The Choctaw are a large nation of Native Americans originally located in the present-day states of Mississippi and Alabama. According to their oral traditions, the Choctaw emerged from the sacred mother mound, Nanih Waiya, thousands of years ago. Another tradition tells about their migration from some unknown place in the West, sometime in the distant past, and how they were given their lands forever by the Great Spirit. Relationships with all other beings and spirits formed the heart of the Choctaw worldview. Everything in their world had a spirit all plants and animals and even inanimate objects. According to Western scholars, the Choctaw nation coalesced from the survivors of several groups native to the American Southeast, who had experienced catastrophic population losses from epidemic diseases introduced into America by Europeans in the sixteenth century or earlier. By 1700, however, the Choctaw people viewed themselves as a distinct, unified nation, speaking a dialect of the Muscogee language. The Choctaw were a sedentary people who lived in semipermanent villages. Their subsistence economy included agriculture, hunting, and gathering. Individuals took their mother’s clan identity at birth; thus every Choctaw was integrated into an intricate web of relationships governed by complex social beliefs and traditions. The first meeting with Europeans occurred in 1540 when Hernando de Soto invaded the Southeast. In the late seventeenth century, Frenchmen entered Choctaw territory in search of furs, allies, and trade. The English also sought alliances with the Choctaw from their colonies on the American seaboard. The Choctaw allied themselves primarily with the French, whom they found to be more compatible, but a strong faction of Choctaws maintained close relations with the English. The English, however, incited the Chickasaw to raid the Choctaw nation to kidnap women and children to be sold into the Caribbean slave trade, which was developing in the British colonies. In 1748, a terrible civil war erupted between rival factions of Choctaws. The faction favoring the French crushed its opponents in 1750. The Choctaw allied with the French in their epic struggle against the British; with the defeat of France at the end of the French and Indian War, the Choctaw were left to deal with the British. In 1765, the British met with the Choctaw at Mobile and signed a treaty of friendship. Although nominally allied with the British when the American Revolution erupted, Choctaw warriors instead chose to fight with the Americans. After the defeat of the British, the Americans and the Choctaw entered into a treaty of friendship at Hopewell, South Carolina, in 1786. Donna L. Akers See also: Native American-European Conflict; Native American-European Relations; Native Americans. Bibliography Akers, Donna L. Living in the Land of Death: The Choctaw Nation, 1830 1860. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2003. Debo, Angie. The Rise and Fall of the Choctaw Republic. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1934. Choctaw – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia holidaymapq

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Choctaw on Pinterest Choctaw Indian, Code Talker and Oklahoma holidaymapq

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