Black Minquas

Central Pennsylvania Indian Paths The Black Minquas were a Native American tribe that had a village in Chinklacamoose.

Chinklacamoose, spelled many ways, is now called Clearfield, Pennsylvania. From the early first century up into the seventeenth century, the Black Minqua village was along the Great Shamokin Path. The path started at the old Indian village of Shamokin (Sunbury) and ran along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River west to the village of Kittanning. Today the trail west of Clearfield is U.S. Highway 322.

The Minqua were originally part of the Susquehannock. The early European settlers used the Lenape name of Minqua meaning "stealthy" or "treacherous." Over time, a distinction was made between White Minqua (Susquehannock) and the Black Minqua who lived further northwest.

It is believed Clearfield got its name from where the Black Minquas burned away the vegetation to create fertile farm land. The Black Minquas traveled along the Great Shamokin Path hunting game, fish, eels and fresh water clams. They also traveled in the West Branch of the Susquehanna using dugout canoes.

The village of Chinklacamoose was surrounded by a circular mounded wall and pointed poles (thought to be used as protection from the animals and Seneca Indians.) Within the fence, twenty to forty people lived in shelters made from saplings and bark.


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