Choctaw Tribe Essay

958 words - 4 pages

When a Choctaw tribal member became terminally ill, it was common practice for the medicine man to inform the family of impending death (Swanton 1931:170). Upon death, the Choctaws believed that the spirit of the dead continued on a voyage to either the good hunting ground or the bad hunting ground. This journey would take many days, which would require the proper provisions. A dog would sometimes be slain in order to accompany his master on the long journey. After the introduction of horses, they, too, were killed so that the spirit had means of transportation. Food, drink, clothing and shoes were also offered (Cushman 1999:302, Swanton 1931:170).
After death, the corpse was placed on a scaffolding about five or six feet above ground. The platform was constructed of timber and placed on poles. The body was then covered with a blanket made of animal skin and tree bark so not to attract scavenging animals. The body remained in this position until the flesh decayed, approximately four to six months (Cushman 1999:302-3). During this time, immediate family was considered to be in formal mourning. Each day for a short period of time, family members would be found weeping at the scaffolding (Fogelson 2004:507).
Once the flesh had decayed, the bone picker began his ritual. “The Bone-Picker never trimmed the nails of his thumbs, index and middle fingers which accordingly grew to an astonishing length – sharp and almost hard as flint – and well adapted to the horrid business of their owner’s calling” (Swanton 1931:176). The remaining flesh, tendons, muscles and nerves were ripped from the skeleton, bundled up and placed on the corner of the platform and burned, or disposed of in a field (Cushman 1999:303, Swanton 1931:176). Once the bones were deposited in the mortuary box, the tribe partook in a funeral feast, conducted by the bone picker, whom had not yet washed his hands (Debo 1934:5, Folgelson 2004:508). The bone box was then stored inside a structure built solely for the purpose of housing the bones of the deceased (Cushman 1999:303). The boxes of bones were placed together with the remains of other Choctaws. A ceremony of mourning occurred once or twice during a single year. Once the simple structure was full, the hampers were removed and buried under large earthen mounds (Debo 1934:5-6).
The Choctaw believed in a dual afterlife, much like Christianity’s Heaven and Hell. The spirit remained with the body for some time before beginning its journey to the good hunting ground. A treacherous mountain range, running east to west, separated the good hunting ground to the south and the bad hunting ground to the north. It was believed that no human, only spirits, could pass over the...

Find Another Essay On Choctaw Tribe

The Tragedy of the Trail of Tears

1565 words - 6 pages decade, Jackson led the Indian removal campaign, helping to negotiate nine of the eleven major treaties to remove Indians. Native American tribes specifically the Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw realized that they could not defeat the Americans in war. They hoped that if they gave up a good deal of their land, they could keep at least some a part of it. The Seminoles, in 1832 the Seminoles were called to a meeting at Payne's Landing

Native Americans Colonization Era Essay

587 words - 2 pages imagining that they could control the actions of local residents" (Saunt 85). When Columbus and his men arrived in the Caribbean, they disregarded the fact that there were other humans living there already, and claimed the land as their own (Stannard 8). More than 200 years later, the French used gifts to manipulate the Choctaw tribe into attacking the Chickasaw tribe against their will. The British and the French used these tribes to fight a war for themselves, on native land, causing native deaths. These examples of the Europeans treating the natives as "savages" and "barbarians" show the arrogance and idea of superiority displayed by the Europeans. (Axtell 24)

The Chickasaw Nation

1712 words - 7 pages The Chickasaw Indian Nation is not only a unique tribe with many diverse ways of living, but they are a tribe that stays true to their heritage and culture. This Southeastern tribe has overcome many obstacles and has taught Americans about their traditions and many have benefited from their knowledge. Today the Chickasaw reside in Okalahoma and are currently the eighth largest tribe in the United States.A. Native Life waysThe Chickasaw had first

Southeastern Native American Literature

1246 words - 5 pages Southeastern Native American Literature Native American literature from the Southeastern United States is deeply rooted in the oral traditions of the various tribes that have historically called that region home. While the tribes most integrally associated with the Southeastern U.S. in the American popular mind--the FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole)--were forcibly relocated to Indian Territory

Examination of The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978

3154 words - 13 pages status of twin babies, whose birth parents were of Native American heritage and were residents and members of a tribe in Neshoba County, Mississippi. (Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield, 1989). The twins were adopted by a non-Native American family in Harrison County, Mississippi. The debate in this case was centered on the location of the children. The facts of the case outlined that the children were not born on an Indian

Mortuary Practices and Afterlife of the Choctaw

1962 words - 8 pages , and meat (Carson 1995:495-6). The greatest responsibilities of the Choctaw men were hunting and warfare. During the fall and winter months, their primary food source was deer. Their accomplishments on hunting adventures directly reflected upon their social status and importance within the tribe (Carson 1995:197). Although the Choctaw shared much of their culture with many of the other tribes in the Southeast, “in the disposition of their

Trail Of Tears

1704 words - 7 pages Trail of Tears Native Americans lost their land due to the Indian Removal Act, many of them died on the trail which in American History is known as the Trail of Tears. There were 5 tribes involved in this removal, it included The Choctaw, The Chickasaws, The Muscogee Creeks, the Seminoles and The Cherokee. This was a tragic time in history. Was it the right thing to do to these people, or was it worth it all? It was an injustice act on the

Francis Clayton, A Brave Woman Soldier

1309 words - 5 pages were seen as of less worth. Native Americans such as the Choctaw Indians of Oklahoma fought with the Confederates. The Choctaw became the first Indian tribe to have its own flag. Women also performed tasks in the civil war. The Civil War played a role in America’s acceptance of other minority groups as the country becomes a melting pot of cultures in the future. Women in the civil war served several different jobs. Many worked as nurses and

Indian Gaming

753 words - 3 pages female of African-American, Native-American (Choctaw tribe) and Caucasian decent was adamant about her vote in 1998 to let Native American?s operate casinos. ?The BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs] pushed my grand-parents off of their land and stuck them on a piece of practically uninhabitable land and expected them to survive.? She went on to say, ?I think if they would have been able to have a casino on their land then they would have been able to

John Bennett Herrington: Native American Astronaut

1704 words - 7 pages In 2002 John Bennett Herrington made history as the first member of a federally recognized Native American tribe to reach outer space. Herrington- an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma- as a special tribute to his Native American heritage carried six eagle feathers, a braid of sweet grass, arrowheads, sacred ground and the Chickasaw Nation flag into orbit. Born in 1958 in Wetumka, Oklahoma, Herrington’s family moved

Native American Sports

1863 words - 7 pages Native Americans are known for many different qualities they had as a part of their lifestyle. The games and sports they created to play that are now used in today’s society, lacrosse being the most famous. Some of the games played in the early times are either drastically changed or no longer played. There are many different Native American tribes that factor out cultural differences and depending on the tribe, the lifestyle qualities such as

Similar Essays

It's About The History Of The Choctaw Indians. It's A Detailed Paper On Their Culture And Way Of Living. I Thought It Was A Great Paper.

1473 words - 6 pages individuals. Other economic development enterprises owned by the Tribe include the Arrowhead Resort Hotel and Gaming Center at Canadian, Oklahoma, and the Choctaw Nation Finishing Company at Hugo, Oklahoma, which provide employment for approximately 75 individuals.Today, the Choctaw Nation provides many services for the Choctaw people. Some of those services include: tribal newspaper "BISHINIK", community Health Services, Talihina Hospital and clinics

Brief History Of George Strother Gaines

1210 words - 5 pages No matter how far Gaines got away from Demopolis or St. Stephens, he would always be called upon to serve in dealings with the Choctaw Indians. William Ward, the federal agent with the Choctaw Indian tribe contacted Gaines about another treaty conference that would be held in Macon, Mississippi. William Ward wanted Gaines and his partner Glover to set up camp near the treaty and supply the food and other supplies for the guest. The treaty

Mortuary Practices And Afterlife Of The Choctaw

2124 words - 8 pages slain animal back to the village for processing of skins, bone, and meat (Carson 1995:495-6). The greatest responsibilities of the Choctaw men were hunting and warfare. During the fall and winter months, their primary food source was deer. Their accomplishments on hunting adventures directly reflected upon their social status and importance within the tribe (Carson 1995:197). Although the Choctaw shared much of their culture with many of the other

Trail Of Tears Essay

650 words - 3 pages George Washington and many other leaders assumed that the best way to push them away was to “civilize” them. By civilizing them they tried to teach them to read and speak English, to convert them to the Christianity religion, and to adapt to the European way of life. Soon the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Creek, and Cherokee became the “Five Civilized Tribes.” Under Andrew Jackson’s presidency the “Indian Removal Act” was created. This law