The Choctaw Tribe Essay

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The Choctaw Tribe
The Choctaw Indians were an important tribe, and the largest of the Muskogean tribes. The Choctaws have two stories about their origins in their traditional homeland in central Mississippi. One is that their ancestors came from west of the Mississippi River and settled in what is now the homeland. The other is that the tribe is descended from ancestors who were formed by a spirit from the damp earth of Nanih Waiyah, a large mound in northeastern Mississippi. Either way, the Choctaws resided in places, holding most of Southern Alabama and Mississippi with adjoining parts of Louisiana.
The Choctaws had a strong tradition of doing business. They were very intelligent people. The tribe developed a strong economy based
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At this, among other corn festivals, marriage arrangements were made. In addition, the game of chunkey as well as the ball play was extensively practiced by them. Conflicts between villagers, and sometimes with other tribes, were generally settled by sport rather than war. The stickball game (a forerunner of the modern game of lacrosse) pitted teams from different villages against each other. Winning was a matter not only of skill but of the power of the villages' spiritual leaders to influence the outcome through their prayers and powers.

The belief system of the Choctaws was shared beliefs of the tribes of the south-eastern regions of North America. They believed that they emerged from the earth through a mound called Nanih Waiya. The major deity was the sun, a spiritual being whose earthly representative was fire. Another belief of the Choctaws had to do with death. It was their custom to clean the bones of the dead before depositing them in boxes or baskets in the bone-houses, the work being performed by "certain old gentlemen with very long nails," who allowed their nails to grow long for this purpose. The people of this tribe also followed the custom of setting up poles around the new graves, on which they hung hoops, wreaths, etc. As their name seems to imply, they practiced artificial head flattening. They believed this process would aid the spirit in its ascent.

The Choctaws had a very typical style of dress for Native Americans.

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