Miami Tribe Facts for Kids

Miami Tribe is a Native American nation that speaks one of the Algonquian languages. They were also known as the Great Lakes tribes and were settled in the territory that is now Indiana, southwest Michigan and western Ohio.

Here we have gathered the complete Miami Tribe Facts for Kids to let you and your kids learn all about the Miami Tribe. We have tried to answer all the frequently asked questions about the Miami Tribe. You will learn about the name Miami, where they lived, their food, tools, language, homes, customs, clothes, lifestyle, artifacts, and their population. If you still think that there is some information missing in this article, you can get in touch with us and we will help you in getting that information about the Miami Tribe.

Miami Tribe Facts for Kids

The Name Miami

The Miami Tribe’s name originated from the word “Myaamia”, which is a word of the Native American language “Miami-Illinois”. Myaamia means “allies”. Miami Tribe Facts for Kids

Where did the Miami Tribe live?

The Miami Tribe lived in Indiana, south of Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio when the Europeans began to colonize North America. In the year 1700 A.D., the Miami Tribe moved into the Valley of Maumee. In the 19th century, the United States government enforced its policy of Indian removal. The Native Americans were forced to leave their ancestral homelands. The Miami Tribe migrated to Oklahoma during the Indian Removals. Now you can find the Miami Tribe communities in both Indiana and Oklahoma.

What kind of food did the Miami tribe eat?

The Miami Tribe were farmers. They grew food crops such as beans, corn, and squash. The Miami Tribesmen were expert hunters and they mostly hunted wild buffaloes. They used fire to drive the buffalo towards the hunters. Using the food crop and hunted animals, the Miami Tribe used to cook cornbread, soup, and stews to eat.

What kind of tools did the Miami Indians use?

The Miami Indians used bows and arrows, spears, buffalo hides, and tomahawks for hunting and fighting. The buffalo hide was used as a shield against enemy arrows during a fight.

Miami Tribe Artifacts

  • Weapons and Tools
    • Bow and arrows
    • Tomahawks
    • Spears
    • Shields
  • The shields were made of buffalo hides.
  • The spear sharp ends and arrowheads were made of stones.
  • The tribe chief usually had the most decorated artifact.
  • The most common form of decoration was beadwork and embroidery.
  • The Miami people made canoes from dug-out trees to travel in the rivers.
  • They also had dolls made of corn husks.
Miami Tribe Artifacts
Image source:

What is the language of the Miami Tribe?

The Miami Tribe spoke Native American Algonquian language called Miami-Illinois, which was also spoken by other Indian tribes that lived in Missouri, Illinois, western Ohio, and Indiana. The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma is now working with the Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, to revive the Miami-Illinois language which has been forgotten over time.

Miami-Illinois is a difficult language with a musical tone. The word “aya” (pronounced ah-yah) means “hello” in the Miami-Illinois. The word “niihka” (pronounced nee-ka) means “friend” in the Miami-Illinois.

What did the Miami tribe live in?

The Miami tribe lived in oval-shaped houses. The walls of these houses were made from woven reeds. The Miami tribe lived in small villages. Every Miami tribe village also had one house made of wood. It was called a council house which was used for community gatherings.

Miami Tribe Customs

Religious Beliefs

The Miami people’s religion is based on spirits called “Manitous”. They tried to get power from these spirits by giving them respect and sacrifices. Once the person gets connected with the spirit, the spirit will become his guardian and grant him supernatural powers. Miami religion centered around Individual and group attempts to gain power from spirits.

Religious Practitioners

The religious leaders were called Shamans and they were considered to be guarded by manitous. It was also believed that the Shamans had the power to heal and kill a person.


The most prominent ceremony of the Miami tribe was the Calumet Dance. It was performed to please the spirits (Manitous) to get power, usually before a fight or war. The calumet is a pipe made from stone and wood, decorated with feathers and paint.

Miami Tribe Clothes

Miami tribe loved tattoos. The men tattooed themselves from head to toe while women only tattooed their arms, face, and chest. They used paint for decorating their clothes and shoes. They also used painted porcupine quills for cloth decoration. Porcupine is a mammal with a coat of sharp spines.

Miami Tribe Facts for Kids

Miami Tribe Lifestyle

The Miami tribe loved to dance with music and songs for both entertainment and spiritual reasons. They used to make music using instruments like drums, flutes, and gourds. Singing and dancing were an essential part of their culture, and they used to celebrate various events and occasions with music and dance.

Miami Tribe Traditions

The Miami tribe used to hunt and farm before the European settlement. They cultivated crops such as maize, beans, melons, and tobacco. Along with growing crops, they also gathered fruits and nuts from the prairies and forests. They were also expert hunters. They mostly hunted deer and bison. As a tradition, the Miami hunter would go hunting buffalo for five weeks after crop plantation in June. In winter, the tribe would go for a deer hunt.

Miami Tribe Population

In the 17th century, the estimated population of the Miami Tribe was about 5,000 people. In 1890, due to the American colonization of Illinois, the population decreased to less than 100 people. The current population of the Miami Tribe is 7,500 people. About 5,000 people live in Oklahoma, and about 2,500 people live in Indiana.

Miami Tribe Transportation

When traveling on land, the Miami Tribe mainly used to travel on foot and used dogs as pack animals. The dogs were used to carry backpacks and pull wooden sleds called Tavious. Horses were used later on after they were introduced by the Europeans in North America. When traveling on water, the Miami Tribe used dugout canoes from the large tree trunks. These canoes were made from butternut trees.

Learn more: Native American Facts for Kids 

Murad Ali Khan is a researcher, writer & editor, who believes in generating quality content. He leads an awesome team of high school students, teachers & IT graduates who helps him in creating & maintaining educational Websites & Apps.
When not tinkering on the web, Murad enjoys going on hikes, read Latest Science News, plays tennis & hangs out with his friends.


  1. I got a little amount of information from here. I need some more for my school project. Maybe you could describe the life of the men and women.

  2. “Every miami tribe village also had one house made of made.”

    Is made a material or is this a typo?

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