An interconnected landscape misread

Wea Map Drawing

An interconnected landscape misread

This map drawn by a Wea man renders an interconnected landscape of waterways and villages of Miami-Illinois speaking peoples. Europeans solicited this map as part of land sale negotiations, and attempted to “complete” the map by drawing lines representing the lands between these points, and interest which betrays European conceptualizations of place as tied to land as property. “For a Miami-Illinois speaking person, this conceptualization of the Wabash River Valley allows one to move between communities along the rivers and paths that connected them. If each confluence is accurately represented, then the exact shape of the land or the precise distances become unnecessary or irrelevant. If the end points of each trail are accurately portrayed then the exact shape or distance of the trail is not required … the rivers and trails were their roads and the confluences and villages were their signposts.” From George Ironstrack, From the Ashes:One Story of the Village of Pinkwi Mihtohseeniaki.

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