Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

The Origin of the Houma Tribe

Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

The Origin of the Houma Tribe

Article excerpt

This is a story about the Houma tribe, which is now in the southern Louisiana area. Written historical accounts say that the Houma tribe was one of the clans of the Choctaw tribe and that they were known as Chuikchihuma (which means "red crawfish" in the Choctaw language). Eventually, they became known as Houma, which means "red." Over the centuries, the tribal clans became separate and distinct groups.

A really long time ago, when the animals could speak, red crawfish lived in caves in the mud under ponds, lakes, and rivers. Choctaws of all ages would try to catch these crawfish but could not catch them. The crawfish were fast runners, good at hiding and were brave and fought mightily. It bothered the Choctaws immensely that they could not touch the crawfish, that they could not catch them. After some time of trying unsuccessfully to chase them down, some of the Choctaws decided to hide and lay in wait for the crawfish to leave their caves. The crawfish did leave their caves and when the Choctaws saw that they crawfish were out of their hiding places, they hurriedly closed openings of their mud huts before all could rush back down into the mud. …

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