Louisiana Indians






Indian Nations

Louisiana Native Americans

California Indians


Tribes of Louisiana

The Cabildo

Biloxi, Chitimacha, Choctaw of Louisiana

Louisiana Indian Tribes

Federal Recognized Tribes



Chitimacha Reservation
P.O. Box 661
Charenton, LA 70523
(318) 923-7215
Ralph Darden, Chairperson

Coushatte Reservation

P.O. Box 818
Elton, LA 70532
(318) 584-2261
Lovelin Poncho, Chairperson

Jena Band of Choctaw
P.O. Box 14
Jena, LA 71342
(318) 992

State Recognized Tribes

Choctaw Apache Tribe
P.O. Box 858
Zwolle, LA 71486
(318) 645-4103
TommyW. Bolton, Chairperson
Clifton Choctaw
P.O. Box 32
Gardner, LA 71431
(318) 793-8796
Anna Neal, Administrative Representative
United Houma Nation
20986, Highway 1
Golden Meadow, LA 70357
(504) 851-1550
Kirby Vernet, Chairman


Students have divided the Indians of Louisiana into three linguistic groups -



and Muskhogen.

Each group may be subdivided into the lesser units or tribes enumerated below.

This group was comprise of the Tunican family proper (the Washa, Koroa, and Chawasha tribes), the Opelousas, the Chitimacha, and the Attakapa tribes. Members of these tribes lived in the northeast corner of present-day Louisiana (the Koroa) and in the coastal region (Attakapa and Chitimacha). The Chitimacha culture was a notably advanced one, the members of this tribe being proficient in craftsmanship, both of basketry and metal work. Their descendants still live on the Chitimacha reservation in St. Mary Parish.

A settlement since 1764, the Chitimacha reservation was established by the federal government in 1935.

Located at Charenton near Baldwin, it comprises approximately 280 acres. For reservation privileges each person must have at least one-quarter Indian blood. The Indians receive regular government payments and have small farms and simply furnished homes. Most speak English, but the older ones prefer French. Some knew a few words of their original Indian tongue.

The Chitimacha were a proud and noble tribe and their descendants constitute the Indian aristocracy of Louisiana. The Attakapa and Opelousas Indians were related. The Attakapa, it seems, have borne the brunt of historical misconceptions regarding their cultural development, supposed cannibalism, and living habits in general.




Studies of their language made by the SmithsonianInstitute in 1885, and later research by Hubert Daniel Singleton in the 1990's, show a people both culturally concise and inventive.

Their language correlates to classic Greek and Roman by their conjugation of verbs with regard to person, number, and tense. They were a people who practiced religion regularly and mastered herbal remedies, horticulture, and agriculture. Their handcrafted cypress canoes were seaworthy enough to withstand the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The term cannibal was applied to them only as an insult by the Choctaws.

The European settlers in Louisiana, however, according to Mr. Singleton's research, took this diatribe seriously and unfortunately helped keep the rumor alive. There is no recorded instance of the practice of cannibalism by the much-maligned Attakapa. Although the practice of their language is extinct, the Attakapa are not. Some of their descendants now dwell in the southwest part of Louisiana; other descendants have migrated to other sections of the state.

The Washa, Chawasha, and Koroa tribes were all small and either died out or became indistinct through intermarriage into larger tribes.


Caddoan Family


This group included the Yatasi, Doustioni, Kadohacho, Adai, Washita, and Natchitoches tribes. These tribes were located generally in the northwest corner of the state area on or near the banks of the Red River north of modern Alexandria.

The group had a particularly difficult time after the coming of the whites since their location placed them in a no-man's-land between the rival French and Spanish empires. Eventually, after repeated difficulties with French, Spanish, and finally the neighboring Texans, the Caddoans fled by force march in 1859 to Oklahoma, where their descendants still live.



Muskhogean Family

This group was made up of the Muskhogean family proper (the Taensa, Okelousa, Bayougoula, Quinipissa, Avoyels, Tangipahoa, Acolapissa, Houma, and Choctaw tribes) and the related Natcheans, the former inhabiting the southeastern part of Louisiana, and the latter the east central area of the state.

In 1700 the Muskhogeans lived in more than 60 villages and numbered about 3,500. The Muskhogean tribe best remembered in American history is the Choctaw who lived north of Lake Pontchartrain. They were the first major tribe to form an alliance with the French in Louisiana. They aided the French on several occasions in fighting against their linguistic relatives, the Natchez. While most Choctaw live in what is now the state of Mississippi, many migrated to Louisiana.


For more information, you might wish to contact the Governor's Office of Indian Affairs, Diana S. Williamson, Executive Director, 1886 Wooddale, Blve., Suite 1100, Baton Rouge, L.A.
70806, (504) 925-4509, FAX: (504) 925-4508





With the possible exception o the Caddoans, whose northern location gave them access to buffalo hunting on the plains, all the Indians who lived in what is now Louisiana were of a semisedentary type, relying on agriculture and fishing for thwir main subsistence. Indian corn (maize) was the most important diet crop, although it was supplemented by beans, pumbkins, and melons, which were also grown domestically, and by fish and game.

Indian settlements were always located on the banks of rivers or streams. There were weveral types of dwellings, depending on the resources available for construction in any given area. In the northern part of the state, houses usually had aframe of wooden poles and mud-plastered roofs covered with grass. Houses in the southern part were of palmetto leaves over a frame- work of poles. In eash village one or more granaries were built above the ground on high posts where corn could be stored and protected from mice.

As of 1700, the Indians in what is now the state of Louisiana numbered about 13,000, or one to every four square miles. After
decreasing almost to extinction, they reversed the trend after 1850. The 1940 census gives a total Indian population of 1,801 for the state, very few pure-blooded. The 1950 census counted only 409, but the 1960 census showed 3,587 Indians in Louisiana, an increase of 777 percent in 10 years. The 1980 census reported that 12,065 American Indians, Eskimos, and Aleutians lived in Louisiana. 

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