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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,...

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