Summary of Native American Tribes – E-I

Back to Index of Tribes

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

Gros Ventre, aka: Ahe, A’aninin, Ahahnelin, A’ane, Atsina – Pronounced “Grow Vaunt,” the word means “big belly” in French. No one knows exactly why the French called them this. The Gros Ventre were kinfolk of the Arapaho, and called themselves A’aninin, the White Clay People. The Gros Ventre were probably original residents of Minnesota and North Dakota, but, as European expansion pushed them westward, the tribe migrated to Montana, where most of their descendants still live today.

Guale – Guale was an historic Native American chiefdom of Mississippian culture peoples located along the coast of present-day Georgia and the Sea Islands. Spanish Florida established its Roman Catholic missionary system in the chiefdom in the late 16th century. During the late 17th century and early 18th century, Guale society was shattered by extensive epidemics of new infectious diseases and attacks by other tribes. Some of the surviving remnants migrated to the mission areas of Spanish Florida while others remained near the Georgia coast. Joining with other survivors, they became known as the Yamasee, an ethnically mixed group that emerged in a process of ethnogenesis. See More HERE.

Hidatsa – Also known as the Minitari and a band of the Gros Ventre, the Hidatsa spoke a Siouan language. Occupying several agricultural villages on the upper Missouri River in North Dakota, they were in close alliance with the Arikara and the Mandan tribes. Hidatsa villages, with circular earth lodges, were enclosed by an earthen wall. Their survival depending upon the cultivation of corn and an annual organized buffalo hunt. They had a complex social organization and elaborate ceremonies, including the sun dance. After the smallpox epidemic of 1837, they moved up the Missouri River and established themselves close to the Fort Berthold trading post. Together with the Arikara and Mandan, many Hidatsa reside on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North DakotaMore ….

Hohokam – Around 400 B.C., these Indians migrated from northern Mexico and settled at a place now called Snaketown, near Phoenix, Arizona. This group, who lived in pit houses, wisely invented an early form of irrigation, digging canals up to ten miles in length, then damming and directing the water through rows of crops. They made pottery using a unique dye from the saguaro cactus. Their culture lasted almost 2,000 years and are most likely the ancestors of the Pima and Papago tribes.

Hopi – The Hopi occupancy of Arizona makes it the longest authenticated history of occupation of a single area by any Native American tribe in the United States. The Hopi located their villages on mesas for defensive purposes but land surrounding the mesas was also utilized by clans, families, medicinal and religious purposes. While the majority of its land was appropriated by the federal government, they retained 9% of their original holdings which is today the Hopi Reservation. Encompassing some 1.6 million acres, the headquarters is at Kykotsmovi, Arizona.  More …

Houma – Originally the Houma were from east central Mississippi and were of the Chakchiuma. By 1682 the Houma had separated from the Chakchiuma and were living a few miles inland from the east bank of the Mississippi River just below the present border between Mississippi and Louisiana. Over time, they drifted south into Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes southwest of New Orleans. Most of their descendents are still there today and live in or in the vicinity of Montagne, Golden Meadow, and Dulac-Grand Caillou.

Hualapai, aka: Walapai – The Hualapai, meaning “People of the Tall Pine,” have lived along the Colorado and the Grand Canyon for centuries. The Hualapai are descendants of the “Pai,” whose earliest physical remains have been found along the Willow Beach bank near the Hoover Dam, dating back as early as A.D. 600. Traditional hunters and gatherers, they were first discovered by Spanish explorers in the 1500’s. From 1865-1868, the Hualapai were involved in the Hualapai War, as a result of encroaching settlers upon their lands. The Hualapai Reservation was established by an executive order in 1883, when the tribe numbered around 700. Today, the Hualapai live on a reservation encompassing a million acres along 108 miles of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. Their tribal capital is located at Peach SpringsArizona, with a total population of some 1,600 members. Their economy is based on tourism, river-rafting, cattle-ranching, hunting expeditions, and timber-cutting, as well as crafting of traditional and modern folk arts.

Huron – Many people today do not realize that Huron and Wyandot are the same people. Originally, more than a dozen Iroquoian-speaking tribes of southern Ontario, they referred to themselves as Wendat meaning “island people” or “dwellers on a peninsula.” Rendered variously as: Guyandot, Guyandotte, Ouendat, and Wyandotte. The French, however, called members of a four-tribe confederacy Huron, a derogatory name derived from their word “hure” meaning rough or ruffian. This has persisted as their usual name in Canada.

lllinois/Illini – The destruction of the Illini after contact with white settlers is one of the great tragedies in North American history. By the time American settlements reached them during the early 1800s, the Illini were nearly extinct and replaced by other tribes. For the most part, the blame for this could not be placed on a war with the Europeans or the Illini refusal to adapt themselves to a changing situation. Actually, few tribes had adapted as much or attached themselves more closely to the French. This made it easy to place responsibility for the fate of the Illini on their native enemies, or perhaps even nature itself. The story of the Illini’s decline is a chilling indication of how the European presence, regardless of purpose or intention, unleashed destructive forces upon North America’s native peoples which reached far beyond the immediate areas of their colonization.

Inuit/Eskimo –  The Inuit are the indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Alaska, Greenland, and Canada, with close relatives in Russia. They are united by a common cultural heritage and a common language. They have over the years been called “Eskimo,” but prefer to becalled by their own name “Inuit,” meaning simply “people.” Traditionally, they have relied on fish, sea mammals, and land animals for food, heat, light, clothing, tools, and shelter. According to archaeological research, the origins of the Inuit lie in northwestern Alaska where they lived in houses made of driftwood and sod. Beginning about a thousand years ago, the Inuit began to move eastward into Arctic Canada. Within a few hundred years, they had replaced the earlier inhabitants of the region, a now-extinct people known as Tunit. By about 1250 AD, the first Inuit had entered Greenland through the Smith Sound area in the far northwest of the island. Here, they may have first encountered Viking hunters coming from the Norse colonies in southwest Greenland. In many areas, the old sod and whalebone winter houses were abandoned in favor of houses made of blocks of snow. They were easier to build as they could be put up anywhere, even on the sea ice, and required only an hour or two to construct. Today, the Inuit continue to live in the arctic regions, working in all sectors of the economy, though many still supplement their income through hunting. Tourism is a growing industry as guides take tourists on dogsled and hunting expeditions, and work with outfitting organizations.

Iowa/Ioway – Iowa, or Ayuwha, was a term borrowed by the French from the Dakota that signifies “Sleepy-ones.” The Iowa people are of Sioux stock and closely related to the Otoe and Missouri tribes. They moved about a great deal, mostly in the states of Iowa and Minnesota. Through various treaties with the U.S. Government they lost their lands in Minnesota, and Missouri. The Ioway practiced farming and lived in villages; however, bands that lived farther west adopted more of the customs of the Plains Indians. In 1836, another treaty assigned part of them a reservation along the Great Nemaha River in present-day Brown County, Kansas and Richardson County, NebraskaMore …

Innu – The Montagnais and Naskapi have different tribal names but consider themselves part of the same culture, Innu. The Innu are indigenous people of eastern Quebec and Labrador, Canada. Most Innu people still live in their traditional territory today, which they call Nitassinan.

Iroquois – The Iroquois Indians lived in the Northeastern of the United States, in what is now New York. The Iroquois Indians were actually a “nation” of Indians made up of five tribes, including the SenecaOnondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk. These tribes were hostile and war-like among each other until they joined together to become the “League of the Five Nations.” When they were not at war with each other, their primary occupation was clearing fields and building villages. The men carefully removed all facial hair and wore their hair in a Mohawk style. Tattoos were common for both sexes. The Iroquois often practiced torture and ritual cannibalism. There are some 80,000 people in the United States today that claim an Iroquois heritage.

Back to Index of Tribes

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *