Baxoje Ukiche
(Ioway Nation)

Pi ramanyi ho!
(Walk in a good way!)

Iowa Leaders

Rediscovering the Landscape of the Ioway
(Tanji na Che)

 The Iowa, or Ioway, lived for the majority of its recorded history in what is now the state of Iowa. The Iowas call themselves the Bah-Kho-Je which means grey snow, probably derived from the fact that during the winter months their dwellings looked grey, as they were covered with fire-smoked snow. The name Iowa is a French term for the tribe and has an unknown connection with 'marrow.' Their language is a Chiwere dialect of the Sioux language.

The Iowas began as a Woodland culture, but because of their migration to the south and west, they bgan to adopt elements of the Plains culture, thus culminating in the mixture of the two. The Iowa Nation was probably indgenous to the Great Lakes ares and part of the Winnebago Nation. At some point a portion moved southward, where they separated again. The portion which stayed closest to the Mississippi River became the Iowa; the remainder became the Otoe and Missouria.


Dore and Wahredua
Rabbit and Muskrat
Legend of the White Plume

The Iowa Tribe was fortunate enough to have an historic preservation grant for the purpose of conducting an oral history. A series of questions were developed to assist in conducting the interviews. Elders were asked to share their memories which were placed on an audio recording, and were given an honorarium. In addition, photographs were gathered and genealogical information. It is our hope that future generations will be able to visit the Iowa Tribe library and hear the voices of their great, great grandparents and see family and historic photos as well. An important element of the Bah-Kho-Je culture is the Wa-Kah, or story telling sessions in which tribal members gathered during the winter to share stories.

In the earliest historical period of 1600, the Ioways, descendants of the Oneota, were in the area of the Red Pipestone Quarry in southwestern Minnesota.  In 1730 they were found living in villages in the Lake Okoboji and Spirit Lake Region of Northwest Iowa.  They moved south to the vicinity of Council Bluffs, Iowa.  In the middle of the 18th century, part of them moved up the Des Moines River.  The remainder established themselves on the Grand and Platte Rivers in Missouri.  In treaties, they ceded their claims to lands in Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota.  The Treaty of 1836 assigned part of them to a reservation along the Great Nemaha River in Nebraska and Kansas.  Later part of the Ioways moved to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.  The original Iowa Reservation in Oklahoma was established by Executive Order dated August 15, 1883.  The Iowa Nation was now divided into two tribes.  The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma are the Southern Iowas, and the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska are the northern Iowas.

Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma
RR 1, Box 721
Perkins, OK
(405) 547-2402


by Lance Foster

Enrolled member of Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska

The Pasnute stood against the wind
His tusks gleaming, his horns gleaming
The ones in the water
His bones in the ground
The ones who came found his bones
They could not find him

They could not find the ones in the water
The wind moved always
they did not see
A fishtrap can not catch him
And the mountains were blackened by cold and fire
They did not see

Pahin Tache nahe mahan
hithreje etawe dahahaje, he etawe dahahaje
wahu etawe mahada
se'e hunye wahu uware
irogrenye skunyi
nyidanye irogrenye skunyi....

It is all very wrong
as the Creator makes it so
but let us defend our people, our land, our ways
Or we will truly be dead
The Pahin must stand against the wind
for it is his way
or he is not Pahin
Hintuka, winat'undatan
Grandfather, pity us
dagure lagunstada, se'e ke
whatever you want, that is how it will be
Ho, chugre broke mintawe, heeehan

To the others:
We don't want you
go away
we do not want what you have
we are poor
go away

I write this in mind of my ancestors in whose land i stand
and especially for Manyixange
The Ioway patriot
Pi ramanyi ho!

Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma
335588 E 750 RD
Perkins, Oklahoma 74059


Iowa Language

Indians in the War

The Iowa


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Compiled by: Glenn Welker

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