Chickasaw Tribe Facts
The Chickasaw people lived in northern Mississippi and Alabama.
They mostly lived along streams and villages and they were semi-nomadic, which means they moved around some of the time.
The Chickasaws and their allies
In the 1700s, the Chickasaw mostly sided with the British against the French and the Choctaw. In 1786, the Chickasaw land was fixed at the Ohio River.
Then, in the 1830s, during the Removal Era, the Chickasaw people were forced to Indian Territory (which is now Oklahoma).
They lived alongside the Choctaw, Creek, Cherokee and Seminole people, who were known as the Five Civilised Tribes.
Five Civilised Tribes
This was a name given to the Native Americans who lived in Indian Territory, Oklahoma in the 1869s. This name “Civilised Tribes” was quite racist.
They were given this name because they had made trading contacts with Americans and had adapted to other ways of life.
They had adopted European clothing and spoke English. They also had governments and lived on this land for three quarters of a century.
This means that the Americans saw traditional Native American ways of life as “uncivilised.”
Even though the original settlers said this, it was ok for Native Americans to speak English and other languages if they wanted to – it would not have made them uncivilised or civilised.
It is not ok for one culture to judge another and decide whether they are civilised or uncivilised.
People used to do this a lot in the past when they arrived in foreign countries to colonise them, like America.
This is just the judgement of an outsider culture (white settlers) against cultures (Native Americans) that they did not understand because it seemed very different to theirs.
Related: United States Facts
The Cherokee court cases
Understandably, the Cherokee people did not want to be forced off their land in the 1830s during the Indian Removal Act.
The Americans were supposed to buy the land off the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminoles but they still did not want to leave their homes. They decided to take the Americans to court.
The Cherokee used the federal (national) court system to press claims against the state of Georgia. The Cherokee won these cases.
The Supreme Court said they could stay. Very unfairly, the president, Andrew Jackson, ignored the Court’s ruling.
This angered the Cherokee and their neighbours very much. The Seminole people went to war with the American forces but they did not win this war.
They had to go on a long and very costly journey called the Trail of Tears. It was called the Trail of Tears because so many people lost their lives on the way to their new, unwanted, homes.
The Green Corn ceremony: Puskita
The Green Corn Ceremony is the name given to the important ceremony celebrated by the Chickasaw and also the Choctaw, the Seminole, the Creek and the Timucua.
It celebrates the most important food: corn. If there was a successful crop, a dance would be performed to show their gratitude.
It was a time to re-new everything, like a gigantic spring clean.
After the harvest, old fires were put out, everything was cleaned and tidied and things that had wear-and-tear, like old pots, were broken to make room for new ones.
The Green Corn Ceremony lasted for eight whole days! There was singing and dancing and feasting that began when the full moon started in July and August.
This was called the ripening moon because the ripening of the second crop of corn would happen then.
Where do the Chickasaw live?
Where did the Chickasaw move to in the Removal Era?
Who won the court cases?
What is the Green Corn Ceremony?
How long does the Green Corn Ceremony last?