Native Americans of Mississippi
Mississippi has a rich history. Its history dates back to the time before the coming of the Europeans. The South-East area was comprised of a number of native American Tribes. This paper will lay down these tribes and their cultures. This paper will further provide some Native American tribes that resided in the South-East area but later migrated. The communities that will be addressed in this paper will be the tribes that had a unique history and had made tremendous steps either socially or economically.
It has been provided that the earliest settlers of Mississippi were the Choctaw. They can be dated back to the 1500s (Mississippi Herritage, 2016). They were descendants of the Muskogean Family Group. These natives interacted with a number of the explorers from the mid-16th century hence their culture was influenced by these people. It had components of the Spanish, French, and English. This is evident from the Choctaw alphabet that is somehow similar to the English Alphabet. The members of this group were divided into distinct moieties. Their division was mainly based on their ages. They created age groups and age sets. The divisions made it easier for them to be able to perform certain tasks and duties within the tribe.
In this society, families were distinct from one another. The community treasured these divisions and everybody was required to be able to trace their lineage. The families were names according to the time and the animals and plants. These families were always matrilineal (Usner, 1992). The culture of the Choctaw was that they were polygamous. These families were always united and protected one another. This community was founded on the eye-for-an-eye principle. Therefore, revenge was the way of life. Even though they were from the same tribe or clan, they were always divided in terms of their geographical positions. Therefore, if one was attacked, they would attack the other section that wronged them.
This tribe believed in the worship of the sun God, Hushtahli. The sun was regarded to determine both life and death. Therefore, the community had numerous ceremonies that would be used to worship and appease the Sun. The members of these societies believed in the sun so much that they had to ensure that their daily activities corresponded with the sun. The society believed that darkness was the evil and cloudy days were unfavorable to hold meetings (Reyhner and Eder 2015).
Lastly, this tribe was a chiefdom and it was hereditary. The chief was the administrative leader and also the religious leader. They were always prepared for the role through activities such as storytelling and apprenticeship. They always had to be consulted before wars and they consulted the sun on how they were supposed to fight. They prayed and conducted certain rituals and sacrifices. These ceremonies were part of their cultural heritage and it was celebrated using special attire and other cultural artifacts.
The Bayoguola tribe can be traced to the late 1600s. They are part of the Muskogean of South-east part of America. This was a small group and they were constantly under attack from the Houma people. Therefore, they opted to live among the Mougoulacha for protection. However, after a century, these two tribes were in conflict and the Bayoguola emerged winners. The society was further met with a problem of the disease attacks that almost that brought these tribes to a point of extinction (Usner, 1992). As a result, they had to migrate to the present-day Louisiana.
The Biloxi people are among the earliest inhabitants of s Mississippi. They are part of the Siouan speakers. They encountered the Europeans nearly the same time with the Bayoguola. In 1699, they interacted with the European explorers. The interaction led to a war amongst them and the Europeans that resulted into them being forced to move to Louisiana. After their migration, they merged with the Tunica tribe for protection. With the constant interaction with the other tribes and races, by the mid-20th Century, this tribe became extinct.Native Americans of Mississippi