Academic journal article The Journal of Chickasaw History and Culture

Story of Wild Cat Clan

Academic journal article The Journal of Chickasaw History and Culture

Story of Wild Cat Clan

Article excerpt

John Swanton, an American anthropologist and linguist who worked with Native Americans in the United States, collaborated with Amos Hayes, George Wilson, and Zeno McCurtain to collect, record, and transcribe fourteen stories about Chickasaw clans from Chickasaws living in Oklahoma in the early 1900s. 'Hayes and George Wilson were identified by Swanton as the informants for fourteen Chickasaw stories about clans and 'house groups.' Among them are the raccoon, panther, bird, wildcat, and red fox. Except for stories about clans that families do not share with outsiders, these published stories are virtually the tribe's only source of information on what used to be the bedrock of tribal life, clans" (Green 2003). The following is a transcription of the Chickasaw clan story, "Story of Wild Cat Clan."

Once a number of men belonging to this clan went hunting and camped a considerable distance from home. Afterward they scattered to see what they could find but remained within call of one another, having made an agreement that if anything happened to one of them he should shout for help. But one of them ventured farther than he was aware and got a long distance ofF. Presently he got tired and sat down to rest, but while he was there an lhofa' [bigfoot] came up and said, "What are you doing here? You are intruding upon my land and had better get up and return to your own place." But the Indian believed himself to be strong enough for any situation, so he sat still without speaking. Presently the lhofa' ordered him off again and added "If you do not get up and go away I will tie you up and carry you to my place. …

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