Atikamekw – The Atikamek are a small, traditional tribe that still speaks their native language and lives off their ancestral land in Quebec, Canada. Closely related to the Cree and often discussed together, the Atikamekw consider themselves a distinct people and have their own First Nation with a separate government from the Cree.
Atquanachuke – A tribe or band that resided in New Jersey in the early in the 17th century. They were said to have lived on the seacoast beyond the mountains northward from Chesapeake Bay, and spoke a language different from that of the Powhatan, Conestoga, Tocwogh, and Cuscarawaoc.
Atsugewi – Of the Palainihan language family, the Atsugewi were a small semi-sedentary hunter-gatherer tribe who lived in northern California near Mount Shasta. They are closely related to the Achomawi and consisted of two groups. Along with the Achomawi, they were estimated to number some 3,000 people in 1770. However, they were devastated by the settlers flocking to their territory during the California Gold Rush. By 1910, the combined tribes were estimated to number only about 1,100 people. Today, some of their descendants are members of the Susanville Indian Rancheria in Lassen County, California.
Aucocisco – The name of the territory about Casco Bay and Presumpscot River, in the area now included in Cumberland County, Maine. It was also sometimes applied to those Abnaki Indians by whom it was occupied. Since the section was settled at an early date by the whites, the name soon dropped out of use as applied to the Indians, or rather it was changed to “Casco,” but this was a mere local designation, not a tribal distinction, as the Indians referred to were Abnaki. The proper form of the word is said to have been Uh-kos-is-co, meaning crane or heron. These birds still frequent the bay.
Avavare – A former tribe of Texas, possibly Caddoan, which lived “behind” the Quintole toward the interior, and to which Cabeza de Vaca, in 1527-34, fled from the Mariames. Their language was different from that of the Mariames, although they understood them. They bartered bones, which the Mariames ground and used for food, and also traded in bows. While staying with the Avavare,s Cabeza de Vaca and his companion became noted for their successful treatment of the sick. The people seem to have been kindly disposed and different in habits from the coast tribes.
Avoyel – A small tribe Natchez-speaking band who called themselves Tamoucougoula. The word Avoyel is of French derivation and means either “Flint People” or “the people of the rocks.” Said by French explorers to have numbered about 280 people in 1698, they began to decline. In the 18th century, they were said to have been 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. Living in villages, they 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 and horses. During the general displacement of the tribes throughout the Gulf states, which began in the 18th century, the Avoyel country proved to be attractive. The Biloxi settled there and other tribes entered and took possession. The Avoyel 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 had melted away. According to John Sibley, an Indian agent, the tribe had become reduced to two or three women by 1805. Today, a non-profit organization called the Avoyel-Taensa Tribe/Nation of Louisiana, Inc. exists in Marksville, Louisiana. There is an Archeological period named after the Marksville site which dates back between 1 and 400 A.D. This period was when the mound building was at its peak.
Awani/Awanichi – A division of the Miwok that were living in the Yosemite Valley in Mariposa County, California. The name applied by the natives of the Valley was the principal village, which by extension was given to the whole valley and its inhabitants, who occupied it when snow permitted. The Awani had nine villages, containing 450 people when the white settlers first came upon them.
Awatobi – A former pueblo of the Hopi on a mesa about nine miles southeast of Walpi, Arizona. It was one of the original villages of the province of Tusayan of the early Spaniards and visited by several Spanish explorers in the 1500’s. It became the seat of the Franciscan mission of San Bernardino in 1629, under Father Porras, who was poisoned by the Hopi in 1633; but the endeavor to Christianize the Hopi at this and other pueblos was continued until 1680, when, in the Pueblo Revolt which began in August, the Awatobi missionary, Father Figueroa, was murdered. At this time the Awatobi people numbered 800. Henceforward no Spanish priests were established among the Hopi, although in 1700, Father Garaycoechea visited Awatobi, where he baptized 73 natives, but was unsuccessful it his attempt to reestablish missions among them. In November of the same year, owing to the friendly feeling which the Awatobi are said to have had for the Spanish friars, their kindred, especially of Walpi and Mashongnovi, joined in an attack on Awatobi at night, setting fire to the pueblo, killing many of its inhabitants, including all the men, and carrying off women and children to the other pueblos, chiefly to Mashongnovi, Walpi, and Oraibi. Awatobi was never again inhabited.
Compiled by Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated October 2018.