The Ioway Tribe. The name, Ioway, is not a word this Native American tribe used for themselves. Actually, the word the Ioways used (their autonym) is Báxoje (bah-kho-je – with alternate spellings: pahotcha or pahucha), which translates into “Grey Snow.”
Sadly, the word Ioway derives from an ethnic slur given to the Báxoje people by the Sioux nation; a word pronounced ayuhwa, which means “sleepy ones.” Early European explorers often adopted tribal names from these ethnonyms (ethnic nicknames), not understanding that these words were often very derogatory in nature, differing greatly from what the native people actually called themselves. Thus, ayuhwa (Iowa) is not a Báxoje (Ioway) word but is actually a slam against the very people Iowans wanted to honor.
The Iowa, or Ioway, lived for the majority of its recorded history in what is now the state of Iowa, but were pushed out of their homeland over a period of 14 years (1824-1838).
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