Chippewa Indian Symbols Tattoo

Chippewa Tribe Tattoos

What is the difference between Chippewa, Ojibway, Ojibwe, and Ojibwa? What do these words mean?

There is no difference. All these different spellings refer to the same people. In the United States more people use ‘Chippewa,’ and in Canada more people use ‘Ojibway,’ but all four of these spellings are common. They all come from an Algonquian word meaning ‘puckered,’ probably because of the tribe’s puckered moccasin style. The Ojibway people call themselves Anishinabe in their own language, which means ‘original person.’

Chippewa Indian Symbols Tattoo
People: Along with the Cree, the Ojibwe are one of the most populous and widely distributed Indian groups in North America, with 150 Ojibwe bands throughout the north-central United States and southern Canada. Ojibwe and Chippewa are renderings of the same Algonquian word, “puckering,” probably referring to their characteristic moccasin style. “Chippewa” is more commonly used in the United States and “Ojibway” or “Ojibwe” in Canada, but the Ojibwe people themselves use their native word Anishinabe (plural: Anishinabeg), meaning “original people.” The Saulteaux and Mississauga are subtribes of the Ojibwe; the Ottawa, though they are closely related and speak the same language, have long held the status of a distinct tribe. Today there are 200,000 Ojibwe Indians living throughout their traditional territories.

History: The Ojibwe and Ottawa Indians are members of a longstanding alliance also including the Potawatomi tribe. Called the Council of Three Fires, this alliance was a powerful one which clashed with the mighty Iroquois Confederacy and the Sioux, eventually getting the better of both. The Ojibwe people were less devastated by European epidemics than their densely-populated Algonquian cousins to the east, and they resisted manhandling by the whites much better. Most of their lands were appropriated by the Americans and Canadians, a fate shared by all native peoples of North America, but plans to deport the Ojibwe to Kansas and Oklahoma never succeeded, and today nearly all Ojibwe reservations are within their original territory.

 Where do the Chippewas live?
The Chippewas are one of the largest American Indian groups in North America. There are nearly 150 different bands of Chippewa Indians living throughout their original home land in the northern United States (especially Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan) and southern Canada (especially Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan).

How is the Ojibway Indian nation organized?
Each Ojibway community lives on its own reservation (or reserve, in Canada). Reservations are lands that belong to the Ojibways and are under their control. Communities of Ojibway Indians are called tribes in the United States and First Nations in Canada. Each Ojibway tribe is politically independent and has its own government, laws, police, and services, just like a small country. Some Ojibway nations have also formed coalitions to address common problems.

The political leader of an Ojibway band is called a chief (gimaa or ogimaa in the Ojibway language.) In the past Ojibway chiefs were men chosen by tribal councilmembers, often from among the last chief’s sons, nephews, or sons-in-law. Today Ojibway chiefs can be men or women, and they are elected in most Ojibway bands, like mayors and governors.


What language do the Ojibways speak?
Most Ojibway people speak English, but some of them also speak their native Ojibway language. Ojibway is a musical language that has complicated verbs with many parts. If you’d like to know a few easy Ojibway words, aaniin (pronounced ah-neen) is a friendly greeting and miigwech (pronounced mee-gwetch) means “thank you.”

Language:: The Ojibwe language–otherwise anglicized as Chippewa, Ojibwa or Ojibway and known to its own speakers as Anishinabe or Anishinaabemowin–is an Algonquian tongue spoken by 50,000 people in the northern United States and southern Canada. There are five main dialects of Ojibwe: Western Ojibwe, Eastern Ojibwe, Northern Ojibwe (Severn Ojibwe or Oji-Cree), Southern Ojibwe (Minnesota Ojibwe or Chippewa), and Ottawa (Odawa or Odaawa). The Ottawa have always been politically independent from the Ojibwe, but their language is essentially the same–speakers of all five dialects, including Ottawa, can understand each other readily. Many linguists also consider the Algonquin language to be an Ojibwe dialect, but it has diverged more and is difficult for Western Ojibwe speakers to understand. As its name suggests, Oji-Cree has borrowed many elements from Cree and is often written in the Cree syllabary rather than the English alphabet. On the whole Ojibwe is among the heartiest of North American languages, with many children being raised to speak it as a native language.

  1. No comments yet.

You must be logged in to post a comment.