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Sauk and Fox - Two closely allied tribes of the Algonquian Indians who spoke almost the same language, observed the same customs, and were found together by the French in 1650.  They lived originally in the Great Lakes region and later in Iowa and Kansas.  The actual confederation of the two tribes appears to have been formed in 1760 and was strengthen when they fought together in the Black Hawk war in 1832.

The Sauk and Fox were Woodland Indians, lived in bark lodges, and used the canoe.  They ate wild rice, and cultivated maize, beans, squash, and tobacco.  heir headdress was striking - usually a tuft of deer hair dyed red and tied in the manner of a scalp lock, with the rest of the head shaved bare.  They wore moccasins, leggings, and breechcloth, with the upper part of the body bare.  Warriors were known by the white clay print of a hand on their backs or shoulders.

The Sauk sometimes called Sac, were known in the Indian language as "Yellow Earth People," as distinguished from the Fox, who were "Red Earth People."

Father Allouez, a Jesuit priest, reported that the Sauk and Fox were the most savage of all the forest tribes.  he claimed they would kill a white man because they could not bear the sight of whiskers.  Other Indians knew them as brave, but stingy and inclined to thievery.

The Sauk and Fox were continually at war with the French and the Chippewa.  The two great Sauk leaders were Black Hawk and Keokuk.

The Sauk gave their name to the Sauk River in Minnesota; to a county in Wisconsin,; to Sauk City and Saukville in Wisconsin; to a town in Washington; and Sauk Rapids and Sauk Center in Minnesota.  As Sac the name is applied to a county and county seat in Iowa, a river in Missouri, and a small place in Tennessee.

The Fox have given their name to a river in Wisconsin, as well as to a second river, also called the Pishtaka, which rises in Wisconsin and flows through Illinois into the Illinois River.  Small places in other sections also have been named for them.

Related Information within this Site
[ Black Hawk ][ Chippewa ][ Keokuk ][ Kickapoo ][ Winnebago ]