Quapaw Indians intermarried with the French during the colonial period and were strong allies of the French. They fought with or supported the French in war and helped to defend the Mississippi River against the pro-British Chickasaw.
The Quapaw Indians are original people of Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The Quapaw tribe was forced to move to Oklahoma in the 1800’s along with many other tribes, and most Quapaw people are still living in Oklahoma today.
The Dhegiha Siouan-speaking tribe historically migrated from the Ohio Valley area to the west side of the Mississippi River and resettled in what is now the state of Arkansas; their name for themselves refers to this migration and traveling downriver. The Quapaw are federally recognized as the Quapaw Nation.
Quapaw, or Arkansas, is a Siouan language of the Quapaw people, originally from a region in present-day Arkansas.
In the spring of 1827, the Red River flooded on multiple occasions destroying the fields which the Quapaw had planted. Coupled with disease, many in the tribe perished including members of Saracen’s family.
Jurisdiction over the tribes: Cherokee, Quapaw, Choctaw, Osage, Shawnee, Caddo and Delaware. There was a government Indian factory (trading post) established on the Arkansas river known as the Arkansas Post.
1a: a Siouan people of the Arkansas river valley, Arkansas. b: a member of such people. 2: a dialect of Dhegiha.
Quapaw Indians lived in four villages near the confluence of the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers when they were first contacted by the French explorers Marquette and Jolliet in 1673.
Corn, grown by Quapaw women, and horses, raised by both men and women, were traded to the white neighbors as well as to hunters crossing the Mississippi River. Quapaw men also continued to hunt and to trade animal products.
The French called the Quapaws the “Arkansas,” the Illini word for “People of the South Wind,” and so named the river and the countryside after them.
Ancestry was traced through the father, and children adopted their father’s clan, a social unit associated with and named after a respected animal, celestial body, or weather phenomenon. Each clan had specific ceremonial responsibilities and was divided into two groups, the Earth People and the Sky People.
The Quapaw moved down the Mississippi River into Arkansas, this is the origin of the word Ogaxpa, which can be translated as “downstream people”.