History of the Butterfly, Part 55: Poweshiek’s Mentors

Oarisma poweshiek, the Poweshiek skipper, is a small butterfly that was discovered in Grinnell, Iowa and named after its county of discovery and a Chief of the Meskwaki tribe of Indians, who were native to Iowa.

The history of the butterfly is about how O. poweshiek was discovered, and also the history of Chief Powesheik.

The post for part 53 mentioned two of three people who were very significant in Poweshiek’s life.  All three were chiefs.  All three were slightly or a great deal older than Poweshiek, and were friends and mentors.

Wapella was a Fox (Meskwaki) chief, as was Poweshiek.  They seem to have been fast friends throughout their lives.

Wapella was noted for a speech that was much more eloquent than the one that was quoted in the earlier post.

Keokuk was a Sauk Chief.  He was a half-breed, being 1/2 Sauk and 1/2 French.  He spoke English well and was considered a great orator in more than one language.

Keokuk was a complicated man.  He was a close friend of Poweshiek at times, but also apparently cheated and lied to Poweshiek and Wapella, so was more of an enemy at times.  Keokuk was a rival of Blackhawk.

Black Hawk was a Sauk War Chief.  He led a few hundred warriors  in battles against the United States and in alliance with Great Britian in the War of 1812.  He led a small group of Sauk warriors and women and children in a failed attempt to take back his home village, Saukenauk.  He claimed that he was not trying to start the war (although it became a war) that bears his name.

All three images are from McKenny, 1872–the first two via Google Books, the last via wikimedia.

About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in American Indians, Black Hawk, Fox tribe, Iowa History, Meskwaki, Powasheek, The History of the Butterfly and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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