For other uses, see Chickasaw (disambiguation).
Chickasaw portraits.jpg
Chickasaw portraits.jpg

Top row: Young Chickasaw man, Tom Cole, Winchester Colbert
Middle row: Holmes Colbert, John Herrington, J. D. James
Bottom row: Mary Hightower (Shunahoyah), Ashkehenaniew, Annie Guy

Total population
Regions with significant populations
United States (Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana)
English, Chickasaw
Traditional tribal religion, Christianity (Protestantism)
Related ethnic groups
Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek), and Seminole
The Chickasaw are Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States (Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee). They are of the Muskogean linguistic group and are federally enrolled as the Chickasaw Nation.
Sometime prior to the first European contact, the Chickasaw migrated and moved east of the Mississippi River, where they settled mostly in present-day northeast Mississippi. The Chickasaw were one of the Five Civilized Tribes, who were forced to sell their country in 1832 and move to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) during the era of Indian Removal. Most Chickasaw now live in Oklahoma. All historical records indicate the Chickasaw lived in northeast Mississippi from the first European contact until the Indian Removal in 1832.
The Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma is the 13th largest federally recognized tribe in the United States. They are related to the Choctaw and share a common history with them. The Chickasaw are divided in two groups: the Impsaktea and the Intcutwalipa.



[edit] Etymology

The name Chickasaw, as noted by anthropologist John Swanton, belonged to a Chickasaw leader.[2[[|]]] Chickasaw is the English spelling of Chikashsha (IPA: [tʃikaʃːa]), meaning "rebel" or "comes from Chicsa".

[edit] History

The origin of the Chickasaws is uncertain. Noted 19th-century historian Horatio Cushman thought the Chickasaw, along with the Choctaw, may have had origins in present-day Mexico and migrated north.[3[[|]]] When Europeans first encountered them, the Chickasaw were living in villages in what is now Mississippi, with a smaller number in the area of Savannah Town, South Carolina. The Chickasaw may have been immigrants to the area and may not have been descendants of the prehistoric Mississippian culture.[3[[|]]] Their oral history supports this, indicating they moved along with the Choctaw from west of the Mississippi River into present-day Mississippi in prehistoric times.

"These people (the choctaw) are the only nation from whom I could learn any idea of a traditional account of a first origin; and that is their coming out of a hole in the ground, which they shew between their nation and the Chickasaws; they tell us also that their neighbours were surprised at seeing a people rise at once out of the earth."

Bernard Romans- Natural History of East and West Florida
external image 250px-DeSoto_Map_Leg_2_HRoe_2008.jpgexternal image magnify-clip.png
The second leg of the de Soto Expedition, from Apalachee to the Chicaza.

The first European contact with the Chickasaw was in 1540, when Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto encountered them and stayed in one of their towns, most likely near present-day Tupelo, Mississippi. After various disagreements, the Chickasaw attacked the De Soto expedition in a nighttime raid, nearly destroying the expedition. The Spanish moved on quickly.[4[[|]]]
The Chickasaw began to trade with the British after the colony of Carolina was founded in 1670.[citation needed] With British-supplied guns, the Chickasaw raided their enemies the Choctaw, capturing some members and selling them into slavery. When the Choctaw acquired guns from the French, power between the tribes became more equalized and the slave raids stopped.
The Chickasaw were often at war with the French and the Choctaw in the 18th century, such as in the Battle of Ackia on May 26, 1736. Skirmishes continued until France ceded its claims to the region after being defeated by the British in the Seven Years' War.
In 1793-94 Chickasaw fought as allies of the new United States under General Anthony Wayne against the Indians of the old Northwest Territory. They were defeated in the Battle of Fallen Timbers, August 20, 1794.[citation needed]

"Neither the Choctaws nor Chicksaws ever engaged in war against the American people, but always stood as their faithful allies."

—Horatio Cushman, History of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Natchez Indians, 1899

The official site of the Chickasaw Nation:


  • "Chickasaw." The New Encyclopedia Britannica. 1994. ed.
  • "Chickasaw." The World Book Encyclopedia. 1995. ed.
  • "The Flag of the Chickasaw." Internet. 28 Nov. 1998 Available FTP:


The homelands of the Chickasaw (chick-a-saw) includes what is now known as northern Mississippi and Alabama.

Best Known Features:

The Chickasaw flag is indigo and bears a representation of the seal of the Chickasaw Nation. The gold and light purple stripes symbolize the purity and honor of the people.


It is suspected that in earlier history the Chickasaw and Choctaw may have been a single tribe. The Chickasaw were a semi-nomadic tribe that closely patrolled their claimed territory and raided territory to the north. While doing so, they absorbed the remnants of the tribes that they conquered. By doing this, they became a mixed-blood tribe. They became known as "breeds".
In the 18th century the Chickasaw got involved in the struggles between the British and French. They took sides with the British against the French and Choctaw. In the 1830's they were removed with force to Indian Territory that is now known as Oklahoma. They joined the already present tribes of Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw and Seminole. Some Indians now live on tribal landholdings, otherwise known as reservations.