Mosopelea

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Mosopelea
Total population
Extinct as a tribe
Regions with significant populations
United States (Ohio, Mississippi, Louisiana)
Languages
Siouan Ofo
Religion
Native tribal religion
Related ethnic groups
Biloxi, Tunica

The Mosopelea, or Ofo, were a Native American Siouan-speaking tribe who historically inhabited the upper Ohio River. In reaction to Iroquois Confederacy invasions to take control of hunting grounds in the 1600s, they moved south to the lower Mississippi River. They finally settled in central Louisiana, where they assimilated with the Siouan-speaking Biloxi and the Tunica people. They are generally classified with the speakers of the Siouan Ofo language.

History[edit]

According to the 1684 French map of Jean-Baptiste-Louis Franquelin, the Mosopelea had eight villages just north of the Ohio River, between the Muskingum and Scioto rivers, within the present-day state of Ohio. This was part of the Mississippian culture territory, which extended along the Ohio River and its tributaries. They were known as Mound builders and were ancestors to the Mosopelea.[1]

Franquelin noted the villages on the map as "destroyed". La Salle recorded that the Mosopelea were among the tribes conquered by the Seneca and other nations of the Iroquois Confederacy in the early 1670s, during the later Beaver Wars.[2] In 1673, Marquette, Joliet, and other French explorers found that the Mosopelea had fled to the lower Mississippi. They lived for a time near the Natchez people.

Around 1700, French travelers reported Ofo villages in Louisiana on the Yazoo River. Refusing to join the Natchez in their war against the French in the 1710s and 1720s, the Ofo moved further south. They and other remnant peoples became assimilated into the Biloxi and Tunica peoples. Their language became extinct.

Today their descendants are enrolled in the federally recognized Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe and have a reservation in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. They speak English or French as the first language.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hanna, p. 125.
  2. ^ Hanna, p. 97.

References[edit]

  • Hanna, Charles. The Wilderness Trail, Vol 2, pp. 94-105.