Topic: Chitimacha

Chitimacha Indians

Chitimacha Tribe: Perhaps derived from the name of Grand River in the native tongue, which was Sheti, though Gatschet (1883) interprets it through the Choctaw language as meaning “those who have pots.” Chitimacha Connections. The Chitimacha have given their name to a group of languages under the Tunican linguistic stock, including also the Chawasha and Washa. Chitimacha Location. On Grand River, Grand Lake, and the lower course of Bayou La Teche. Chitimacha Villages The earliest French writers couple with this tribe the name of a tribe or supposed tribe called Yakna-Chitto, “Big Earth,” but it is not known whether they were a part of the Chitimacha or an entirely independent people. In later times the Chitimacha were drawn into two unnamed subdivisions, one near the upper end of Bayou La Fourche and the other on Grand Lake. Following are the known villages: Ama’tpan na’mu, two villages: 3 miles east of Charenton on Bayou Teche. On the east side of Grand Lake opposite Charenton. Grosse Tête na’mu, 2 miles from the village at Plaquemine. Hi’pinimsh na’mu, at the Fausse Pointe in the western part of Grand Lake, near Bayou Gosselin. Ka’me naksh teat na’mu, at Bayou du Plomb, near Bayou Chêne, 18 miles north of Charenton. Ku’shuh na’mu, on Lake Mingaluak, near Bayou Chene. Na’mu ka’tsi, the Bayou Chene village, St. Martin’s Parish. Ne’kun tsi’snis, opposite Ile aux Oiseaux, in...

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Chawasha Indians

Chawasha Tribe: Meaning unknown, though possibly “raccoon place (people).” Chawasha Connections. A reference to this tribe and the Washa by Bienville places them in the Chitimacha division of the Tunican linguistic stock. I had erroneously concluded at an earlier period, on slender circumstantial evidence, that they were Muskhogeans. Chawasha Location. On Bayou La Fourche and eastward to the Gulf of Mexico and across the Mississippi. Chawasha History. After the relics of De Soto’s army had escaped to the mouth of the Mississippi River and while their brigantines were riding at anchor there, they were attacked by Indians, some of whom had “staves, having very sharp heads of fish-bone.” (See Bourne 1904, vol. 2, p. 202.) These may have belonged to the Chawasha and Washa tribes. The same two tribes are said, on doubtful authority, to have attempted to attack an English sea captain who ascended the Mississippi in 1699, but they were usually friendly to the French. In 1712 they were moved to the Mississippi by Bienville and established themselves on the west side, just below the English Turn. In 1713 (or more probably 1715) they were attacked by a party of Chickasaw, Yazoo, and Natchez, who killed the head chief and many of his family, and carried off 11 persons as prisoners. Before 1722 they had crossed to the east side of the river, half a league lower...

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Fort Toulouse, the Chitimachas and the Natchez Wars

Another war between England and France began in 1718 – the War of the Quadruple Alliance. The French had succeeded in surrounding the British colonies in North America, except for the boundary with Florida.  France seemed poised to have most of the Southeastern Indians as allies.  These advanced Native American provinces represented the densest indigenous population north of Mexico.  However, the British Navy had destroyed French coastal forts and shipping almost at will.  France might control the coastline, but the British controlled the seas. Fort Toulouse – 1717 Anticipating more wars with Great Britain and desiring closer trade relations with the Muskogeans provinces, the French established Fort Toulouse on the Alabama River, at the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers.  It was named after Alexandre de Bourbon, Comte de Toulouse. The nearby Alabama Indians called it Franka Choka Chula, which means “French pinewood house.” The combined fortification and trading post was more commonly called Fort des Alibamons by French colonists. Prior to 1763 the Alabama’s occupied most of southern Alabama. The original post commander was Captain Jean Baptiste Louis DeCourtel Marchand.  In 1720 he married Sehoy.  She was the widowed daughter of the mikko of the Taskeke town of Otciapofa and a member of the Wind Clan.  When she was born in 1702, French maps show the Taskeke still living on the Little Tennessee River in the Smoky...

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Chitimacha Tribe

Chitimacha Indians (Choctaw: chúti’cooking pot’ másha ‘they possess’: `they have cooking vessels’). A tribe, forming the Chitimachan linguistic family, whose earliest known habitat was the shores of Grand Lake, formerly Lake of the Shetimasha, and the banks of Grand River, Louisiana. Some 16 or 18 of the tribe were living on Grand river in 1881, but the majority, about 35, lived at Charenton, on the south side of Bayou Tèche, in St Mary’s parish, about 10 miles from the gulf. The remnant resides in the same district, but the present population is not known. The name of these Indians for themselves is Pántch-pinunkansh, ‘men altogether red,’ a designation apparently applied after the advent of the whites. The Chitimacha came into notice soon after the French settled Louisiana, through the murder by one of their men of the missionary St Cosme on the Mississippi in 1706. This was followed by protracted war with the French, who compelled them to sue for peace, which was granted by Bienville on condition that the head of the murderer be brought to him; this one, peace was concluded. The tribe then must have been reduced to a small umber of warriors, though Le Page du Pratz, who was present at the final ceremony, says they arrived at the meeting place in many pirogues. Little is known in regard to their customs. Fish and the...

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