Arkansas Indian Tribes

The following tribes at one time are recorded in history as having resided within the present state of Arkansas. If the tribe name is in bold, then Arkansas is the primary location known for this tribe, otherwise we provide the tribes specifics as it pertains to Arkansas and provide a link to the main tribal page if available.

  • Caddo Indians
    These Indians are treated under the five following heads: Adai and the Natchitoches Confederacy in Louisiana, Eyeish and the Hasinai Confederacy in Arkansas, and Kadohadacho Confederacy in Texas. Tribes of the Kadohadacho Confederacy are the only ones known to have lived in Arkansas.
  • Cahinnio Indians
    One of the tribes connected with the Kadohadacho Confederacy (under Texas).
  • Cherokee Indians
    Some Cherokee lived in this State while they were on their way from their old territories to Oklahoma, and a tract of land in northwestern Arkansas was granted them by treaty in 1817, which in 1828 they re-ceded to the United States Government.
  • Chickasaw Indians
    Chickasaw passed through Arkansas on their way to Oklahoma but owned no land there.
  • Choctaw Indians
    The Choctaw had a village on the lower course of Arkansas River in 1805 and they owned a large strip of territory in the western part of the State, granted to them by the treaty of Doak’s Stand, October 18, 1820. They surrendered the latter in a treaty concluded at Washington, January 20, 1825.
  • Illinois Indians
    When Europeans first descended the Mississippi an Illinois division known as Michigamea, “Big Water”, was settled in northeastern Arkansas about a lake known by their name, probably the present Big Lake in Mississippi County. They had probably come from the region now embraced in the State of Illinois only a short time before, perhaps from a village entered on some maps as “the old village of the Michigamea.” Toward the end of the seventeenth century they were driven north again by the Quapaw or Chickasaw and united with the cognate Kaskaskia. (See Illinois.)
  • Kaskinampo Indians
    This tribe appears to have Leen encountered by De Soto in what is now the State of Arkansas in 1541.
  • Michigamea Indians (See Illinois Indians.)
  • Mosopelea, see Ofo Indians.
  • Ofo Indians
    If these are the Mosopelea Indians, as seems assured, they appear to have lived for a short time near the end of the seventeenth century in the neighborhood of the Quapaw on the lower course of Arkansas River before moving farther south. (See also Mississippi Indian Tribes.)
  • Osage Indians
    The Osage hunted over much of the northern, and particularly northwestern, part of Arkansas and claimed all lands now included in the State as far south as Arkansas River. They ceded most of their claims to these to the United States Government in a treaty signed at Fort Clark, Louisiana Territory, in 1808, and the remainder by treaties at St. Louis, September 25, 1818, and June 2, 1825. (See Missouri.)
  • Quapaw Indians
  • Tunica Indians
    From some names given by the chroniclers of De Soto it is probable that the Tunica or some tribes speaking their language were living in Arkansas in his time. In fact it is not unlikely that the Pacaha or Capaha, who have often been identified with the Quapaw, were one of these. In later historic times they camped in the northeastern part of Louisiana and probably in neighboring sections of Arkansas.
  • Yazoo Indians
    Like the Tunica this tribe probably camped at times in northeastern Louisiana and southeastern Arkansas, but there is no direct evidence of the fact.


Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

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