Iowa Indian Tribe Photo Descriptions

A tribe of Indians of Dakota stock, inhabiting originally the interior of the State of the same name. Marquette in 1673 placed them on his map as the Pa-houtet. Some of the neigh boring Algonkin called them Iowas a name originally applied to a river, and said to mean “the beautiful land” and others Mascoutin or Prairie Nadouessi. In their own tongue their name is Pahucha, meaning u Dusty Nose. “They were famous as great pedestrians, being able to walk twenty-five or thirty leagues a day, and the names of many of their chiefs show that they prided themselves on their walking.

In 1700 they were on the Maukato, and constantly roaming with the Western Algonkin. Early in the present century they numbered about 1,500, and were involved in wars with the Osages, Omaha, and the Sioux, losing heavily. Later they became much decimated through the ravages of the small-pox and other diseases.

First treaty was made with them in 1815. In 1836 the tribe, numbering 992, were removed to the west bank of the Missouri, and from this time rapidly declined in numbers, many of them becoming vagrants in other ‘tribes, and others killed themselves by intemperance. By 1846 had decreased to 700. In 1861 the tribe, now reduced to 305, ceded all their lands except 16,000 acres, which they subsequently, in 1869, shared with some of the Sacs and Foxes, their old friends.

Since the tribe has been placed under the charge of the Society of Friends they have improved somewhat, so that at the present time (1875), although reduced to 219 souls, they are all living in good houses on their fertile reservation in Southern Nebraska, and are raising much more than is needed for their own consumption. They have good schools, at which nearly one-fourth of the tribe attend, and nearly one-half of the whole number can read. They stand in the front rank of civilized Indian tribes.

List of illustrations.

385-6. Nag A-Rash. British.
Became first chief of the Iowa in 1862, upon the death of Nau-chee-ning-a. Has always taken a prominent place in favor of civilization and the advancement of his tribe by education and work. Has made four visits to Washington and two to New York, the first being in 1847, when he travelled from Saint Joseph, Mo., to Baltimore in a wagon. Took part once in a great battle between the Otoe, Pawnee, Kickapoo, Pottawatomie, and Sac and Foxe on one side, and the Snake, Crow, Cheyenne, Arapahoe, Comanche, and Kiowa on the other, lasting from early dawn until dark. British shot 160 balls; 150 of the enemy were left on the field. Age, 68; height, 5.8½; head, 22 7/8; chest, 47½; weight, 193.

388-9. Mah-Hee. Knife.
Third chief of the Iowa. When young, lived in Missouri, but afterward removed to Kansas. Enjoyed the confidence of the whiles to a marked degree, and was mail-carrier for some time between the frontier posts and the agency. Was among the first to take the lead in settling down to an agricultural life. Has always been a hard-working man, but at one time was dissipated, and once, when under the influence of liquor, killed his father. Is a strictly temperate man now, but his rapidly-failing health will soon unfit him for his usual labor, and his example in the tribe as an industrious man will soon be lost. Age, 50; height,. 5.10; head, 22¾; chest, 39½; weight, 172.

391, 395. Tah-Ra-Kee. Deer Ham.
Was fourth chief of the tribe until October, 1876, when he was deposed for persistent interference with the business of the agency. He had been suspended before, but was reinstated by another agent. Age, 50 years; height, 5.8½; head, 22; chest, 41½; weight, 179.

390. Ki-He-Ga-Ing-A. Little Chief.
Fifth chief of the Iowa. Enlisted in the Northern Army and participated in the late war of the rebellion, serving two years. Was promised the position of a chief if he enlisted, and upon his return the promise was made good. Age, 43; height, 5.10; head, 22¾; chest, 43; weight, 192.

387. Kra-Ten-Tha-Wah. Black Hawk.
Was sixth chief of the Iowa. Died January 1, 1871, aged about 30 years; height, 6 feet; weight, 170 pounds.

392-4. Nan-Chee-Ning-A. No Heart.
Was first chief of the Iowas. Died in 188?, aged 65; height, 5.10; weight, 170.

921. A Chief

922. Group, comprising most of the above numbers.


Source: Descriptive Catalogue, Photographs Of North American Indians . United States Geological Survey of the Territories, 1877 by W. H. Jackson, Photographer of the Survey, F. V. Hayden, U. S. Geologist.

Search Military Records - Fold3

Leave a Comment

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top