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Chickasaw Tribe

Chickasaw Indians. An important Muskhogean tribe, closely related to the Choctaw in language and customs, although the two tribes were mutually hostile. Aside from tradition, the earliest habitat traceable for the Chickasaw is north Mississippi. Their villages in the 18th century centered about Pontotoc and Union counties, where the headwaters of the Tombigbee meet those of Yazoo river and its affluent, the Tallahatchie, about where the De Soto narratives place them in 1540, under the name Chicaza. Their main landing place on the Mississippi was at Chickasaw Bluffs, now the site of Memphis, Tennessee, whence a trail more than 160 miles long led to their villages. They had two other landing places farther up the Mississippi. Adair, who for many years was a trader among the Chickasaw and gives a full and circumstantial account of them1, states that in 1720 they had four contiguous settlements, and that the towns of one of these were: Chook’heereso Hykehah Phalacheho Shatara Tuskawillao Two of the other settlements of which he gives the names were Yaneka, 6 miles long, and Chookka Pharáah (Chukafalava), 4 miles long. Romans2 describing their country and villages, says that they “live nearly in the center of an uneven and large nitrous savannah; have in it 1 town, 1½ miles long, very narrow and irregular; this they divide into 7 (towns) by the names of: Amalahta ‘hat and feather’ Chatelaw ‘copper town’ Chukafalaya ‘long town’ Hikkihaw ‘stand still’ Chucalissa ‘great town’ Tuckahaw ‘a cert’n weed’ Ashukhuma ‘red grass’ Formerly the whole was inclosed in palisadoes.” Chickasaw Indians History The warlike Chickasaw claimed other territory far beyond the narrow limits...

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