The Missouria people were the first American Indians encountered by European explorers venturing up the Pekitanoui River—the waterway we know as the Missouri. This Indian nation called itself the Nyut^achi, which translates to “People of the River Mouth,” and had been a dominant force in the Louisiana Territory of the pre-colonial era. When first described by the Europeans in 1673, they numbered in the thousands. But by 1804, when William Clark referred to them as “once the most powerful nation on the Missouri River,” fewer than 400 Missouria remained. The state and Missouri River are namesakes of these historic Indians, but little of the tribe’s history is known today. Michael Dickey tells the story of these indigenous Americans in The People of the River’s Mouth.
Accessible to general readers, this book recovers the lost history of an important people. The People of the River’s Mouth sheds light on an overlooked aspect of Missouri’s past and pieces together the history of these influential Native Americans in an engaging, readable volume.
About the Author
Michael Dickey is the Historic Site Administrator for the Division of State Parks of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. He is the author of Arrow Rock: Crossroads of the Missouri Frontier and lives in Arrow Rock, Missouri..
Published by University of Missouri, paperback, 2011. 176 pages.