Welcome to the Quapaw Nation of the state of Oklahoma!
From the tribal term Ugakhpa, meaning "downstream people." In the mid-1600's, French explorers traveling down the Mississippi River used members of the tribe as their guides, referring to them as Akansea, "people of the south wind;" hence the name Arkansas, from which the Quapaw and their lands were named.
The Quapaw and other Dhegiha people were once a single group located near the mouth of the Ohio River. In the early 1600's, the Quapaw left the group and followed the Ohio River downstream to the Mississippi River, settling on the land which is now Arkansas. In 1818, the U.S. obtained land from the tribe encompassing southern Arkansas, Oklahoma and part of Louisiana. The only tract of land that was left to them was a small parcel on the south side of the Arkansas River. In 1824, the U.S. forced the Quapaw to yield their remaining lands, terminating their claim to Arkansas. Following this loss of lands, the Quapaw were removed to the Red river in northwestern Louisiana, where they suffered floods and destruction of crops. Over the next six years, the surviving tribal members moved back to Arkansas, and in 1833, the tribe was removed from Arkansas for the last time. They moved to northeastern Indian Territory and established villages, only to find they had settled on lands belonging to the Seneca tribe. Dismayed, the Quapaw broke into three bands and separated. By 1859, in anticipation of the sale of reservation land in Kansas 345 of the 400 tribal members returned to the Quapaw reservation in Indian Territory. With the onset of the Civil War the tribe fled to Kansas, and by 1879, two-thirds were living with the Osage. With the threat of losing their reservation lands, a number of Quapaw began to return from the Osage reservation. In an unprecedented move, the tribe voted to allot their land among themselves, an allotment ratified by Congress in 1895.
The Quapaw were primarily farmers, raising corn, beans, squash, gourds, melons and tobacco. Their villages contained several dome-shaped, bark-covered long housed, each occupied by several families. Positions of political power and religious leadership were held exclusively by men.
Quapaw Nation Archivist
Gene Phillips -State Archivist
Linda Simpson - Archivist-Indian Nations/Indian Territory
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If you have any cemetery records, bible records, deeds, applications for citizenship in the Quapaw Nation, land patents, probate records, allotment records, etc, that pertain to the Quapaw Nation, please send them to me as an attachment in an e-mail to Interim File Manager. Please be sure to identify that it is for the Quapaw Nation. It also needs to be a plain text file, no HTML and no images. This ensures that everybody will be able to read it, no matter what kind of web browser. Here is a help file.
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Last Updated: 29 Aug 2009