Welcome to Warrior’s Trail

Where living history interpretation is a lifestyle

Warrior's Trail

War Bundle – By Andrew Knez Jr.

     Like a lot of history zeolots, I became enthralled with the French and Indian War time period and woodland Indian culture after being exposed to the popular 1992 film, The Last of the Mohicans. Likewise, I became a big fan of actor Wes Studi who played the Huron warrior Magua. I read as many books and studied as many documents as I could find on the topic. To say the French and Indian war time period became a passion of mine would be a major understatement.

     I was born and raised in small town Southern Illinois and due to my geographical location, I focused much of my research on Illinois history, particularly that of the Illinois Indians. Growing up, I was always told that the creek that feeds into the Big Muddy River near my home was the site of an old Kaskaskian Indian village. Whether or not there’s any truth to that, I don’t know, but many years of stomping around that creek daydreaming of the people who once built their fires there helped shape my passion for their tribal history. I grew up near Pond Creek, in modern day Franklin County, which was home to a known Kaskaskia village. I’ve now spent fifteen plus years researching and studying the Algonquian speaking tribes of the Illinois Confederacy.  

     For thousands of years, the many rivers, which bound and cross the Illinois country, have carried the commerce of the Indians. Along their courses have floated hundreds of war bands and their banks have guided the footsteps of migrating nations. White men followed the routes long known to the Indians. Explorers, traders, missionaries, and settlers soon followed. They paddled and rowed reaching the Illinois and the great beyond. Together, we can continue paddling and rowing the many rivers and tributaries of history educating others along the way. Of course I’m speaking metaphorically, but there is still much to be learned and we owe it to the woodland people, both past and present, to continue their legacy. Like many woodland tribes, the Illinois Confederacy vanished long ago into the mists of history, but through living history interpretation, their culture is very much still alive!