Aboha Kullo Humma
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Aboha Kullo Humma, (pro. Ar-bo-hah ) (House; Kullo (strong) Humma (red) or, in our phraseology (Strong red house but in the Choctaw, Red Fort) was the chief of Okla Hunnali. The clans of the Choctaws were all perpetuated in the female line. When a man married, he was adopted into the family of his wife, and her brothers had more authority over her children than her husband; therefore, when a lover wished to marry a girl, he consulted her uncles, and if they consent to the marriage, the father and mother approved. Those of the same clan were never allowed to intermarry. A Choctaw regarded marrying a girl of his own clan with the same horror as the white man did to marry his own sister; and equally so did the Choctaw girl.
Aboha Kullo Humma was highly elated at the proposition of Mr. Kingsbury to establish a school among his clans, or people; and earnestly importuned Mr. Kingsbury to establish two in his district; and such were his pleadings that Mr. Kingsbury finally agreed to write a letter to the; Prudential Committee, to solicit more teachers, and Aboha Kullo Humma also wrote a letter, and sent it with Mr. Kingsbury’s, a true copy of which I here insert:
Six Towns, Choctaw Nation, October 18th, 1822.
“The first law I have made is, that when my warriors go over the line among the white people, and buy whiskey, and bring it into the Nation to buy up the blankets, and guns, and horses of the Red people, and get them drunk; the whiskey is to be destroyed. The whiskey drinking is wholly stopped among my warriors. The Choctaw women sometimes killed their infants, when they did not want to provide for them. I have made a law to have them punished, that no more children be killed.”
This law had actually been passed and was then in full force, as had been exemplified in the case of a woman who had been tried and convicted for killing her infant, a short time prior to Mr. Kingsbury’s visit to Okla Hunnali. She was tied to a tree and whipped by the officers of justice until she fainted; and not only the woman was whipped, but her husband also received the same punishment for not restraining his wife in the destruction of the child. But thus continues Aboha Kullo Humma.
“The Choctaws formerly stole hog’s and cattle, and killed and ate them. I have organized a company of faithful warriors to take every man who steals, and tie him to a tree, and give him thirty-nine lashes.”
This law of punishing theft by whipping has never been repealed; but has been amended to this extent, and so stands today being fifty lashes on the bare back for the first theft; a hundred for the second, and death by the rifle for the third.
“The Choctaws have, sometimes, run off with each other’s wives. We have now made a law, that those who do so, shall be whipped thirty-nine lashes; and if a woman runs away from her husband with another man, she is also to be whipped in the same manner. The number of men, women, and children in the Six Towns, is 2164. I want the good white people to send men and women to get up a school in my district; I want them to do it quick, for I am growing old and want to see the good work before I die. We have always been passed by. Other parts of the Nation have schools; we have not; we have made the above laws because we wish to follow the ways of the white people. We hope they will assist us in getting our children educated. This is the first time I write a letter. Last fall the first time we make laws I say no more. I have told my wants: I hope you will not forget me.”
“Aboha Kullo Humma.”
It is a truth, though unknown to thousands, yet contradicted by thousands who do know it that, from an unwillingness to admit anything which the truth of a desire in the Indians to become a civilized and Christian people, Aboha Kullo Humma’s letter expressed the true sentiments of every tribe of North American Indians, to whom the missionaries have gone, from the days of the missionary Elliot down the flight of years to the present. Instead of the bread of eternal life for which they so earnestly pleaded, except the few crumbs the devoted and self-sacrificing missionaries gave them, we have given them leaden bullets; while the iron wheel of our merciless venality rolled over them, and still rolls on like a juggernaut crushing them by turns, some quickly, and some later on, to us it mattered not, so in the end all were crushed, and we go in to take their long coveted land; though they fled hither and thither, and plead for mercy, yet the appeal was vain, for the blind fury of our avarice (deaf as the adder) still thunders on only to stop, it seems, when the last of the Red Race shall be numbered with the past and our cup of iniquity be full, that the God of justice may write against us Tekel, that our ship of State may also go down in the vorte caused by the sinking of theirs.