Chickasaw Tribe

Who were the Chickasaw Indians?

The Chickasaw tribe were Native American people who were one of the Five Civilized Nations. According to the mythological history of the tribe, the Chickasaw tribe is closely related to the Choctaw tribe and both were named after two brothers who lead each.

The Chickasaw tribe were considered among the bravest Native American warriors. For this reason, they were given the name of the ‘Spartans of the Lower Mississippi Valley’ by the white Americans.

Where did the Chickasaw Tribes live??

The traditional homeland of the Chickasaw tribe was the Mississippi Valley. Here they remained until the 1830s when the US government forced them to leave the region and relocate to Oklahoma.

Unlike many other Native American tribes, the Chickasaw didn’t move around much. They stayed mostly at one place, lived in villages and did both farming and hunting to get enough food for themselves. As farmers, they grew beans, corn and squash. As hunters, they hunted deer and other animals.

What were their houses like?

Most Native Americans lived a nomadic lifestyle and so, their houses were built in such a way that they could be moved easily. This wasn’t the case with the people of the Chickasaw tribe.

The Chickasaw built houses which couldn’t be moved and were more permanent. They built them using a wood frame and then covering it with a mixture of mud and straw. Usually, a Chickasaw family built two houses – one was meant for use in the winter and was snug. The other war more airy and was meant for use in the summers.

Supporting the British

Before United States of America was born, France and Britain competed with each other for control of land in North America. The Chickasaw tribe sided with the British forces and fought the French in a number of battles in the early 18th century.

During the American Revolution in 1765, the Chickasaw tribe again supported the British armies. Once the war was over and Britain had lost, Chickasaw established peace with the newly born United States of America.

Why were they one of the Five Civilized Nations?

The Chickasaw tribe had a lifestyle which included many aspects of what is today called civilization. For example, they weren’t nomadic and rather lived at one place.

Also, they had a sort of democratic system in place. According to this system, each clan in the tribe was headed by a chief called minko.

The minko and a council of elders made important decisions for that clan, a sort of small parliament. Each minko then reported to the high minko who headed the entire Chickasaw Tribe.

The Trail of Tears

During the 1830s, the US government forced the Chickasaw Tribe to leave their traditional homeland in Mississippi Valley region and relocate to Oklahoma.

The Chickasaw had to leave their homes behind and travel nearly a thousand miles to Oklahoma. Hundreds of Chickasaw died along the way, along with thousands of Native Americans from other tribes. For this reason, the journey came to be called the ‘Trail of Tears’.