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  • Pekowi was the name of one of the five divisions of the Shawnee, a Native American people, during the 18th century. The other four divisions were the Chalahgawtha, Mekoche, Kispoko, and Hathawekela. Together these divisions formed the loose confederacy that was the Shawnee tribe. All five Shawnee division names have been spelled in a great variety of ways. Variations of the name "Pekowi" are reflected in many place names in the United States, including Piqua, Pickawillany, Pickaway, and Pequea. Traditionally, Shawnee ritual leaders came from the Pekowi patrilineal division. From 1737 to about 1750 the Pekowi were led by Peter Chartier, a fur trader of French and Pekowi parentage. Chartier was the grandson of Straight Tail Meaurroway Opessa. In 1710 he married his cousin, Blanceneige-Wapakonee Opessa. Chartier opposed the sale of rum in Shawnee communities in Pennsylvania, and this brought him into conflict with the colonial governor, Patrick Gordon. In 1745 Chartier led some 400 members of the Pekowi to Lower Shawneetown and then to Kentucky where they founded the community of Eskippakithiki.