The Tunica language is an isolate. Over the next centuries, under pressure from hostile neighbors, the Tunica migrated south from the Central Mississippi Valley to the Lower Mississippi Valley. Eventually they moved westward and settled around present-day Marksville, Louisiana.
The Tunica people lived in villages of thatched houses. One Tunica family lived in each house. Some Tunica villages had palisades (reinforced walls) around them, to guard against attack. Today, the Tunicas live in modern houses and apartment buildings, just like you.
✓ They will explore the influence of the Mississippi Native Americans by identifying and comparing the three major tribes: the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez. They will also compare their cultures, government, and economic system.
As one of the United States’ original first nations, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is the only Federally-recognized American Indian tribe living within the State of Mississippi. We have more than 11,000 members strong. Our Choctaw lands cover over 35,000 acres in ten different counties in Mississippi.
Houma women harvested crops of corn, beans, and squash. Houma men hunted for wild turkeys and small game and went fishing and shrimping in their canoes. The Houmas also enjoyed sassafrass tea.
The Biloxi were farming people. Biloxi women did most of the farming, harvesting crops of corn, beans, squash, and sunflowers. Biloxi men did most of the hunting, shooting deer, wild turkeys, and small game. Men also caught fish in the rivers, lakes, and sea coasts.
The Coushatta (Koasati: Koasati, Kowassaati or Kowassa:ti) are a Muskogean-speaking Native American people now living primarily in the U.S. states of Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. When first encountered by Europeans, they lived in the territory of present-day Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
The Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana is the only Louisiana tribe to still live on a section of their original homeland, with a reservation located near the town of Charenton, approximately two hours from New Orleans.
The earliest European account of the Natchez may be from the journals of the Spanish expedition of Hernando de Soto. In 1542 de Soto’s expedition encountered a powerful chiefdom located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. Native sources called it “Quigualtam,” after the paramount chief’s name.
Mysteriously, the Yazoo Native Americans became extinct about 1740, and the meaning of Yazoo has remained a puzzle. Some say it means River of Death, others suggest that it means hunting ground (Yashu). Between Satartia and Holly Bluff are fascinating and rare Native American mounds dating as early as 1500 BC.
There were twenty-one known Indian tribes in the area of present day Mississippi between the years 1500 and 1800. Most were small, numbering only a few hundred, and many did not survive the territorial conflicts between French and English allied groups of the 18th century.
The Choctaw (in the Choctaw language, Chahta) are a Native American people originally occupying what is now the Southeastern United States (modern-day Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana). Their Choctaw language belongs to the Muskogean language family group.
Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com/americanindian) and Fold3 (www.fold3.com) now have the Dawes Commission census cards and packets available online as well.
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is a federally recognized tribe whose service territory covers approximately 11,000 square miles in southeastern Oklahoma. The Nation is comprised of nearly 200,000 members worldwide, and it is the third largest tribe in the United States.
The name Mississippi comes from the French “Messipi” – the French rendering of the native American Anishinaabe (Ojibwe or Algonquin) name for the river, “Misi-ziibi,” meaning “Great River.”