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Name applied to nomadic hunting tribes in Quebec and Ontario, and later to the entire Algonquian linguistic family to which they belong. Located originally near Ottawa, the Algonquian tribe was driven northward by 17th-century wars with the Iroquois and British, whom they, as allies of the French, opposed. They had the characteristic attributes of a Plains tribe. The linguistic family, whose primitive culture preceded those of the Mound Builders and Iroquois, included the Arapaho, Blackfoot, and Cheyenne of the northern Plains; the Ojibway, Cree, Shawnee, Delaware, Mohegan, Narragansett, and Pequot of the eastern U.S.; and tribes as far south as the Powhatan. Longfellow uses Algonquian legends in his poem on the Mohawk hero Hiawatha.

Subjects: Literature.

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