Choctaw Indian Tribe

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The present work has been undertaken primarily with the object of furnishing an adequate setting for an understanding of the evolution of the Creek Confederacy and the various elements entering into it. What has been said regarding the South Carolina and Florida tribes and the Chickasaw have marginal importance in the carrying out of this purpose, though they are of less absolute concern. When we come to the Choctaw, however, we are met with a different problem. The Choctaw were always one of the largest southern tribes, and they were more numerous than the Creeks even in the palmiest days of the latter. Although of the same linguistic stock, their customs, social organization, and even their physical characteristics were very different. They never seem to have been on a footing of friendship with the Creeks, and in fact fought them on equal terms during a long period. So far as our acquaintance with them extends they appear to have been a relatively homogeneous people, whose history lacks the complication of that of most of the tribes so far considered. While it is capable of extended treatment, for our present purpose a few words will tell all about it that we need to know. It is probable that the Apafalaya chief and river spoken of by Ranjel and the Pafallaya province of Elvas,1 refer to the Choctaw, or to some of them, since Adair informs us that “Long Hairs,” (Pans-falaya) was a name given to the Choctaw by their neighbors.2 We do not hear of the tribe again until late in the seventeenth century, when they occupied the region in the southeastern part of the present State of Mississippi and the southwestern part of Alabama, which they held until their removal to Oklahoma in the fourth decade of the nineteenth century. A small portion of them have remained in their old country to the present day, while a few are to be found in Louisiana.


  1. Bourne, Narr. of De Soto, I, p. 99; II, pp. 129-130. 

  2. Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 192. 

MLA Source Citation:

Swanton, John Reed. Early History of the Creek Indians and Their Neighbors. US Government Printing Office. 1902. Web. 30 January 2015. - Last updated on Sep 8th, 2014

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