Topic: Tunica

The Natchez and the French

But alas for the poor Natchez! An evil day brought the pale-faces among them in the year 1716, who built the Fort Rosalie among them and in it garrisoned, as a matter of course, a body of soldiers as a protection in their intended aggressions upon and usurpations of the Indians rights; and from that day the sun of the Natchez’s happiness began to wane, but to speedily set forever in the oblivion of utter extermination. As an introduction, Cadillac, on his way up the Mississippi river to search for gold and silver, stopped at Natchez. As soon as the...

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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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Atakapa Indians

Atakapa Tribe: Meaning in Choctaw and Mobilian, “man eater,” because they and some of the Indians west of them at times ate the flesh of their enemies. Skunnemoke, the name of a chief, extended to the whole people. Tûk-pa’-han-yan-ya-di, Biloxi name. Yuk’hiti ishak, own name. Atakapa Connections. The Atakapa were originally placed in an independent linguistic stock, including also the Bidai, Deadose, and probably the Opelousa, but it has now been determined that they belonged to one family with the Chitimacha, their eastern neighbors, and probably the Tunican group on the Mississippi, the whole being called the Tunican stock. Atakapa Location. Atakapa bands extended along the coast of Louisiana and Texas from Vermillion Bayou to and including Trinity Bay. (See Akokisa under Texas) Atakapa Villages. The Atakapa about Trinity Bay and the lower course of Trinity River were called Akokisa by the Spaniards, but they differed in no respect from the Atakapa of Lake Charles. There was, however, an eastern Atakapa dialect which was distinctly different from the one current in the Lake Charles and Trinity Bay sections and was spoken by two different bands, one about Vermillion Bay and one on the Mermentou River. There were a number of small villages but their names are unknown. Atakapa History In 1528 Cabeza de Vaca learned of the existence of some of these Indians, calling them Han. The portion of...

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Tunica Indians

Tunica Tribe: Meaning “the people,” or “those who are the people.” Also called: Yoron, their own name. Tunica Connections. They were the leading tribe of the Tunica group of the Tunican stock, the latter including also the Chitimacha and Atakapa. Tunica Location. On the lower course of Yazoo River, on the south side about 4 French leagues from its mouth. (See also Arkansas.) Tunica History. There is evidence that tribes belonging to the Tunica group were encountered by De Soto west of the Mississippi and very probably the name of the tribe is preserved in that of the town of Tanico mentioned by Elvas (in Robertson, 1933), where people made salt, for in later years we find the Tunica engaged in the making and selling of this commodity. An early location for them on the eastern side of the Mississippi is indicated by the “Tunica Oldfields” near Friar Point, not many miles below Helena, Arkansas. The name appears on Marquette’s map (1673) but there they are wrongly placed. In 1682 La Salle and his companions learned of this tribe, then located as given above, but neither he nor his lieutenant Tonti visited them on this or any subsequent expedition, though they learned of Tunica villages in the salt-making region of northeastern Louisiana. The Yazoo town of the tribe was first seen, apparently, by three missionary priests from Canada, one...

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Tunica Tribe

Tunica Indians (ta, an article; uni, ‘people’; ka, nominal suflix.-Gatschet). A tribe, forming a distinct linguistic family known as Tonikan, formerly dwelling on the lower Mississippi. The Tunica are prominent in the early history of the lower Mississippi region because of their attachment to the French and the faithful service rendered them as allies in contests with neighboring tribes. When first visited they lived in Mississippi on lower Yazoo River. In 1699 La Source 1Shea, Early Voy, 80, 1861 estimated the number of their cabins at about 260, scattered over 4 leagues of country. He states that they lived entirely on Indian corn and did no hunting. Gravier, who visited the tribe in 1700, states that they occupied 7 hamlets containing 50 or 60 small cabins. In 1706, according to La Harpe, the Tunica were driven from their villages by the Chickasaw and Alibamu and joined the Huma; and it is said that subsequently they killed more than half that tribe and occupied its territory. In 1730 they met with a reverse at the hands of those Natchez who had taken refuge among the Chickasaw; their village was burned and a large number of them killed. In 1760 they occupied 3 villages, the largest of which was on a lake at Tunica Bayou. Baudry des Lozières in 1802 ascribed to them a population of 120 men, a total of...

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