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Who Was Chief Kiondashawa?

Chief KiondashawaChief Kiondashawa, or "Flying Fish", lived in the 1700s. He was a chief of the Lenni Lenape (Delaware Nation) and primary chief of The Pymatuning, a series of villages along the Shenango River (from New Castle, PA to above the Linesville area).

It is said the Chief Kiondashawa was a peaceful man who aided the newly arriving settlers on Pennsylvania's western frontier and Connecticut's Western Reserve (present northeastern Ohio).

Not much is know of Kiondashawa. He acted as a political liaison between his people and the Seneca Nation, and for a brief period, the new settlers in the valley. The name Shenango is said to have been derived from the Native American who once dominated the hunting land along what is now the Shenango River.

A story is told of Chief Kiondashawa walking from his village at the great bend (Bid Bend, Mercer County) in the Shenango River to Sandusky, Ohio, in the snows of winter, to avenge the murder of a female settler by one of his own relatives.

No one knows what became of Chief Kiondashawa. He may have been buried at his village at Big Bend, or perhaps he moved westward as more and more settlers entered his land.

October 7, 2012