The Choctaw Tribe
The Choctaw Indians were an important tribe, and the largest of the Muskogean tribes. The 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 tribe is descended from ancestors who were formed by a spirit from the damp earth of Nanih Waiyah, a large mound in northeastern Mississippi. Either way, the Choctaws resided in places, holding most of Southern Alabama and Mississippi with adjoining parts of Louisiana. The Choctaws had a strong tradition of doing business. They were very intelligent people. The tribe developed a strong economy based on farming and selling goods and livestock to the Europeans who were beginning to venture into the Choctaw territory. They worked mostly as agriculturists, and were preeminently the agriculturists of the Southern Indians. In addition, the Choctaws were known as peaceful people. They were ready to defend themselves when needed, but they seldom initiated warfare against neighboring tribes.
The main weakness of the Choctaws was that there were limited choices for their future. There was no recognized tribal government, and very few Choctaws owned land. It was said that they were the poorest pocket of poverty in the poorest state of the country". There was a lack of educational opportunity, and few schools were open to Choctaw children. There were also poor health conditions. Had there been a decent tribal government formed, these issues could have been dealt with, however it was not until the removal of the Choctaws until a stable government was formed.
The Choctaw tribe is certainly an interesting one. One of their chief religious ceremonies was a harvest celebration called the Green Corn Dance. At this, among other corn festivals, marriage arrangements were made. In addition, the game of chunkey as well as the ball...
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