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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

ChoctawThe Choctaws have two stories about their origins In their traditional homeland in central Mississippi. One is that their ancestors came from west of the Mississippi River and settled in what is now the homeland. The other is that the tribes descended from ancestors who were formed by a spirit from the damp earth of Nanih Waiyah, a large mound in northeastern Mississippi.LocationThey originally occupied an area that now includes Georgia, Alabama, and southern Mississippi and Louisiana. The Choctaws were the first of the five great southern tribes of the United States to be moved to Oklahoma by the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830. Over 20,000 Choctaws moved on this long journey, with many of the Choctaw people not surviving this removal on what has come to be called The Trail of Tears. Here the Choctaw became, along with the Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Seminole, part of a group of Native Americans known as the Five Civilized Tribes, so called because they had organized governments with written constitutions and because they had adopted other habits of the white settlers, including the establishment of public schools and newspapers. The Choctaw fought on the side of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.Life waysThey lived in mud-and-bark cabins with thatched roofs. The Choctaw were an agricultural people, probably the most able farmers of the southeastern region, employing simple tools to raise corn, beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and tobacco. The men hunted while the women raised the crops, although the men sometimes helped with clearing the fields. The Choctaw were less warlike than their traditional enemies, the Chickasaw and the Creek.The Choctaw's major deity was the sun, a spiritual being whose earthly representative was fire. Their form of burial of the dead was to expose the body on a raised platform, where it decayed, offering its essence back to the sun. Choctaw tradition was to never speak of the dead. The Choctaw also used a hinged piece of wood to apply pressure over a period of time to the foreheads of male infants. They believed head flattening made men more handsome.Social StructureChoctaw society was organized in two major divisions, or iksas, the kashapa okla or Imoklasha and the okla in holahta or hattak in holahta, that regulated marriage. Children belonged to their mother's iksas, and people were required to marry into opposite iksas. Political power and decent is passed through the woman's line as a chief's nephew, his sister's son, generally inherited his power. Culturally, the Choctaws have always honored their women as the head of every family household. They were, and still are today, considered the caretakers of our children, our elders, and the home.Each village had a chief who met with a council of elders and experienced men in a square at the center of the village. The younger men made up the hunters and warriors of the tribe. Conflicts between villagers, and sometimes with other tribes,...

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