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"trail of Tears" of Choctaw Nation

Autor:   •  March 16, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,472 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,892 Views

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"Trail of Tears" of Choctaw Nation

Nowadays, the majority of the American population is Caucasians. However, when Christopher Columbus discovered the American continent in 1492, the Indians were the only people who lived in this area. The Choctaw was one of the biggest Indian tribes during that period. They lived in the Southeastern part of America and were later forced to relocate to Southeastern Oklahoma. Their journeys were filled with hardships and difficulties and have become known in history as the "Trail of Tears." This paper describes the Choctaw's origins, culture and history as well as their removal from their native lands.

According to Debo, the Choctaw Indians were closely related to the Chickasaws and more distantly related to the Creeks and Seminoles. At the beginning of the historic period, they occupied the central and southern part of the present state of Mississippi, and a large territory in southwestern Alabama (Debo 1934, p1). There are different myths about the origin of the Choctaw. The most widely accepted myth states that their ancestors issued from a hole or cave under the great mound, and ranged themselves around its side to dry before dispersing to occupy the surrounding country. According to another widespread tradition, the Choctaws originally came from a land far distant in the West. They were miraculously guided by a scared pole, which was carried by their leader during the day and planted by night in their place of encampment (Debo 1934, p2).

The Choctaw nation had many interesting and unique cultural characteristics. Choctaw society was matrilineal, meaning children are belonged to their mothers' clans. The mothers' brothers would assume a central role in the informal education of the children (Lambert 2007, p24). The Choctaws grew crops and hunted for their economics. For entertainment, the Choctaw played many games, in which stickball was the most important. "When disputes arose in Choctaw communities, stickball provided a civil way to settle issues. The stickball games would involve as few as 20 or as many as 300 players. The goal posts could be from a few hundred feet apart to a few miles, sometimes located within each opposing team's villages." (http://www.indians.org/articles/choctaw-indians.html"

Life of the Choctaw nation was more volatile since they contacted with the white people. The Choctaws' first contact with Europeans was with Hernando de Soto in his fortune-hunting expedition in 1540. Choctaw people first welcomed Soto and his team. However, because of the unreasonable demands for carriers and women from Soto's side, they ended up in a bloody war in October 18, 1540 (Debo p24). For the next century and a half, the Choctaw were undisturbed by the white encroachments. From 1700, the French has become close neighbor to the Choctaw because of their settlement

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