Fox - Orientation

Identification. The Fox were a hunting and agricultural society whose name for themselves was "Meskwahki-haki," meaning "Red earths" or "People of the red earth." Their identity is often confused with the Sauk. But even after the development of a close alliance between the two groups in the eighteenth century, the Fox have remained a single, clearly defined group.

Location. In aboriginal times the Fox were located in Present-day southern Michigan or northwestern Ohio. Prior to European contact they were driven by the Iroquois into Wisconsin, where they were located at the time of first direct Contact with Europeans in the mid-seventeenth century. Their territory at that time centered on the Wolf River and spread from Lake Superior south to the Chicago River and from Lake Michigan west to the Mississippi River.

Demography. In 1650 the Fox numbered approximately 2,500, and in the early nineteenth century, between 1,600 and 2,000. By 1867 the Fox population had declined to but 264 persons. In 1932 they numbered 403, and in 1955, 653. In the 1980s the Fox numbered about 1,000, with some 500 on the Sac and Fox Reservation in Tama County, Iowa.

Linguistic Affiliation. The Fox spoke an Algonkian Language, which those in Iowa still speak.

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