Kaitlin Moore
September 24, 2010
3rd Block
Indian Tribe Paper

Quapaw Indians
Dhegiha Sioux Indians were a large tribe several hundred years ago that originated from the Ohio River Valley (Quapaw). When they left the valley, the Dhegiha tribe split up to form five different tribes known as Osage, Ponca, Kansa, Omaha, and Quapaw (Quapaw). The Quapaw Indians traveled down the Mississippi River and settled in the area where the Arkansas River and the Mississippi River met. Because the Quapaw Indians traveled, they were known as the “Ugaxpa” to the other Natives, meaning “the downstream people”. They used the fertile land at their new village to conduct farming and fishing.

Like most of the Native Americans, the men of the Quapaw tribe would hunt for food and be warriors, if necessary, while the females would farm and build the houses for the families to live in (Redish). Both the women and men would participate in telling stories that had been passed down as well as artwork and music. The women and girls of the tribe would wear long dresses made out of animal skins, usually deer (Redish). Men wore breechcloths with deerskin leggings (Redish). Everyone in the tribe wore moccasin, as they still do today. Before the Europeans brought horses to North America, the Quapaw would use dogs pulling a sort of sled to transport their belongings over dry land. When crossing waters, the Quapaw would use dugout canoes made out of cypress trees.

The French were the first of the Europeans to contact the Quapaw Tribe. They established an alliance together with two Frenchmen, Jaquis Marquette and Louis Joliet, that they first encountered in 1673 (Quapaw). As the Quapaw remained loyal to the French, the French asked the Quapaw to attack their enemies and help the French in times of need. As time past, the French faded out of North America, which led the Quapaw to then pledge their alliance to the English. Their alliance was later changed back to the French due to the rule of Napoleon only to have their territory sold to the United States two years later in the Louisiana Purchase (Quapaw).

When then Europeans first came to America, they brought with them diseases that the Native Americans had never been exposed to, which made them more vulnerable to dying from them. The Quapaw Indians were estimated to have a population over 5,000 before the late 1600s (Quapaw). Due to the smallpox epidemic, the entire population of the Quapaw dropped to a mere 700 people in 1699. Because most of there population died so suddenly, the stories and history that had been passed down orally died with them. In 1720, the Quapaw Indians had to move to a different village because there were so few people that they were not able to function in their current village.

In the present, the Quapaw tribe lives in Oklahoma after being forced onto a reservation by the American people. In their reservation, they have their own government, laws, and services, although they are still considered American citizens and have to abide by the American laws (Redish). Quapaw people no longer wear their traditional clothing on a day-to-day basis. Instead they wear modern clothing such as Jeans and T-shirts. The only time they wear their traditional clothing is when they are going to a special occasion or event such as a wedding. The Quapaw language was also lost due to disease. As a result, the tribe now speaks English and the few people that spoke the have passed away (Redish). As far as any new news with the tribe is concerned, the Quapaw recently got a new transit system that has a reduced fare (Quapaw)!


Works Cited
"Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma / Tribal History." Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma / Home Page. 2009.
Web. 21 Sept. 2010.
<http://www.quapawtribe.com/site/view/12817_TribalHistory.pml;jsessionid=ton7xd9u
jk0>.
Redish, Laura, and Orrin Lewis. "Quapaw Indians." Native Languages of the Americas. 2009.
Web. 23 Sept. 2010. <http://www.bigorrin.org/quapaw_kids.htm>.