We are the Ioway; best known today as the tribe for whom the state of Iowa was named, we are often called Ioway to help distinguish us from the state of Iowa. Tribal members use both Iowa and Ioway to represent themselves, though our traditional name is Baxoje, meaning grey snow. By the time white settlers first entered Iowa in the mid 1800s, we had already moved our villages into northern Missouri due to incessant warfare in Iowa between the Sioux in the northern and western parts of the state and the Sauk and Meskwaki in the souther and eastern parts of the state.
Archaeologists call the sites of the ancestral Ioway, Oneota, after one of the names for the Upper Iowa River where such sites were first located. Other closely related tribes such as the Otoe, Missouria, Winnebago, and Omaha also participated in the Oneota culture. This connection is supported by tribal traditions and linguistic studies,which assert that all those tribes were once one people. The Oneota are most identified with certain types of pottery but also with the use of pipestone, copper, and small triangular arrowheads. They were guardians of the pipestone quarry in Minnesota until about 1700.