The Iowa (also spelled Ioway), also known as the Báxoje, are a Native American Siouan people. Their name has been said to come from ayuhwa ("asleep"), but they call themselves Báxoje (alternate spellings: pahotcha, Bah-kho-je) ("dusted faces" or "grey snow"). The translation "dusted faces" is a likely folk etymology, since the Ioway words use different consonants. It was common practice among early European explorers to get the names of tribes from other tribes. Thus, ayuhwa is not an Ioway word. The word Ioway comes from Dakotan ayuxbe via French aiouez; however, the Ioways are referred to by themselves and all neighboring tribes as Báxoje or a variant thereof.
The designation came to be applied to the state (Iowa) where they were once found in various locations (Iowa County, Iowa, Iowa River) within it. Together with the Missouri and the Otoe they are part of the Chiwere-speaking peoples, claiming the Ho-Chunks as their "grandfathers." Their estimated population of 1,100 (in 1760) dropped to 800 (in 1804), mainly caused by smallpox. In 1824, the Iowa were moved to reservations in Brown County, Kansas, and Richardson County, Nebraska. Some of them also live in the Iowa Trust Kensan Reservation, south of Perkins,Oklahoma. As of 1990, their population is roughly 1,500.
Between 1820 and 1830 they ceded their Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri lands to the U.S. government and in 1821 were relocated in a reservation along the Kansas-Nebraska border, led by their chief Chief Mahaska (Mew-hew-she-kaw, "White Cloud"; archaic Ioway Maxúshga ; contemporary Maxúhga), surrendering finally the Little Platte territory, in Missouri, by 1824.
In 1836 they settled in a strip of land in Missouri, along with the Sauk and the Fox, but numerous discontent individuals marched to Oklahoma in 1838. Some 45 Iowa fought in the American Civil War in the Union Army, among them Chief James White Cloud, son of Mahaska. In 1861 two official reservations were created for the Iowa, in Nebraska and Kansas, but in 1883 a discontent group was taken to the Lincoln, Payne and Logan counties, in the Indian Territory, where they were aculturated and had their lands divided.
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