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Mosopelea Indians

Mosopelea Tribe: Significance uncertain, though probably from an Algonquian language. Also called: Chonque, by Tonti in 1690, probably the Quapaw name. Ofo, own name, perhaps an abbreviation of the Mobilian term, Ofogoula, though this last may mean simply “Ofo people.” Ofogoula may also be interpreted Ofi okla, “Dog People.” Ouesperie, Ossipe, Ushpee, names by which they were known to other tribes and evidently shortened forms of Mosopelea. Mosopelea Connections. The Mosopelea spoke a Siouan dialect most closely related to Biloxi and Tutelo and secondarily to Dakota. Mosopelea Location. When the French first heard of them, they were in southwestern Ohio, but their best-known historical location was on the lower Yazoo, close to the Yazoo and Koroa Indians. (See also Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee.) Mosopelea Villages. Anciently they had eight villages, but none of the names of these have been preserved. Mosopelea History. After abandoning southwestern Ohio some time before 1673, the Mosopelea appear to have settled on the Cumberland, driven thither probably by the Iroquois, and to have given it the name it bears in Coxe’s map (1741), Ouesperie, a corruption of Mosopelea. By 1673 they had descended to the Mississippi and established themselves on its western side below the mouth of the Ohio. Later they appear to have stopped for a time among the Quapaw, but before 1686 at least part of them had sought refuge among the Taensa. Their reason for leaving the latter tribe is unknown, but Iberville found them in the historic location above given in 1699. He inserts their name twice, once in the form Ofogoula and once as “Ouispe,” probably a corruption...

Biloxi Tribe

Biloxi Indians. A name of uncertain meaning, apparently from the Choctaw language. They call themselves Taneks haya, ‘first people.’ A small Siouan tribe formerly living in south Mississippi, now nearly or quite extinct. The Biloxi were supposed to belong to the Muskhogean stock until Gatschet visited the survivors of the tribe in Louisiana in 1886 and found that many of the words bore strong resemblance to those in Siouan languages, a determination fully substantiated in 1892 by J. Owen Dorsey. To what particular group of the Siouan family the tribe is to be assigned has not been determined; but it is probable that the closest affinity is with Dorsey’s Dhegiha group, so called. The first direct notice of the Biloxi is that by Iberville, who found them in 1699 about Biloxi bay, on the gulf coast of Mississippi, in connection with two, other shall tribes, the Paskagula and Moctobi, the three together numbering only about 20 cabins1 . The Biloxi removed to the west shore of Mobile bay in 1702. In 1761 Jefferys spoke of them as having been north east of Cat island, and of their subsequent removal to the north west of Pearl river Hutchins, in 1784, mentions a Biloxi village on the west side of the Mississippi, a little below the Paskagula, containing 30 warriors. According to Sibley (1805) a part of the Biloxi came with some French, from near Pensacola, about 1763, and settled first in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, on Red River, whence they “moved higher up to Rapide Bayou, and from thence to the mouth of Rigula de Bondieu, a division of Red river,...

Avoyel Tribe – Avoyelles Tribe

Avoyel Indians, Avoyelles Indians (Fr. dim. of avoie, ‘small vipers’). A tribe spoken of in the 18th century as one of the nations of the Red River, having their villages near the mouth of that stream, within what is now Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. They probably belonged to the Caddoan family, the tribe representing a group that had remained near the ancient habitat of its kindred. The country occupied by the Avoyelles was fertile and intersected by lakes and bayous, one of the latter being still called by their name. The tribe lived in villages, cultivated maize and vegetables, and practiced the arts common to the tribes of the Gulf region. Nothing definite is known of their beliefs and ceremonies. Like their neighbors, they had come into possession of horses, which they bred, and later they obtained cattle, for Du Pratz mentions that they sold horses, cows, and oxen to the French settlers of Louisiana. During the general displacement of the tribes throughout the Gulf states, which began in the 18th century, the Avoyelles country proved to be attractive. The Biloxi settled there and other tribes entered and took possession. Under the influences incident to the advent of the white race the Avoyelles mingled with the newcomers, but through the ravages of wars and new diseases the tribe was soon reduced in numbers. Before the close of the century their villages and their tribal organization melted away, their language became extinct, and the few survivors were lost in the floating Indian population. In 1805, according to Sibley, the tribe had become reduced to two or three...

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