Published on December 10, 2012 by Amy
The Mosopelea, or Ofo, were a Native American tribe who historically inhabited the upper Ohio River. In reaction to Iroquois invasions, they moved south to the lower Mississippi River, finally settling in Louisiana and assimilating with the Siouan-speaking Biloxi and the Tunica people. They are generally classified with the speakers of the Siouan Ofo language.
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According to the 1684 French map of Jean-Baptiste-Louis Franquelin, the Mosopelea originally had eight villages just north of the Ohio River, between the Muskingum and Scioto rivers, within the present-day state of Ohio, corresponding with the heart of Mound builder country.
Franquelin noted the villages on the map as “destroyed”. La Salle recorded that the Mosopelea were among the tribes conquered by the Iroquois in the early 1670s, during the later Beaver Wars. In 1673, Marquette, Joliet, and other French explorers found that the Mosopelea had fled to the lower Mississippi. They lived near the Natchez people.
Around 1700, French travelers reported Ofo villages in Louisiana on the Yazoo River. Refusing to join the Natchez in their war against the French in the 1710s and 1720s, the Ofo moved further south. They and other remnant peoples became assimilated into the Biloxi and Tunica peoples (grouped together as the Tunica-Biloxi).