Summary of Native American Tribes – A

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Summaries:  A  B  C  D  E-I  J-K  L-M  N  O  P  Q-R  S  T-V  W  X-Z

Ababco – An eastern Algonquian tribe or sub-tribe, this group originally lived on the Choptank River in Maryland when first encountered by Europeans. They were first mentioned by by Thomas Bacon in his Laws of Maryland, published in 1765, as having been connected with the Hutsawap and Tequassimoe, as a distinct tribe; however, later historians believed them to be a division of the Choptank. They were not mentioned in John Smith’s documents of his exploration of Chesapeake Bay in the early 1600’s. By 1837 the entire tribe had dwindled to a few individuals of mixed Indian and African blood.

Abenaki Village

Abenaki Village

Abenaki (or Abnaki) – Pronounced OBB-uh-nah-kee, the name means “people of the dawn.” The Abenaki people were native New Englanders for thousands of years. As members of the Wabanaki Confederacy that controlled much of New England and the Canadian Maritimes, the Abenaki themselves are original natives of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. After European colonists came, many of them fled to Canada or moved in with neighboring tribes. Today, the Abenaki Indians live on two reservations in Quebec and are scattered around New England. Not officially recognized in the United States, they do not have a reservation in the U.S. nor Native American rights afforded to other Indians, even though it was their original home.

Aberginian – A collective term used by the early settlers on Massachusetts Bay for the tribes to the north. They were described in 1654 as consisting of the Massachusett, Wippanap, and Tarratine tribes. The name may be a corruption of Abnaki, or a misspelling for “aborigines.” The Wippanap were evidently the Abenaki, while the Tarratine are the same Indians or a part of them.

Abittibi – A little known Algonkin band whose habitat has been the shores of Abittibi Lake, in Ontario, Canada. The first recorded notice of them is in the Jesuit Relations for 1640. In the Jesuit Relations of 1660, the Iroquois warred upon them and two other tribes of the same area. French explorer Daniel Greysolon Sieur du Lhut included them in a list of nations living north of Lake Superior in 1684. They were estimated by Chanvignerie in 1736 to be 140 warriors living with the Tětes de Boule. He mentions as totems — the partridge and the eagle. They were reported by the Canadian Indian Office to number 450 in 1878, after which date they are not officially mentioned.

Absentee – A division of the Shawnee Indians who originally lived in the northeastern United States, they are an Algonquian-speaking people. During the 19th century, the tribe was removed by the U.S. Government to what is now the state of Kansas. The group which became known as the Absentee Shawnee Tribe absented itself from the reservation in Kansas in 1845 (thus their name), and traveled southwards to Texas. Eventually, they were relocated to Indian Territory (Oklahoma). The Big Jim Band settled along the Deep Fork River, while the other band settled in its present site near Shawnee, Oklahoma. In 1886, the U.S. Army forced the Big Jim Band to move once again, this time to the site of its present community in Cleveland County. In 1936, the tribe was officially reorganized and gained federal recognition. Today, they are one of three federally recognized tribes of Shawnee people in Oklahoma.

Accohanoc – A tribe of the Powhatan Confederacy, they formerly lived on the river of the same name, in Accomac and Northampton Counties of Virginia. They were described as having 40 warriors in 1608. Later, they became mixed with African-Americans and what was left of them were driven off during the Nat Turner insurrection in about 1833.

Accominta/Agamenticus – A small tribe or band of the Pennacook Confederacy, they first occupied a village of the same name at or near the site of present-day York, Maine, to which the name “Boston” was given on some early maps. English explorer, Captain John Smith said that they were allied with other tribes immediately north of them, and were subject to attacks by the Penobscot, which would seem to place them in the Abnaki Confederacy, though later they were correctly included in the Pennacook Confederacy.  Under what name the Accominta people were subsequently recognized is not known.

In 1670 they were attached to the mission at the Sault. In the Jesuit Relations of 1640, their location was given on the north shore of Lake Huron, at the mouth of French River. The Amikwa are mentioned in the same connection as residing on this stream. In the Jesuit Relations of 1658, they appear to have been living farther north on the river that they trailed with the Cree. In the  Jesuit Relations of 1670 they were said to have been attached to the mission of Sault Ste Marie, but, only went there to fish. It is probable that they were a Chippewa or a Nipissing band.

Achomawi – A division of the Shastan family, they formerly occupied the Pit River country of northeast California, with the exception of the Burney, Dixie, and Hat Creek Valleys, which were inhabited by the Atsugewi. They had a principal village near Fallriver Mills in  Shasta County. The languages of the Achomawi and the Atsugewi, while unquestionably related, are strikingly unlike. The term Achomawi was also used by some historically as all the Pit River Indians.

Achiligonan – A tribe or band, who, between 1640 and 1670, were living on the north shore of Lake Huron, about the mouth of French River and westward

Acolapissa – Of Choctaw lineage this band formerly lived on Lake Ponchartrain, about the coast lagoons, and on the Mississippi River, in Louisiana. Early French writers derived the name from the Choctaw káklo pisa, meaning “those who listen and see.”  The name appears to have been used by an early author; to include several tribes — the Bayogoula, Mugniasha, and others. They were said to have had six or seven different villages, but, suffered severely from an epidemic about 1700. They later settled north of New Orleans and what was left of them were absorbed into the Houma tribe.

Acquintanacsnak – A tribe or sub-tribe which English explorer, Captain John Smith encountered living on the west bank of Patuxent River in present-day St Mary’s County, Maryland. They lived near to and were allied with the Patuxent and Mattapanient tribes, and were described as having about 200 warriors within the three tribes. The principal village bore the tribal name and was situated at the mouth of a small creek. Captain Smith described them as “the most civil to give entertainment.” Although they had a chief, it is doubtful whether they formed a distinct tribe and may have been a band or division of the Patuxent. The name later dropped from documentation without indication of the extinction of the people, very likely because subsequent and more correct information showed that they were a division of another well-known tribe.

Acuera – Part of the Timucuan linguistic division of the Muskhogean family, the Acuera were located at the headwaters of the Ocklawaha River in Florida. They were first noted by Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto, in a letter written at Tampa Bay to the Civil Cabildo of Santiago de Cuba. De Soto described where they lived as being “a large town where with much convenience we might winter.” though the Spaniards did not pass through the village, while they were at Ocale, they sent to Acuera for corn. The name appears later in French explorer, René Goulaine de Laudonnière’s narrative of the second French expedition to Florida in 1564-65, as a tribe allied with the Utina. Later, they were noted briefly in Spanish documents and in 1604, an encounter between the tribe and Spanish troops. By 1655, there were two Acuera missions — San Luis and Santa Lucia, both of which had disappeared by 1680. The inland position of the Acuera is partly responsible for the few early descriptions of them. Later, the tribe was probably gathered into the “Pueblo de Timucua,” which stood near St. Augustine, Florida in 1736, and was finally removed to the Mosquito Lagoon and Halifax River in Volusia County. The tribe is entirely extinct today.

Summaries:  A  B  C  D  E-I  J-K  L-M  N  O  P  Q-R  S  T-V  W  X-Z

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