At the beginning, there was a great mound. It was called Nanih Wiya. It was from this mound that the Creator fashioned the first of the people. These people crawled through a long, dark cave into daylight. They became the first Choctaw.
(Creation story of the Choctaw People of Tennessee and Mississippi) The Choctaw People say that when the People first came-up out of the ground, People were encased in cocoons, their eyes closed, their limbs folded tightly to their bodies. And this was true of all People, the Bird People, the Animal People, the Insect People, and the Human People. The Great Spirit took pity on them and sent down someone to unfold their limbs, dry them off, and open their eyes. But the opened eyes saw nothing because the world was dark, no sun, no moon, not even any stars. All the People moved around by touch, and if they found something that didn’t eat them first, they ate it raw, for they had no fire to cook it. All the People met in a great Pow-wow, with the Animal and Bird People taking the lead, and the Human […]
A Choctaw Legend There once was a man who had very bad luck when he hunted. Although the other hunters in his village were always able to bring home deer, this man never succeeded. He was the strongest of the men in the village and he knew the forest well, but his luck was never good. Each time he came close to the deer, something bad would happen. A jay would call from the trees and the deer would take flight. He would step on dry leaves and the deer would run before he could shoot. His arrow would glance off a twig and miss the deer. It seemed there was no end to his troubles. Finally the man decided he would go deep into the swamps where there were many deer. He would continue hunting until he either succeeded or lost his own life. The man hunted for […]
The origin of corn is connected with a myth called by Cushman the story of 0hoyo 0sh Chisba (or 0hoyo osh chisba), “The Unknown Woman.” With Cushman’s usual emotional setting this runs as follows: In the days of many moons ago, two Choctaw hunters were encamped for the night in the swamps of the bend of the Alabama river… The two hunters, having been unsuccessful in the chase of that and the preceding day, found themselves on that night with nothing with which to satisfy the cravings of hunger except a black hawk which they had shot with an arrow. Sad reflections filled their hearts as they thought of their sad disappointments and of their suffering families at home. While the gloomy future spread over them its dark pall of despondency, all serving to render them unhappy indeed. They cooked the hawk and sat down to partake of their […]