The Chickasaw Nation

Essay by Leighh1000University, Bachelor's February 2006

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The Chickasaw Indian Nation is not only a unique tribe with many diverse ways of living, but they are a tribe that stays true to their heritage and culture. This Southeastern tribe has overcome many obstacles and has taught Americans about their traditions and many have benefited from their knowledge. Today the Chickasaw reside in Okalahoma and are currently the eighth largest tribe in the United States.

A. Native Life ways

The Chickasaw had first contact with the Spanish around 1540 when they were currently located and referred to as the "Spartans of the Lower Mississippi Valley" ( Conquistadors under Herando de Soto attempted to force them to provide tribal members to carry supplies but the Chickasaw revolted and launched attacks upon them. After the attacks the Chickasaw retreated into the woods.

Until 1700, the Chickasaw usually maintained seven towns at any given time, and despite the scattered homesteads, each town had its own fort and ceremonial rotunda.

The Chickasaw tended to settle along rivers and streams and upon high grounds so they would be safe from flooding. The Chickasaw Nation had several types of housing or households. The tribe constructed their homes with pole frames, bark, mud coverings, thatch and hide, a method that is known as wattle-and-daub. "Each household contained a winter house, summer house, corn storage building or "corn crib", and menstrual hut. Some Chickasaw towns were reported to have numbered over two hundred households" (

The Chickasaw obtained their food by hunting, fishing, and farming. There was a strict division of labor among the Chickasaw. Women were responsible for the supervision of slaves and tending the fields of corn, beans, and squash, while men hunted deer, bear, and buffalo. Fish was also an important food source. "Important ceremonies included the Green Corn Ceremony, a renewal ritual...