(Continued - page 3)
17. Yagna Shoogawa.—In this name the first word is “Yakni,” which means land, country. Can the second be a clerical slip, or a corruption of “achukma,” good, making the name of the place “Yakni achukma,” good country? About four miles above the mouth of Running Tiger and emptying on its east side is a branch called Indian branch. Tradition says that there was once an Indian town on this branch, which town, judging from its direction and distance from Bogue Toocolo Chitto, must have been the Yagna Shoogawa of Roman’s map.
18. East Abe’ika.—Abeika is “Aiabeka,” which means Unhealthy Place. This settlement, not only from Indian tradition, but from its location on Roman’s map, was at the mouth of Straight creek, including, it seems, a small area of country on the south side of Sukenatcha. Straight Creek is a translation of the Choctaw “Bok Apissali.” It empties into Sukenatcha in section 24, township 11, range i6, east. Romans has failed to lay this creek down on his map. In this connection, it may be stated that Dr. A. S. Gatschet has certainly made an error in his copy of Roman’s map, in confusing the upper part of Sukenatcha with Bodka where he writes, “probably runs into Noxubee creek.”
19 Ebita Poocola Chitto.—This name, as in the similar case of number 8, is badly spelled for “Ibetap okla chitto,” literally translated, Fountain-head Big People, that is, a large settlement on the fountain head of some stream. The writer thinks, by way of conjecture, that this settlement may be located on Straight creek.
20. Chooca Hoola.—This name, “Chukka Hullo,” means Beloved House, or if plural, Beloved Houses. Nothing can be said as to its location, only that it was on the north side of Sukenatcha, somewhere between the mouths of Running Tiger and Straight creek.
21. This name is perhaps “Oka Hullo,” meaning Beloved Water. From its position on the map, it was a settlement on and near the mouth of Sanootee creek, a small stream south of DeKaib, running east and emptying into Petikfa. This stream is not laid down on Romans’ map.
22. Olitassa.—In correct Choctaw this word is “Holihtasha,” that is, “Holihta asha,” literally translated Fort is there. The name is translated on old maps “Fort Town.” De Kalb occupies the site of this ancient town, which was the most noted town in what is now Kemper county. It had two chiefs and contained over a hundred cabins. It was a kind of capital for the neighboring towns for twenty miles or more around. Once a year delegates from all these towns met in Holihtasha to make new laws. Tapena Hadjo was a noted chief in Holihtasha during the first three decades of the nineteenth century. De Kaib is often called Holihtasha by old Choctaws.
23. Cuthi Uckehaca.—This settlement seems to have been on and near the mouth of Parker’s creek, which empties into Petickfa in section 30, township 10, range 17, east. This creek is not laid down on Romans’ map. Can the name of this settlement be a very currupt spelling of “Kati Oka hikia,” which would mean Thorn-bush Standing in Water?
In the southwest corner of Kemper county there is a settlement and creek called “Rooskoos Tokali.” The “R” is evidently a clerical slip for “P,” and the name restored to its correct Choctaw spelling is “Puskus Takali,” which means Hanging Child. This settlement, from its position, seems to have been the same as Kusha bolukta, of which an account can be seen in the Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society, Vol. III., p. 369. A little northeast of this settlement is a small settlement not named, which evidently must be the Tali Chuluk settlement on the creek of the same name.
Romans has these Kemper county settlements marked “Qypat Oocaloo,” which is a corruption of “Ahepat Okla,” which means Potato-eating People. This name was afterwards extended so as to embrace the entire northeastern district, ruled over, in the nineteenth century, first by Mingo Homastubbee, and afterwards by his son, Mingo Moshulitubbee. The word “ahe,” in the name of this division of the Choctaw people, refers to the native hog potato, which, in ancient times, was a common article of food among the southern Indians. To make a palatable diet, these wild potatoes were first hung up in the sun for a few days until they became well dried. After this, they were boiled in a pot and then eaten. The Choctaws of the present day generally call the hog potato “lukchuk ahe,” mud potato, to distinguish it from the sweet and Irish potato.
24. Osuktalaya.—This name was evidently intended for “Oksak talaya,” which may be translated Hickory Grove. The farther one gets from Romans’ line of travel, the more and more con fused; and Dr. Gatschet’s county lines, while to a great extent approximately correct, from the nature of the case are not infallible. As an illustration, Yazoo Town in Neshoba county was very near the Kemper county line, but Dr. Gatschet’s line throws it several miles over into Neshoba county. Hence it can not be stated positively whether the settlements numbered 24 and 25 were in Neshoba or Kemper. Their locations are not as yet identified.
27. West Yaso.—This place was so called to distinguish it from Little or East Yazoo in Kemper county. In Choctaw this word is “Yashu.” The town, the site of which is now called Yazoo Old Town, is situated in Neshoba county, near the head waters of Oktibbeha creek, in sections 13 and 24, township 10, range 13, east. It was noted Choctaw town, and is often mentioned in the government records. Tecumseh visited the place in the fall of 1811. Tanampo-eshubbee was mingo of the town at that time and continued to hold the chieftainship until some years after the treaty of Dancing Rabbit. The commissioners appointed to investigate the Choctaw claims under the 14th article of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit held their session at Yazoo Town, from the 6th of April to the 24th of August, 1843.
28 and 29. Cabea Hoola and
Okapoolo.—No information can be given in regard to these two places.
31. Kaffetalya.—On modern maps this name is spelled “Coffedelia.” Its correct Choctaw orthography is “Kafi talaia,” and may be translated Sassafras thicket. The writer does not agree with Dr. Gatschet in his Yuchi theory about “Kafi talaia.” This Choctaw town or settlement was, for the most part, on Owl creek, in section 21, township 11, range 13, east, Neshoba county. The most populous part of the town was on the south side of the Philadelphia and Somerville road, between the ten and eleven mile posts. There is a tradition that this town was once captured by a Creek war party.
32. Schekaha.—This is a very much mutilated
name derived from “Shinuk Kaha,” generally translated Sand Town. A literal
translation would be, Lying in the Sand. Sand Town, or Shinuk Kaha, was
situated about seven miles a little north of east of Philadelphia. The
town stood upon a flat crescent shaped ridge. from which issues the headwaters
of Buck-Horn branch, a tributary of Ocobly creek. There were numerous springs
all along the declivity of this ridge. The present Sand Town church probably
occupies the center of the old town. This church stands in the northeast
quarter of the northwest quarter of section 19, township 11, range 13,
There is a tradition among the Bogue Chitto Indians in regard to Shinuk Kaha, which runs as follows:
Once upon a time, many long years ago, a small Creek war party made an inroad into the Choctaw country and secreted themselves in ambush near Shinuk Kaha. It was in a dry sum mer season, and one of the springs near the town becoming dry, the people had to resort to another, half a mile distant. One morning as a woman of Shinuk Kaha, on her way to this spring, was in the act of stepping over a log, a Creek warrior, lying on the other side of it, seized her by the leg. The woman struggled out of his grasp, ran back to the town and told the affair to her people, but her story was not believed. The next day, another woman, who was going to the spring, soon came running back, and she too reported having seen a hostile warrior. The Shinuk Kaha people were now satisfied and straightway their warriors armed themselves and went forth in quest of the foe. The lurking place of the Creeks was soon discovered, from which they were routed and driven into a low reed-brake near by. The Choctaws surrounded the place on all sides, but knew it would be certain death to any man to enter the reed-brake. Knowing that the Creeks could not be dislodged by ordinary methods, the prophets, who were always important factors in Indian warfare, went to work to make rain so as to inundate the swamp and make the Creeks come forth. All day they rehearsed their mysterious rites. As usual on such occasions, one part of their performance was to set fire to a tree which had been struck by lightning. Thy all then marched around this burning tree, time and again, chanting a song. One of the men in the procession carried a black flag. This black flag symbolized a black rain cloud. While performing all this charlantanism, the prophets assured their credulous people that they would make rain before the next day, and advised them to make shelters for themselves so as to keep their guns dry for the coming destruction of their foes. It so happened that a tremendous rain fell that night, and by morning the swamp was inundated several feet deep in water. The Creeks, in danger of drowning, came forth upon the bill. Their guns were wet and useless, and they all, consequently, fell an easy prey to the fire of their foes, who thus gained a victory without the loss of a man. Although tradition is silent on the subject, the prophets doubtless got a big fee for their services by claiming and appropriating to themselves a very large share of the spoils of the slain Muscogee warriors. Such is the war legend of Shinuk Kaha.
33. Oka Coo poly.—This settlement, as its name plainly shows, was on Ocobly creek in Neshoba county. The name was perhaps given to the creek on account of its being a good fishing stream, where the fish bite well. “Oka akobli,” Water where the biting is.
34. Alloon Looanshaw.—Philadelphia occupies the site of this ancient Indian town. The name in correct Choctaw orthography is “Halunlawi asha,” or, in rapidity of speech, “Halunlawasha.” “Halunlabi,” or “Halunlawi,” is the Choctaw name for the largest sized bull frog; “asha,” is there, are there. “Halunlawasha" thus means Bull frogs are there, or, a concise rendering, Bull Frog Place.
About a mile south of Bull Frog Town on the banks of Funny Yockony creek, “Fani Yakni bok,” Squirrel Country creek, is a Choctaw burial mound, which is the last existing memorial of this aboriginal town.
From Publications The
Mississippi Historical Society, Vol. VI,
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