1. a member of a large tribe of North American Indians found in Canada and the U.S., principally in the region around Lakes Huron and Superior but extending as far west as Saskatchewan and North Dakota.2. an Algonquian language used by the Ojibwa, Algonquin, and Ottawa Indians.[1690-1700, Amer.; < Ojibwa ocipwe·, orig. the name of a single local group]
* * *or ChippewaNorth American Plains Indian people living mostly in southern Canada and the north-central U.S. Ojibwa is an Algonquian language.The people's name, spelled Ojibwe in Canada and given as Chippewa in official U.S. documents, is derived from an Algonquian word ojib-ubway, meaning "puckering," probably referring to a type of moccasin. They call themselves Anishinaabe or Anishinabek, meaning "Spontaneously Created" or "Original Man." They formerly inhabited a region north of the Great Lakes but during the 17th–18th centuries moved west to what is now northern Minnesota. Each Ojibwa tribe was divided into migratory bands. In the autumn, bands separated into family units for hunting; in summer, families gathered at fishing sites. They grew corn and collected wild rice. The Midewiwin, or Grand Medicine Society, was the major Ojibwa religious organization. The Ojibwa are one of the largest Native American groups in North America today, numbering about 50,000 in the U.S. and more than 100,000 in Canada. They are closely related to the Ottawa and Potawatomi.
* * *▪ peopleAlgonquian (Algonquian languages)-speaking North American Indian tribe who lived in what are now Ontario and Manitoba, Can., and Minnesota and North Dakota, U.S., from Lake Huron westward onto the Plains. Their name for themselves means “original people.” In Canada those Ojibwa who lived west of Lake Winnipeg are called the Saulteaux. When first reported in the Relations of 1640, an annual report by the Jesuit missionaries in New France, the Ojibwa occupied a comparatively restricted region near the St. Mary's River and in the Upper Peninsula of the present state of Michigan; they moved west as the fur trade expanded, in response to pressure from tribes to their east and new opportunities to their west.Traditionally, each Ojibwa tribe was divided into migratory bands. In the autumn, bands separated into family units, which dispersed to individual hunting areas; in summer, families gathered together, usually at fishing sites. The Ojibwa relied on the collection of wild rice for a major part of their diet, and a few bands also cultivated corn (maize). Birch bark was used extensively for canoes, dome-shaped wigwams, and utensils. Clan intermarriage served to connect a people that otherwise avoided overall tribal or national chiefs. Chieftainship of a band was not a powerful office until dealings with fur traders strengthened the position, which then became hereditary through the paternal line. The annual celebration hosted by the Midewiwin (Grand medicine society), a secret religious organization open to men and women, was the major Ojibwa ceremonial. Membership was believed to provide supernatural assistance and conferred prestige on its members.The Ojibwa constituted one of the largest indigenous North American groups in the early 21st century, when population estimates indicated some 175,000 individuals of Ojibwa descent.
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