The Iowas are of the Siouan family, but here we find them confederated with two tribes of the Algonquian stock. The Iowas claim to be an offshoot from the Winnebagos. They were the wanderers of the Sionans, and have lived in Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, and some of them have lived in Nebraska. This was before they were settled in Kansas. At one time they lived on the Missouri River opposite the site of Fort Leavenworth. The name signifies “The Sleepy Ones.” Their social organization is similar to that of other Siouan tribes. There are two phratries, each having four gentes:

First phratry:

  1. Black Bear.
  2. Wolf.
  3. Eagle and Thunder-being.
  4. Elk.

Second phratry:

  1. Beaver.
  2. Pigeon.
  3. Buffalo.
  4. Snake.

There was an Owl gens, but it is extinct.

In 1830 the confederacy of which the Iowas were a tribe consisted of the Sacs, Foxes, Iowas, Omahas, Missouris, Otoes, and Sioux.

Additional Iowa, Sac, and Fox History