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Avoyel Indians

Avoyel Tribe: The name signifies probably “people of the rocks,” referring to flint and very likely applied because they were middlemen in supplying the Gulf coast tribes with flint. Also called: Little Taensa, so-called from their relationship to the Taensa. Tassenocogoula, name in the Mobilian trade language, meaning “flint people.” Avoyel Connections. The testimony of early writers and circumstantial evidence render it almost certain that the Avoyel spoke a dialect of the Natchez group of the Muskhogean linguistic family. Avoyel Location. In the neighborhood of the present Marksville, La. Avoyel History. The Avoyel are mentioned first by Iberville in the account of his first expedition to Louisiana in 1699, where they appear under the Mobilian form of their name, Tassenocogoula. He did not meet any of the people, however, until the year following when he calls them “Little Taensas.” They were encountered by La Harpe in 1714, and Le Page du Pratz (1758) gives a short notice of them from which it appears that they acted as middlemen in disposing to the French of horses and cattle plundered from Spanish settlements. In 1764 they took part in an attack upon a British regiment ascending the Mississippi (see Ofo Indians), and they are mentioned by some later writers, but Sibley (1832) says they were extinct in 1805 except for two or three women “who did live among the French inhabitants of Washita.” In 1930 one of the Tunica Indians still claimed descent from this tribe. Avoyel Population. I have estimated an Avoyel population of about 280 in 1698. Iberville and Bienville state that they had about 40 warriors shortly after...

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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