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Choctaw, Native American tribe of the Muskogean linguistic
family, originally occupying an area that now includes Georgia,
Alabama, and southern Mississippi and Louisiana. The Choctaw
were less warlike than their traditional enemies, the Chickasaw
and the Creek. They lived in mud-and-bark cabins with thatched
roofs. The Choctaw were an agricultural people, probably the
most able farmers of the southeastern region, employing simple
tools to raise corn, beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and
tobacco. The Choctaw usually had a surplus to sell or trade.
They also raised cattle, fished, and hunted with blowguns and
bow and arrow. After the arrival of the Europeans, the Choctaw
began riding horses and using them for pack animals. Along with
the Seminole and Chickasaw, the Choctaw developed their own
horse breeds.

During the 18th and 19th centuries the Choctaw were forced to
move farther and farther west to avoid conflict with European
settlers. By 1842 they had ceded most of their land to the
United States and were relocated in Indian Territory, land set
aside for them in present-day Oklahoma. Here the Choctaw
became, along with the Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and
Seminole, part of a group of Native Americans known as the
Five Civilized Tribes, so called because they had organized
governments with written constitutions and because they had
adopted other habits of the white settlers, including the
establishment of public schools and newspapers. The Choctaw
fought on the side of the Confederacy during the American Civil
War. The members of the Choctaw nation were instrumental in
developing the new state of Oklahoma (founded 1907). Today a
large number of Choctaw and their descendants live principally
in Oklahoma and also in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Language Word Samples

Halito = Hello
A = Yes
Keyu = No
Bok = River

Language Phrase Samples

Sa hohcifo nanta? = What is your name?
Sa hohchifo ut... = My name is...
Miha moma = Please say again


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