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Who were: Chickasaw

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The Chickasaw are an indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands in the modern-day United States of America. Their traditional territory was in the Southeastern United States of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. They are of the Muskogean language family and are federally recognized as the Chickasaw Nation.
Sometime prior to the first European contact, the Chickasaw migrated from western regions and moved east of the Mississippi River, where they settled mostly in present-day northeast Mississippi. That is where they encountered European explorers and traders, having relationships with French, English and Spanish during the colonial years. The Chickasaw were considered by the United States as one of the Five Civilized Tribes, as they adopted numerous practices of European Americans. Resisting European-American settlers encroaching on their territory, the Chickasaw were forced by the US to sell their country in 1832 and move toIndian Territory (Oklahoma) during the era of Indian Removal in the 1830s.

History

The origin of the Chickasaw is uncertain. Twentieth-century scholars, such as the archeologist Patricia Galloway, theorize that the Chickasaw and Choctaw coalesced as distinct peoples in the 17th century from the remains of Plaquemine culture and other groups whose ancestors had lived in the Lower Mississippi Valley for thousands of years. When Europeans first encountered them, the Chickasaw were living in villages in what is now northeastern Mississippi; and some occupied areas of present-day South Carolina.
These people (the choctaw) are the only nation from whom I could learn any idea of a traditional account of a first origin; and that is their coming out of a hole in the ground, which they shew between their nation and the Chickasaws; they tell us also that their neighbours were surprised at seeing a people rise at once out of the earth.
The Chickasaw may have been migrants to the area. Their oral history supports this, indicating they moved along with the Choctaw from west of the Mississippi River into present-day Mississippi in prehistoric times. This may be an extremely ancient account. TheMississippian culture and earlier moundbuilding cultures of the Woodland era had territory that ranged from the west side of the river in Arkansas to sites in present-day Louisiana and Mississippi, so both accounts may be reconciled. For instance, earlier Native American cultures built monumental mound complexes in northern Louisiana as early as 3500 BCE. The Mississippian culture was building earthwork constructions by 950 CE in complex, dense villages supporting a stratified society, with centers throughout the Mississippi and Ohio valleys and their tributaries.

Contact with Europeans

The first European contact with the Chickasaw ancestors was in 1540 when the Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto encountered them and stayed in one of their towns, most likely near present-day Tupelo, Mississippi. After various disagreements, the American Indians attacked the De Soto expedition in a nighttime raid, nearly destroying it. The Spanish moved on quickly.
The Chickasaw began to trade with the British after the colony of Carolina was founded. With British-supplied guns, the Chickasaw raided their neighbors and enemies the Choctaw, capturing some members and selling them into Indian slavery to the British. When the Choctaw acquired guns from the French, power between the tribes became more equalized and the slave raids stopped.
Allied with the British, the Chickasaw were often at war with the French and the Choctaw in the 18th century, such as in the Battle of Ackia on May 26, 1736. Skirmishes continued until France ceded its claims to the region east of the Mississippi River after being defeated by the British in the Seven Years' War (called the French and Indian War in North America).
Following the American Revolutionary War, in 1793-94, Chickasaw fought as allies of the new United States under General Anthony Wayne against the Indians of the old Northwest Territory. The Shawnee and other Northwest Indians were defeated in the Battle of Fallen Timbers on August 20, 1794.

Modern Chickasaw

Most Chickasaw now live in Oklahoma. The Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma is the 13th largest federally recognized tribe in the United States. Its members are related to the Choctaw and share a common history with them. The Chickasaw are divided in two groups (moieties): the Impsaktea and the Intcutwalipa. They traditionally had a matrilineal system, in which children were considered to be part of the mother's clan, where they gained their status. Some property was controlled by women, and also hereditary leadership among the tribe passed through the maternal line.
Extracted from the website: Ancient History Encyclopedia under Creative Commons License.

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