The Choctaw Indians
The Choctaw Indians is a tribe of Musksgean stock .The Choctaws were once part of a larger tribe that included the Greeks and Seminoles and are considered one of the five civilized tribes (Cherokees , Greeks, Choctaws , Seminoles, and Chickasaws) . At one time Choctaw territory extended from Mississippi to Georgia, but by the time Europeans began to arrive in North America they were primarily in Mississippi and Louisiana.
The Choctaw Indians were into cultivation , they hunted and raised corn along with a host of other crops. One of their chief religious ceremonies was a harvest celebration called , "The green corn dance." According to one legend, the Choctaw were created at a sacred mound called Nanih Waiya, near Noxapater ,Mississippi.
In 1540, the Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto led the first European expedition through Choctaw territory. Fighting broke out after the Choctaw refused to supply the Spaniards with a guide and transportation. The Spaniards were in the wrong because the Choctaw Indians were friendly especially with the French and allied with them during the intercolonial wars between France and England . Some Choctaws fought with Jackson at New Orleans against the British.
In 1830, the United States Government passed the Indian removal Act. This act called for Eastern Indians to be moved West to make room for white settlers. The Government then forced the Choctaw to sign the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. The Treaty exchanged the Tribe's Eastern land for an area in the Indian territory, in what is now Oklahoma. About 14,000 Choctaw's moved there in several groups during the early 1830's . About a fourth of the Indians died on the journey .About 5,000 Choctaw remained in Mississippi .
According to the 1990 Census, there are about 82,000 Choctaw in existence now. About 43,000 live in Oklahoma, and about 5,300 live in Mississippi as a separate tribe. Many Choctaws are farmers or foresters .
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