami turned their attack on the ambushing enemy. A survivor of the Cherokee war party made it back to his village and reported that his companinons had been defeated by the “Twau Twaus” who could fly and were impossible to defeat. From that time, the Miamis who took their name from the Twau Twau or Twightwees held the sandhill crane as a special totem at the confluence of the rivers. Americans eventually adopted the spelling from the French, but changed the pronunciation
Great Meadow in Headwaters Park image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 30, 2008
2. Great Meadow in Headwaters Park
Several markers along path circling the Great Meadow, looking south with downtown Fort Wayne in background.
to “Miami” whose tribal symbol is tshe tsha kwan, or sandhill crane
 
Erected by City of Fort Wayne and Superior Essex.
 
Location. 41° 5.121′ N, 85° 8.3′ W. Marker is in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in Allen County. Click for map. Marker is one of a series that ring the Great Meadow in Headwaters Park, 333 S. Clinton Street. This marker is about 100 feet west of the footbridge over the Saint Mary's River leading to the reconstructed Old Fort. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Wayne IN 46802, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Fur Traders and the Military at Fort Wayne (within shouting distance of this marker); Little Turtle (within shouting distance of this marker); First Americans (within shouting distance of this marker); The Wabash & Erie Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); Headwaters Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Effort To Build A Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Earliest Railroad (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Floods (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Wayne.
 
Also see . . .  Miami Tribe from Wikipedia. (Submitted on March 17, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. AnimalsNative AmericansWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 2,605 times since then and 157 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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