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Quapaw (O-GAH-PAH)

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Quapaw (O-GAH-PAH)

Flag Map

The Quapaw lived in small villages in the Ohio River Valley area in the 15th century. The most important staple was the buffalo, but they also grew corn, beans, squash, gourds, tobacco, and plums, and gathered berries and nuts. Nearby water sources provided fish.

Eventually the Quapaw were forced to move from their lands by the Iroquois. They traveled west to the Mississippi River. Here, they divided into two groups. One group went upstream and the other downstream. The Quapaw who ultimately settled in Arkansas called themselves O-GAH-PAH meaning the "downstream people."

About the Flag:

The buffalo in the center of the shield represents the Quapaw dependence on the buffalo and their skill in tanning and painting buffalo robes. The eagle feathers represent the four directions and the number four is sacred. The Quapaw revere the eagle because it flies so high and, in their belief, talks with God. The red and blue background of the flag symbolizes the blanket used in meetings of the Native American Church. The Quapaws were one of the first tribes to adopt the Native American Church.

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