The Choctaw of Bayou Lacomb

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This manuscript depicts the specific culture and history of the Choctaw tribe residing within Bayou Lacomb, Louisiana. Included are the geography, history, society, language, ethnology, and myths, legends and religion of the Choctaws who resided within the area of Bayou Lacomb.

By the people of the tribe, or, more correctly, that portion of the tribe now under consideration, they themselves are called the Chata’ogla or the Chata’ people or family. According to them, the first word can not be translated as it is merely a proper name.

The great tribe is divided into many distinct subdivisions, each of which has a special name. The oldest male member of each sub-tribe, or subdivision, of the great tribe, was the recognized leader or chief of that division or family. These leaders were the ones to be consulted whenever advice was required, and, as will be seen later, they played an important part in the marriage ceremony of the tribe. The subdivisions of the tribe were numerous and no two members of the same division (ogla) were allowed to marry.

Tosh­kachîto Demonstrating Usage of a Blowgun

The divisions known to have lived in this region are:

  • Kasha’pa ogla, or the Half people. They lived at Bayou La-comb and the remnant of the tribe now dwelling there belong to this division. The name of the village was Butchu’wa.
  • Shatje ogla,or the Crayfish people.—The home of this family was near Chinchuba, some twelve miles west of Bayou Lacomb. Tosh­kachîto (see image) is said to be the last member of the family.
  • Inhulata ogla, or the Prairie people.—This was considered the largest and probably the most important division of the Choctaw living in the region. Their principal settlement, Hatcha, was located on Pearl river.

Other divisions, known by the people at Bayou Lacomb to have lived in the country a short distance northward, are:

  • Tula’îksa’ ogla, or Fall-in-bunches people.
  • Chufaîksa’ ogla, or Bunches-of-flies people.
  • Shunkwane ogla, or Ant people.
  • Hannta’le ogla, or Six people.

Unfortunately the people at Bayou Lacomb know very little respecting the tribal organization and customs.

Source: The Choctaw of Bayou Lacomb St Tammay Parish Louisiana, by David I. Bushnell, Jr., Washington Government Printing Office, 1909.

MLA Source Citation: Web. 31 January 2015. - Last updated on Mar 30th, 2013

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