(Continued - page 4)
35. Lushapa.—Nothing can be done with this name. A tributary of Kentarky creek emptying into it on the west, named “Lus salaka,” which means Swamp-edge, or border. As the position of Lushapa corresponds somewhat with that of Lussalaka, may not Lushapa be intended for this creek or settlement, Romans failing to get the correct sound or form of the name?
36. Conchatikpi.—This is “Kushak tikpi creek,” a tributary of Kentarky, in the southern part of Neshoba county, called by the white people, “Coonshark.” Romans has it located too far to the west and not far enough to the south. This creek and the outlying country through which it flows, on which was this ancient settlement, is still called by modern Choctaws, “Kushak tikpi,” u in Kushak, nasal.
“Kushak,” as has already been stated, means Reed-brake. “Tikpi” has no exact equivalent in English. It means any bulge or enlargement, as the shoulder of a bottle, or the shoulder of a chimney, any round projecting object, as a round knot on a tree, or the round projection of a high bank or bluff, a protuberance, a knob, in short, the round or the bulging part of any material thing, whether large or small,—all these are embraced in the Choctaw word “tikpi.” There is a high round knob-like bluff, very prominent to the eye, at a certain place on this creek near a reed brake, a kind of diminutive promontory from which the creek received the name of “Kushak tikpi.” Hence “Kushak tikpi” may be translated Reed-brake Knob.
A similar case of tikpi occurs in the case of Hacha tiggeby in Alabama.
This stream, correctly spelled “Hachcha tikpi,” may be translated River
Knob, so called from a round bluff on the Tombigbee, as can be seen article
first of the treaty of Port Confederation, where in describing the Choctaw
boundary line, it speaks of it as “terminating on the Tombigbee at a bluff
by the name of Hacha Tiggeby.” Tallatikpi in Alabama is doubtless
“Tali tikpi,” Rock Knob.
38. Cuctachas.—This is the noted town of Cushtusha, restored to its correct Choctaw orthography, “Kashtih asha,” “Kashtasha,” which means Fleas are there, or Flea Place. The town was situated on the south side of Custusha creek, about three miles a little south of west of Yazoo Town. Many years ago it was embraced in the farm of Mr. Mark Warren. For the legend of this town see Claiborne’s Mississippi as a Province, Territory and State, p. 518.
39. Consha Consapa.—The spelling of this name is clear evidence of Romans’ slender knowledge of the Choctaw language. “Kushak osapa,” is the form and means Reed-brake held, surely not a field in a reed-brake proper, which was beyond the Choctaw progress in agriculture, but a field or fields near a reed-brake. No information can be given as to its exact locality, only from its position on the map, it must have been on or near some reed-brakes somewhere east of Mokalusha.
40. West Imongalasha.—This place was so called to distinguish it from Little Mokalusha in Kemper county. As stated “Imoklasha” is the correct form of the name. This most notable Choctaw town in Neshoba county, was situated upon the headwaters of Talasha creek. The houses of the town, with the small fields intervening, covered an area of three miles long, north and south, and a mile and a half wide, east and west. The town was situated generally in sections 4, 9 and i6, township 9, range 13, east.
Mokalusha is often mentioned in government records. But the most noted event in its history was the visit of Tecumseh in the fall of 1811. The council held there on that occasion was upon a hill, situated about the center of the eastern edge of the town. This hill is now occupied by the residence of the late Colonel James Wilson.
About 1824, Mokalusha was in a great measure abandoned on account of the ravages of the smallpox. The Indians when suffering with the intense pain of this disease, would rush to the water and throw themselves into it, an action causing inevitable death. Hence the mortality was very great among the Mokalasha people.
Commencing on the northern boundary of Mokalusha, there apart, and having distinct names. Beginning south and going was a series of hamlets extending to the north, about half a mile north, these hamlets were Yaneka, Chukkilissa, Onaheli, Nanih aba and Bihi Konlo. “Nanih aba,” signifies Hill above, and the name no doubt is the same as Nannihubba, in South Alabama, a word which has aroused some philological controversy.
There were also two names in Neshoba county. One of these, Ocolo falaya, means western party. This correctly spelled is “Okia falaya,” the long settlement or people, a name, as in the case of Ahepat Okla, extended in after years, so as to embrace the large western district under the jurisdiction, first of Puckshenubbee, then of Colonel Greenwood Lefiore.
The other, Sapa Chitto, means Big corn field. The correct form of this expression is “Osapa Chitto." It was a large settlement, and embraced the scope of country of which Dixon p. o. may be considered the center. The name is not yet extinct, for even at the present day Dixon is often called “Osapa Chitto,” Big Field, by the modern Choctaws.
As stated, the Jasper county settlements, 48 to 57 inclusive, will be reserved for a future paper.
58. Ewany.—This name is spelled in various
ways: “Hajowanni,” “Yowanni,” “Hewanny,” “Youane,” etc. The Yowanni town
of Adair, “the palisaded fort,” stood in Wayne county on the east side
of Chickasahay river in section 16, township 10, range 7, west, St. Stephen’s
base line. The Ewany of Romans’ map was on the west side of Chickasahay,
in section 17, and was referred to by Adair as “the out-houses of Yowanni.”
60. Romans has failed to mark down this town, which certainly must be the same as Skenappa village on Danville’s map of 1732. Danville has this town on the east side of the head of a tributary of Sukenatcha. Danville’s map, like Romans, is very imperfect and confused, so that it is impossible to decide whether the creek on which he has placed Skenappa is Straight creek or Running Tiger. But the best conjecture as to this matter is to be found in the following statement, contained in aletter received by the writer from Mr. A. C. Hammack, of Kemper county:
“From a close study of Danville’s map, together with my knowledge of the local features of the country, I am of the opinion that Running Tiger is the tributary of Sukenatcha laid down on Danville’s map, and not Straight creek. On the head of Running Tiger and on its east side, there is a large spring which supplies water to run a mill a mile below. The lands immediately surrounding this spring are high and sandy and were once very productive; and in many places all around stone relics can be found, an evidence that human habitations once stood here. From a consideration of these circumstances, I think it very probable that here was the site of the ancient town of Skenappa.”
An account will now be given of some of the water courses and localities recorded on Romans’ map. The names, to a great extent, are given in alphabetical order. To prevent repetition of translation the writer desires to call attention to the fact that bogue, correctly spelled “bok,” means creek.
Batcha Chukka.—Ridge houses, that is houses built on a ridge, a settlement on the Tombigbee, the present Tuscahoma. “Bachcha” is the correct spelling and signifies “ridge.”
Bogue Aitha Soyca.—This name correctly spelled is “Bok iti Shukha,” and means Wooden Iog creek. Can this be Sukalena, a tributary of Oktibbeha creek in Lauderdale county?
Bogue Chitto.—This name means Big creek and is a name of frequent occurrence in Mississippi and Alabama. It is applied by Romans to the Chickasahay.
Bogue Chobota.—Romans sometimes uses ch for sh in writing Indian names. “Bok shubuta,” or “shubota,” Shubuta creek, is in Clarke county. “Shubota” signifies smoky. The statement in Prof. W. L. Weber’s article in the Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society, Vol. 1., p. 21, that “Shubuta” means sour meal is erroneous. He probably made this statement on the authority of others. The inventor of this erroneous etymology doubtless supposed that it was a compound, made by uniting “shua,” bad-smelling, with “bota,” meal. But the adjective in Choctaw invariably follows its noun, and never precedes it as in English. To speak of bad-smelling meal, a Choctaw would say “bota shua.”
Bogue Hooma.—The correct form of this name is “Bok Homma,” which means Red creek. There are several creeks of this name in Mississippi and Alabama. The one recorded on Romans’ map, a tributary of Buckatunna on its east side, has an historical significance in being, prior to the treaty of Mount Dexter, a part of the line of demarcation between the Choctaw nation and the United States.
Rogue Loosa.—The correct form of this name is “Bok Lusa,” Black creek, now known as Taylor’s creek, a tributary of Sinty Rogue, “Sinti Bok,” Snake creek, in Washington county, Alabama.
Nanne Chufa. -East of Bogue Loosa is a hill or mound called by Romans Nanne Chufa, “Nanih Achafa,” which means Lone Hill. Still farther east he has a region marked Tale okane, which is “Talla yakni,” and means Palmetto country. As is evidenced by the name, it refers to the country on Toller Bogue, “Talla Bok,” Palmetto creek.
Basheelawa.—The Choctaw expression, “Bassi laua” means Sedgegrass plenty. This creek emptied into the Tombighee.
Bogue Oshan Lowey.—This name is the same as “Sonlahoue” on Danville’s map of 1732, as “Hussan Lowah” on La Tourrette’s map, of 1839, and as “Sooenlovie,” the present American form. All the four forms are more or less corrupted from “Hassunlawi,” which the best informed Choctaws say is itself a corruption of “lasunlabi,” which means Leech-killer.
Chiceanske.—It is evident from the location of this place on Romans’ map, that it is a grievous clerical slip for the name of the place which in the text of Romans’ book is called “Chickianooe.” In Hamilton’s Colonial Mobile, p. 220, this place is identified as Bluff Port. Mr. Hamilton quotes Romans:
“At half an hour past eleven proceeded and in an hour and a quarter we passed by Chickianooe, a white bluff [Bluff Port] with a savannah on top on its west side. It is upwards of seventy feet high above the water’s level.”
Chickianooe.—The writer has a strong suspicion that there is
a slight misprint in Romans’ text, and that this word should read “Chickianoce.”
This would make the word “Skeki anusi” or “anosi,” meaning Buzzards there
sleep, that is, Buzzard Roost. This same word, “Chickianoce,” was the aboriginal
name of Cahaba river. See Hamilton’s Colonial Mobile, p. 185.
Great Beaver Dam.—This locality is interesting as it gives us the very highest limit of information up Noxubee river in Romans’ day. There is a bayou which flows out of Noxubee river on its west side in section 32, township 17, range 14, east, in Oktibbeha, and re-enters the same river in section 12, township 16, range 15, east, in Noxubee county, making an island about eight miles long and from one to two miles wide, part of which is in Oktibbeha and part in Noxubee county. This is the island marked “Great Beaver Dam” on Romans’ map. (continued)
From Publications The
Mississippi Historical Society, Vol. VI,
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