Collection Description

Culture Name


Culture Description

The Fox are a Central Algonquian-speaking group, originally from Wisconsin and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Since the late twentieth century they have been located primarily around Tama, Iowa, and a subsistence pattern of hunting, gathering, and agriculture has increasingly become one of commuting to jobs in nearby cities. Traditionally, society was divided into two divisions or moieties that crossed over clans and lineages. Politically, the Fox were divided into peace and war organizations with separate chiefs and officials. Important decisions are made by an overarching tribal council whose membership was once determined by a lineage but since the late twentieth century has been chosen by election.


Select the Culture Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.


North America --Eastern Woodlands


United States

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Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in the eHRAF World Cultures and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.

The NP05 Fox collection covers a wide time span from approximately the mid seventeenth century to the late twentieth, with particular emphasis on the period from the early 1800s to the late 1950s. Although there is no single study providing a general introduction to the entire collection, the several documents by Jones (1939, 1911, l969, 1911, 1962, nos. 1, 18, 19, 27, and 61), in combination with the ethnographic data from Forsyth (1912, no. 15), Michelson (1919, no. 36), Joffe (1963, no. 68), and Callender (1978, no. 95), give a general overview of traditional Fox culture. Culture history is a topic present to some degree in all the works in this collection but a phase of this history dealing with the Fox Indian wars from the early pre-contact period to the late eighteenth century is particularly well covered in Kellogg (1908, no. 60), and Edmunds (1993, no. 90).

For more detailed information on the content of the individual works in this file, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

Overview by

Ian Skoggard


John Beierle

ceremonial runner -- Use Dissemination Of News And Information ( 203 ) with Organized Ceremonial ( 796 )

ceremonial societies -- Use Sodalities ( 575 )

drum society -- Use Congregations ( 794 )

gens festivals -- Use Organized Ceremonial ( 796 ) with Sibs ( 614 )

government annuities to the Fox -- Use Public Welfare ( 657 ) and/or Income And Demand ( 434 )

head or principal chief -- Use Community Heads ( 622 )

inviting sticks -- Use Mnemonic Devices ( 211 )

Kicko -- one of the two Fox moieties -- Use Moieties ( 616 )

Kiyagamohag -- the Fox warrior society -- Use Military Organization ( 701 )

mamishaumuk -- priests -- Use Priesthood ( 793 )

manitou -- a belief in a cosmic mysterious power existing everywhere in nature -- Use Sacred Objects And Places ( 778 ) -- in reference to supernatural beings -- Use Spirits And Gods ( 776 )

ma-tau-e-qua -- war chief -- Use Local Officials ( 624 )

micami -- sacred medicine bundles -- Use Sacred Objects And Places ( 778 )

Minor chiefs -- Use Local Officials ( 624 )

Natawinona -- hunting medicine -- Use Hunting And Trapping ( 224 ) with Magic ( 789 )

To’kana -- one of the two Fox moieties -- Use Moieties ( 616 )

Indexing Notes by

John Beierle

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