Between 1795 and 1808 several Shawnee orators recounted to British and US officials a story about a Shawnee voyage to England. These narratives push scholars to reconsider the Atlantic world paradigm from an Indigenous perspective. They reveal Native constructions of space and historicity that cannot be easily integrated into the standard frameworks of Atlantic history. Instead of an ocean that united four continents into a single “Atlantic world,” the Shawnee storytellers imagined a kčikami, a dangerous borderland separating radically different cultural, spiritual, and racial realms. Such Native understandings of the sea are critical for indigenizing past landscapes often framed in Eurocentric terms. Moreover, the Shawnee narratives highlight the complex roles of storytelling in Native-newcomer relations and Shawnee intranational debates during a critical period when growing colonial power rapidly eroded the “middle ground” across the lower Great Lakes and political disputes factionalized the Shawnees, putting new pressures on how people constructed and forgot the past.

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