Facts about the Choctaw Native Indian Tribe
This article contains fast, fun facts and interesting information about the Choctaw Native American Indian tribe. Find answers to questions like where did the Choctaw tribe live, what clothes did they wear and what food did they eat? Discover what happened to the Choctaw tribe with facts about their wars and history.
Picture of the Choctaw Native Indian
The above picture depicts Mushulatubbee, meaning "Determined to Kill" who was a Chief of the Choctaw. It was painted by the famous artist George Catlin (1796-1872) in 1838. The chief wore European-style clothing, as worn by many of the southeastern tribes with a decorative sash around his waist. Mushulatubbee led his warriors to assist General Andrew Jackson in the Creek War, also known as the Red Stick War (1813–1814).
What was the lifestyle and culture of the Choctaw tribe?
The Choctaw tribe are descendants of the people of the Mississippian culture, who built earthwork mounds at their villages located throughout the Mississippi River valley (refer to the Natchez Tribe for more facts). The Choctaw people established villages across the Deep South and used dugout canoes to travel and trade with many other tribes. Their numbers diminished due to the diseases brought by the Europeans including the Spanish, French and British. They allied with both the French and Americans against the British. Following the War of Independence the 'civilizing programs' began. The Choctaw fought under Andrew Jackson in the Creek War (1813–1814). Many Creeks adopted European practises such as European style dress, housing and farming techniques but despite this and their loyalty to the Americans they were sent to reservations. The Choctaw tribe became known as one of the Five Civilised Tribes who also included the Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw and Seminoles tribes.
Map showing location of the
Southeast Native American Tribes
Where did the Choctaw tribe live?
The Choctaw are people of the Southeast Native American cultural group. The location of their tribal homelands are shown on the map. The geography of the region in which they lived dictated the lifestyle and culture of the Choctaw tribe.
- The Southeast region extended mainly across the states of Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida
- Land: River Valleys, mountains and swamps
- Climate: The climate was hot and humid in the summer and mild in the winter
- Animals: The animals included rabbit, wild hog, turkey, opossum, raccoon, squirrel and deer
- Crops: The crops grown in the area were corn, beans, squash, melons and sunflowers
- Natural resources: Fruit, seeds and nuts
Choctaw played Stickball
The Choctaw played stickball (called kabucha in Choctaw), the forerunner of lacrosse. The picture by George Catlin depicts Sioux and Choctaw stickball players. One team painted themselves white to distinguish them from the other team. As many as 100 - 1,000 men from opposing tribes or villages would participate in these games. The ball was caught with a netted ball-stick.
What clothes did the Choctaw wear?
The Choctaw men wore breechcloths made from deer skin or bark fabric. The early Creek women wore a knee-length skirt, also made from a bark fabric or deerskin. The above picture shows how the style of clothes worn by the Choctaw in the 1800's were greatly influenced by the Europeans and the availability of trade cloth.
What did the Choctaw tribe live in?
The Creek tribe lived in different styles of shelters over the years. The Mississippian culture people built earthwork mounds at their villages with grass houses, built using a framework of poles and beams covered with wattle and daub mud. The walls were then covered by cane mats and a thatched grass roof.
The ancient style evolved into the wattle and daub house made by weaving river cane, vines and wood into a framework, then coating the frame with mud and crushed shells. The roof was either thatched with grass or shingled with bark. The American settlers brought new ideas and sharp tools that replaced the stone axes, and some of the Choctaw began to build villages of American-style log cabins as can be seen in the 1869 picture.
What language did the Choctaw tribe speak?
The Choctaw tribe spoke in several related dialects of the Muskogean language family.
What did the Choctaw tribe eat?
The food that the Choctaw tribe ate included their crops of corn, beans and squash. They produced enough surplus produce for trade with other tribes. Creek men also hunted deer, wild turkeys, small game and fish.
What weapons did the Choctaw use?
The weapons used by the Choctaw Native Indians included maces, war clubs, knives, bows and arrows and axes. The Europeans introduced muskets and then rifles. Their main enemies were the Chickasaw tribe.
Choctaw History: What happened to the Choctaw tribe?
The following Choctaw history timeline details facts, dates and famous landmarks of the people. The Choctaw timeline explains what happened to the people of their tribe.
Choctaw History Timeline
700AD: The Mississippian culture began
1526 Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon expedition in South Carolina and Georgia region
1542: The Hernando De Soto expedition encounters the Choctaw.
1500's: Epidemics of smallpox and measles and inter-tribal warfare diminish the Choctaw populations in the late 1500's and 1600's
1682: Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle explores along the Mississippi River
1713: The French establish a colony and trading posts and the Choctaw become allies of New France
1716: Fort Rosalie established by the French
1702: Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) and the Chickasaw were allied to the French
1736: The Chickasaw Wars (1736, 1739 and 1752) were fought between the Chickasaw tribe allied with the British against the French and their Choctaw allies
1775: Supported the British forces during the American Revolutionary War
1812: The Choctaw fought on the American side in the War of 1812
1813: The Choctaw fought under Andrew Jackson in the Creek War (1813–1814)
1816: President James Madison appoints David B. Mitchell, a former governor of Georgia, the federal agent to the Creek tribe. Mitchell undermines the Choctaws' sovereignty and initiates acts to take their lands
1820: Treaty of Doak's Stand in which the Choctaw ceded some land
1825: Treaty of Washington City
1830: The Indian Removal Act of 1830
1830: Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek
1831: Over 20,000 Choctaw were forcibly marched to Oklahoma across what would become known as the Trail of Tears
1887: The Dawes Act
1893, President Grover Cleveland appoints Senator Henry L. Dawes, to negotiate land with the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole tribes
1893: The Dawes Rolls, or the Final Rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes, entitled an allotment of land to tribe members, in return for abolishing their governments and recognizing Federal laws
1918: Choctaw Indian Agency in Philadelphia, Mississippi established
1934: The individual allotment policy of the Dawes Act was terminated by the Indian Reorganization Act
Choctaw History Timeline
- Interesting Facts and information about the way the people lived
- The clothes worn by men and women
- Description of the homes and the type of food the Choctaw would eat
- Fast Facts and info about the Choctaw
- Names of famous chiefs and leaders
- Interesting Homework resource for kids on the history of the Choctaw Native American Indians
Pictures and Videos of Native American Indians and their Tribes
The Choctaw Tribe was one of the most famous tribes of Native American Indians. Discover the vast selection of pictures on the subject of the tribes of Famous Native Americans such as the Choctaw nation. The pictures show the clothing, war paint, weapons and decorations of various Native Indian tribes, such as the Choctaw tribe, that can be used as a really useful educational resource for kids and children of all ages. We hope you enjoy watching the video - just click and play - a great social studies homework resource for kids .