Legend of the Flood

Chickasaws

Long ago, perhaps in the days when Chickasaws still resided in the land of the setting sun, their Great Spirit, Ababinili sent rain. Soon water covered all the earth. Some Chickasaws made rafts to save themselves. Then, creatures like large white beavers cut the thongs that bound the rafts.

All drowned except one family and a pair of each of all the animals. When the rain stopped and the flood began receding, a raven appeared with part of an ear of corn. The Great Spirit told the Chickasaws to plant it. The Great Spirit also told them that eventually the earth would be destroyed by fire, its ruin presaged by a rain of flood and oil.

The Chickasaws are not the only North American Indian Tribe who has a legend of the Flood. Almost every other ancient people, from the Chinese to the Mayans and Incas, had their own version of destruction of the world by water.

As trackers and hunters the Chickasaws had no superiors. They were celebrated for their personal bravery and indomitable spirit and had almost endless endurance. There were no Chickasaw orphans. If the mother or father died, or the father was slain in battle, the child was immediately placed with a near relative able to care for him and was thereby adopted into the new family and no differences were shown in the children.

The Chickasaw lived in several villages of small, one-room log cabins. Each village was headed by a chief. The people supported themselves by farming, fishing, hunting, and trading with neighboring tribes.

The Chickasaw were fierce warriors. They helped Britain fight France and Spain for control of what is now the Southeastern United States. They also supported the British in the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). In the Civil War (1861-1865), the tribe fought for the Confederacy.