Acolapissa Tribe

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Acolapissa Indians. An indefinite group, of Choctaw lineage, formerly living on Lake Ponchartrain, about the coast lagoons, and on the Mississippi, in Louisiana. Early French writers derived the name from the Choctaw káklo pisa, ‘those who listen and see.’ Allen Wright, governor of the Choctaw nation, suggests okla pima, ‘those who look out for people'; that is, watchmen, guardians, spies, which probably refers to their position, where they could observe entrance into or departure from the lake and river. The name appears to have been made by an early author; to include several tribes, the Bayogoula, Mugulasha, and others. According to Iberville the Acolapissa had 7 towns; but one of their villages was occupied by the Tangiboa, who appear to have been a different tribe. The Acolapissa are said to have suffered severely from an epidemic about 1700, and Iberville says they united with the Mugulasha; if so, they must have been included in those massacred by the Bayogoula, but this is rendered doubtful by the statement of Penicaut1 that in 1718 the Colapissa, who inhabited the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain, removed to the Mississippi and settled 13 leagues above New Orleans.


  1. Penicaut, French Hist. Coll. La., n.s.i, 144, 1869 

MLA Source Citation:

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906. Web. 22 January 2015. - Last updated on Aug 5th, 2014

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