Sunday, October 2, 2016
Blue Magnetic Hand/ Blue Overtone Storm - Electric Deer Moon of Service, Day 13
A sketch of a Chickasaw by Bernard Romans, 1775.
The Chickasaw are an indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands. 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 and into Lawrence County Tennessee. That is where they encountered European explorers and traders, having relationships with French, English and Spanish during the colonial years. The United States considered the Chickasaw one of the Five Civilized Tribes, as they adopted numerous practices of European Americans. Resisting European-American settlers encroaching on their territory, they were forced by the US to sell their country in 1832 and move to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) during the era of Indian Removal in the 1830s.
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 followed a system of matrilineal descent, in which children were considered to be part of the mother's clan, whence they gained their status. Some property was controlled by women, and hereditary leadership in the tribe passed through the maternal line.
The origin of the Chickasaw is uncertain. Twentieth-century scholars, such as the archaeologist Patricia Galloway, theorize that the Chickasaw and Choctaw split into 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.
The Chickasaw migrated into Mississippi. Their oral history says they migrated along with the Choctaw from west of the Mississippi River into present-day Mississippi in prehistoric times. The Mississippian Ideological Interaction Sphere spanned the Eastern Woodlands. The Mississippian cultures emerged from previous mound building societies by 880 CE. They built complex, dense villages supporting a stratified society, with centers throughout the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys and their tributaries.
In the 15th century, proto-Chickasaw people left the Tombigbee Valley after the collapse of the Moundville chiefdom and settled into the upper Yazoo and Pearl River valleys in Mississippi. Historians Arrell Gibson and anthropologist John R. Swanton believed the Chickasaw Old Fields were in Madison County, Alabama.
Another version of the Chickasaw creation story is that they arose at Nanih Waiya, a great earthwork mound built about 300 CE by Woodland peoples. It is also sacred to the Choctaw, who have a similar story about it. The mound was built about 1400 years before the coalescence of each of these peoples as ethnic groups.
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 in 1670. 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, allied Northwest Indians were defeated in the Battle of Fallen Timbers on August 20, 1794.
The 19th-century historian Horatio Cushman wrote, "Neither the Choctaws nor Chicksaws ever engaged in war against the American people, but always stood as their faithful allies." Cushman believed the Chickasaw, along with the Choctaw, may have had origins in present-day Mexico and migrated north. That theory does not have consensus; archaeological research, as noted above, has revealed the peoples had long histories in the Mississippi area and independently developed complex cultures.
George Washington (first U.S. President) and Henry Knox (first U.S. Secretary of War) proposed the cultural transformation of Native Americans. Washington believed that Native Americans were equals, but that their society was inferior. He formulated a policy to encourage the "civilizing" process, and Thomas Jefferson continued it. The historian Robert Remini wrote, "They presumed that once the Indians adopted the practice of private property, built homes, farmed, educated their children, and embraced Christianity, these Native Americans would win acceptance from white Americans." Washington's six-point plan included impartial justice toward Indians; regulated buying of Indian lands; promotion of commerce; promotion of experiments to civilize or improve Indian society; presidential authority to give presents; and punishing those who violated Indian rights. The government appointed Indian agents, such as Benjamin Hawkins, who became Superintendent of Indian Affairs for all the territory south of the Ohio River. He and other agents lived among the Indians to teach them, through example and instruction, how to live like whites. Hawkins married a Muscogee Creek woman and lived with her people for decades. In the 19th century, the Chickasaw increasingly adopted European-American practices, as they established schools, adopted yeoman farming practices, converted to Christianity, and built homes in styles like their European-American neighbors.
Unlike other tribes who received land grants in exchange for ceding territory, the Chickasaw held out for financial compensation: they were to receive $3 million U.S. dollars from the United States for their lands east of the Mississippi River. In 1836 after a bitter five-year debate within the tribe, the Chickasaw had reached an agreement to purchase land in Indian Territory from the previously removed Choctaw. They paid the Choctaw $530,000 for the westernmost part of their land. The first group of Chickasaw moved in 1837. For nearly 30 years, the US did not pay the Chickasaw the $3 million it owed them for their historic territory in the Southeast.
The Chickasaw gathered at Memphis, Tennessee, on July 4, 1837, with all of their portable assets: belongings, livestock, and enslaved African Americans. Three thousand and one Chickasaw crossed the Mississippi River, following routes established by the Choctaw and Creek. During the journey, often called the Trail of Tears by all the Southeast tribes that had to make it, more than 500 Chickasaw died of dysentery and smallpox.
In the 1850s Holmes Colbert (Chickasaw) helped write the constitution of the nation in Indian Territory. When the Chickasaw reached Indian Territory, the United States began to administer to them through the Choctaw Nation, and later merged them for administrative reasons. The Chickasaw wrote their own constitution in the 1850s.
After several decades of mistrust between the two peoples, in the twentieth century, the Chickasaw re-established their independent government. They are federally recognized as the Chickasaw Nation. The government is headquartered in Ada, Oklahoma.*
Kin 27: Blue Magnetic Hand
I unify in order to know
I seal the store of accomplishment
With the magnetic tone of purpose
I am guided by my own power doubled.
Submission and humility open the door to the super-mental descent, dissolving and transforming the present human into the super-human.*
*Star Traveler's 13 Moon Almanac of Synchronicity, Galactic Research Institute, Law of Time Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2016-2017.
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Manipura Chakra (Limi Plasma)