The Moon, Sun, Wind, Rainbow, Thunder, Fire and Water came to visit with Ababinili along with one human.  Thunder asked Ababinili if he would
make the people of the world his children.  Ababinili told him. "No, they can't be your children, but they can be your grandchildren.  If anything arises
which is heavy on the people of the world, you can be they sinker for those things."

The Sun asked the same question and Ababinili answered this way, "No, they can't be your children, but they can be your friends and grandchildren.  
You can be only for the purpose of giving them light to lead them through this life."

Then the Moon asked if they could be his children.  Ababinili said to him, "No, I can't do that but they can be your nephews and friends."

Fire then asked if the people of the world could be made his children, and Ababinili replied saying, "No, the people of this world can't be your children,
but they can be your grandchildren.  While they are growing up, you can keep them warn and cook their foods so they can eat well."

Now Wind asked Ababinili if she could have the humans as her children, but again, Ababinili said, "No, they can't be your children, but they can be
your grandchildren so you can remove the unclean air and all kinds of diseases.

Next, Rainbow asked for the people of the earth to be hers.  Ababinili replied saying, "No, they can't be your children, but you can prevent floods and
rainy weather when it's not needed.  You can honor yourself that way."

Then Water asked if he could be father to all the people of the earth.  "No, the people of the earth can't be your children.  What you can do is wash them
clean so they can live long and healthy lives.  We will name you Misha Sapohkne, for this reason.

Ababinili then said to all of them, "I have told you how to guide yourselves and what to do.  You must remember that these children are my children."

This is what the old ones used to tell us.
Ababinili and the Humans

A Chickasaw Legend
All Rights Reserved
Music:  Flight of the Raven by AH-NEE-MAH
Ghost of the White Deer

A Chickasaw Legend
A brave, young warrior for the Chickasaw Nation fell in love with the daughter of a chief.  The chief did not like the young man, who was called Blue
Jay.  So the chief invented a price for the bride that he was sure that Blue Jay could not pay.

Bring me the hide of the White Deer," said the chief.  The Chickasaws believed that animals that were all white were magical.  "The price for my
daughter is one white deer."  Then the chief laughed.  The chief knew that an all white deer, an albino, was very rare and would be very hard to find.  
White deerskin was the best material to use in a wedding dress, and the best white deer skin came from the albino deer.

Blue Jay went to his beloved, whose name was Bright Moon.  "I will return with your bride price in one moon, and we will be married.  This I
promise you."  Taking his best bow and his sharpest arrows Blue Jay began to hunt.

Three weeks went by, and Blue Jay was often hungry, lonely, and scratched by briars.  Then one night during a full moon, Blue Jay saw a white deer
that seemed to drift through the moonlight.  When the deer was very close to where Blue Jay hid, he shot his sharpest arrow.  The arrow sank deep
into the deer's heart.  But instead of sinking to his knees to die, the deer began to run.  And instead of running away, the deer began to run toward
Blue Jay, his red eyes glowing, his horns sharp and menacing.

A month passed and Blue Jay did not return as he had promised Bright Moon.  As the months dragged by, the tribe decided that he would never
return.

But Bright Moon never took any other young man as a husband, for she had a secret.  When the moon was shinning as brightly as her name, Bright
Moon would often see the white deer in the smoke of the campfire, running, with an arrow in his heart.  She lived hoping the deer would finally fall,
and Blue Jay would return.

To this day the white deer is sacred to the Chickasaw People, and the white deerskin is still the favorite material for the wedding dress.  
This clan was not very numerous.  Their origin was not know for some time, but finally it was discovered.  There were some people living on two
neighboring hills, but for a long time it was not thought that these had inhabitants.

These hills were thought uninhabited because other people did not see how they could get down from them to hunt.  When they found that they
actually were inhabited they thought that the occupants must have wings, and so they called them Birds.

They were people who were up and off before day.  They did not have many peculiar customs.  They were like real birds in that they would not bother
anybody.  They usually had many wives, and they had a good custom of not marrying anyone outside of their clan or those belonging to another
house group.  A woman might belong to the very same clan as a man, but if her house name was different from his he would not marry her.

The reason was that they did not want to mix their blood with that of other people.  They kept to the ways of their ancestors without disturbing
anyone else.  They were satisfied with what had been handed down to them.  The people of this clan had different sorts of minds, just as there are
different species of birds.

Some have the minds of wood-peckers, others of crows, others of pigeons, eagles, chicken hawks, horned owls, common owls, buzzards, screech
owls, day hawks, prairie hawks, field larks, red-tailed hawks, red birds, wrens, hummingbirds, speckled woodpeckers, cranes, bluebirds, blackbirds,
turkeys, chickens, quails, tcowe eak (birds found only in winters and looking like martins), yellow hammers, whip-poor-wills, and like all other
kinds of birds.

Some have homes and some have not, as is the case with birds.  It seems as though the best people of the Bird clan were wiser than any others.  They
do not work at all, but have an easy time going through life and go anywhere they want to.

They have many offspring as birds have.  They do whatever they desire, and when anything happens to them they depend on persons of their own
house groups without calling in strangers.

This is the end of the story of the Birds, although much more might be written about them.
Story of the Bird Clan

A Chickasaw Legend
Story of the Raccoon Clan

A Chickasaw Legend
These people dressed differently from others but in most of their customs they were similar.  They had a certain habit, however, in which they were
unique and that was that they would kill one another.

Their taste in the matter of food was also peculiar.  They liked to dance as well as nay other people and would rather dance the Raccoon dance than
eat.  When they were going to have a dance they would send out a messenger to announce the fact, and afterwards the old men and old women
would dance all night.  When they were preparing for a dance they would boil certain roots to make a kind of tea which they considered stimulating.

They could dance all night without feeling any ill effects.  The foods of which they were fondest were fish and all kinds of fruits such as grapes.  When
fruit was plentiful they like that best which ripens early in the winter.  In the spring they ate every kind of thing that was eatable.  In the fall they hung
bunches of grapes up to dry and then stored them away for winter's use.  In summer they dried green corn for the winter.

Some made shuck (or blue) bread, some made cold flour, and some laid away meal out of which porridge is made.  Some foods would last as long as
they desired.

These people were very cunning.  They knew just what to do and how to do it and could not be cheated by others, except for the younger people, who
were easily deceived.  They would not undertake anything of which they were not sure in advance.  They would not let other clans intermarry with
theirs.

They had clever way of finding out what they wanted to know, and they depended very much upon a conjure (apoloma), who could excel in the game
of hiding-the-bullet, in horse racing, and in the ball game.  Sometimes the conjurer was called a wizard (ieta holo).  They had great faith in him and
he was not afraid of undertaking any task assigned to him, yet he was not as good as a doctor (alektci).  He could imitate any sort of animal or bird,
but he could work only among his own people, pr near his own side, fearing lest the opponents would kill him.

The others did not know what he might do.  Whatever the conjurer chose to do was considered right, but some conjurers were afraid to do as they
ought by their own side lest the opponents should injure them afterwards.  The conjurer foretold what was going to happen to the ball players and
those that heeded his advice did not get into trouble, but some would forget and suffer injuries and be sorry that they had not been obedient.

When the people heeded the conjurer's warning they usually won, i.e., if their conjurer was better than that on the side of the opponents.

These people had great faith in their leaders and most of them would heed their advice, but there were a few who would not listen to the advice of the
older people, and through these in course of time all went to the bad.  Some would not visit the sick or have anything to do with them though they
were under oath to assist them.  They were too proud.  They became utterly incompetent because they would listen neither to the conjurer nor the old
people.

Sometimes, too, the conjurer told them lies and they found it out and for that reason would not listen to him.
Story of the Red Fox Clan

A Chickasaw Legend
Red Fox (Tcula) was once found in a cave asleep by a hunter.  The hunter crept up to him and saw that is was Tcula.  As he lay there asleep he looked
red all over, and in consequence the hunter called him Red Fox.

From that time on his descendants have been known as the Red Fox clan.

Some time after this Red Fox took up with a woman belonging to the Wildcat clan.  Their descendants were known as Tcula Homa Iksa, and they
lived only in the woods.  They made a living by stealing from other people, and that was why they wanted to live in the timber continually.  If this
clan had been handed down through the women, it would have been numerous today; but since it depended on the father's side it did not last long.

They kept on stealing until about 1880, when the other people got tired of them and killed nearly all, so that there are now only a few remaining
among the Choctaw and Chickasaw.

A person of the Red Fox clan did whatever he liked.

Once a man of this clan went hunting.  He did not return that day nor the next day after.  In fact he was gone for several days, and presently the
people thought something had happened to him and chose three men to send in search of him.

These men at length reached a place where they expected to find him, but when they got close to it he was not there.  They discovered that he had taken
up with a woman of the Bird clan; that was why he had not returned home.  When they at length came to the place where he was living, he told them
that he did not think it was harmful to take any woman, whether she was of the same clan or not.

Therefore, when he met this woman and found that he liked her and that she liked him, they lived together.  The men told him that it was against the
will of his people and contrary to their customs, but he could not be persuaded and after a while they left him.  Before he left his people he had already
been married.  Afterwards he wanted to go back to live with them as he had before, but they would not listen to him.

It was the belief of the people of the Red Fox clan that one should not marry outside, and it was their law that if one did so they would not have
anything to do with him.  They would not help him in any way but he who obeyed their customs was held in respect among them.  They believed that
things moved on as was intended by the Creator, but some people did not have any regard for this and did not care what happened to them.

The customs and habits of the Red Fox clan are different from those of any other, and the same was true of those of the Double Mountain people.  
Anyone who wanted to learn their ways must marry one of their women (which, judging by what was said in the last paragraph in the case of the
Red Foxes, would seem to have been difficult).

When winter was approaching and these people wanted to go on a hunt, they began their preparations a considerable time in advance.  Some of them
would get together and decide how many were to go and how long they would be gone.

Then these persons would fast for four days and meanwhile the women would cook food for them to take, enough to last for the time determined
upon.  They made sacks into which to put cold flour (banaha).  While the men were fasting they would not sleep with their wives, for if one did he
thought that luck would abandon him and he would kill no deer.

Some would not observe these rules and in consequence they were usually excluded from the party.  If such a person were permitted to go, the deer
would see him first and run off.  But those who obeyed the regulations would have good luck and kill many deer and bear to bring home.

When they killed a deer they dried the meat to last them through the winter.  When they went after bear they hunted about until they discovered his
lair and then one of the hunters went into it bearing a pine torch.
Story of the Wildcat Clan

A Chickasaw Legend
This clan differs from other clans principally in what its members eat.  They seldom go out in the daytime but roam about at night in search of food.l  
They do not, however, try to steal.

They are swift on foot and when an accident happens to them they depend on their swiftness to escape.  They care very little about women, but when
they want anything they generally get it.  They think more of their feet than of any other parts of their bodies and their eyes are so keen that they can
see anyone before he detects them.

When one of them wants a wife he gets his parents to obtain one.  They do not select any kind of woman but are careful in choosing.  The younger
always get a woman first.  These generally sleep in the daytime.  If they do not have good luck at night their rest is disturbed but if they have good
luck, they sleep through most of the day.

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 a
lofa (means "skinner."  The being was thought to have long hair like an animal) 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 lofa 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."

"You may do so if you can," the man replied, and upon this the lofa seized him.

At first it seemed as if the man were the stronger of he two and he was able to throw the lofa down, but the latter smelled so bad that it was too much
of his antagonist, and the lofa overcame him, hung him up in a tree and went away.

The man hung there all night, and when he did not make his appearance at camp the other hunters began a search for him, and when they found him,
cut the grapevine by which he was fastened so that he fell to the ground.  They asked him what had treated him in this manner but he would not speak
and they thought he might have seen a ghost or something of that sort.

Some time later, however, he came to himself and related what had happened.  Afterwards, though he was very fond of hunting and knew that he
would be successful, he would not venture out unless someone were with him.
The Big White Dog and The Sacred Pole

A Chickasaw Legend
In a time long since past, there lived somewhere in the West a tribe of Indians constantly warred upon by a powerful enemy.  Because of the never
ending attacks, the people of this tribe enjoyed little of the peace and comfort for which they so deeply yearned.

In time, the families who lived nearest the enemy and who, over the years, had borne the brunt of enemy assaults, became so wear and heavy-hearted
that they appealed to their wise prophets to find a solution to the problem.

The men of wisdom held a special consultation.  They sat around the council fire and deliberated for many hours, and most important, they sought
guidance from Ubabeneli, The Creator of all things, who sat above the clouds and directed the destiny of all.

At last, the prophets concluded their deliberations.  They summoned their fellow tribesmen and told them of the decision they had reached.

The people, said the wise men, would seek a new home where they could find peace and happiness.  Their guide to the new land would be a kohta
falaya (long pole).  This kohta falaya, though was no ordinary pole.  It was something extra special, for it had been made sacred by Ubabeneli.

At the end of each day's journey, the prophets explained, the sacred pole would be stuck into the ground so that it stood perfectly straight.  Each
morning the pole would be carefully examined, and in whatever direction it was leaning, that would be the direction of travel.

That procedure was to be repeated until the kohta falaya leaned no more.  And when that happened, the people would know it was a divine sign from
Ubabeneli that their journey was over, and their new home had been reached.

Then the prophets told them the people would be split into two groups to make traveling safer and easier and that the brave young chief called
Chickasaw would lead one party and his equally brave brother Choctaw, also a chief, would lead the other.

The people listened intently.  They like what they heard.  The words of optimism which fell from the tongues of the wise men lifted their spirits
immeasurably; and when the talks ended, the elated people started dancing and singing, and they continued to rejoice until the early hours of
morning.

During the next few days, the families busied themselves packing their meager belongings and making other necessary preparations for the journey.  
At last, the eve of departure arrived.

That evening the prophets stuck the kohta falaya into the ground and then retired for the night; the next morning, at the break of day, the long pole
was closely inspected and found to be leaning toward the east.

So with Chief Chickasaw at the head of one of the parties and Chief Choctaw heading the other, the two-headed colony bade farewell to the remainder
of the tribe and set out in the direction of the rising sun.

It was a sight to behold, this great Indian caravan:  Old men and old women, boys and girls, young braves and young maidens, husbands and their
wives -- some with newborn babies, others with babies yet unborn -- all moving along on foot with their few worldly possessions and each knowing
with certainty that somewhere a new homeland awaited them, and by-and-by the sacred long pole would lead them to it.

Far in front of this procession of red people ranged a large white dog.  He darted to the right, then to the left; he was everywhere, always on the alert.  
The people loved the big creature very dearly.  He was their faithful guard and scout, and it was his duty to sound the alarm should enemies be
encountered.

Travel was slow and laborious.  Every evening found the migrating Indians only a short distance from where they had commenced that day's
journey.  Even so, each day's walk took the people farther and farther from their old homeland, until in time they found themselves passing through
the homelands of other red people -- red people who eyed them with suspicion and considered them intruders.

Sometimes the weary travelers were allowed to pass unmolested through these foreign domains, but more ofter than not they were set upon by the
jealous guardians of their ancestral lands and forced to fight their way through.

Sickness was a constant companion of marchers, and the tribal doctors stayed busy digging into their medicine bags.  But when sinti, the snake,
struck any one of them, the big white dog was quickly summoned and had only to lick the wound to make the victim well again.

Yet, even with the extraordinary healing powers of the medicine men and the beloved white dog, the ugly hand of death reached down into the
double-headed colony of red people and took away loved ones at will.

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years.  And then one day, just as the sun was sitting, the two parties of Indians came
upon a scene beyond their imagination.  It was a great river, the likes of which they had never seen before, and the unexpected sight overwhelmed
them.

For a long time the astonished people stood on the riverbank and stared in awe at the mighty watercourse.  They called the giant river misha sipokoni
(beyond all age); today, that great river is known far and wide as the Mississippi.

That night the families sat around their campfires and talked joyfully to one another.  Many of the people believed the promised land had been reached
and felt certain the sacred long pole would confirm their belief at daybreak.

But at sun up the next day, the homeless people saw that the kohta falaya still leaned toward the east, and they knew that "home" was somewhere on
the other side of the wide, wide river before them.

The tribesmen hurriedly set about constructing rafts, and soon the crossing was underway.  Almost immediately a serious mishap occurred which left
the Indians very sad.  The raft carrying their beloved white dog came to pieces in the middle of the river, and though all the people were quickly
rescued, the big dog, which managed to climb onto a piece of broken timber, could not be reached.  The people could only watch helplessly as he was
swept downstream and out of sight.  That was the last the Indians ever saw of their faithful guard and scout.

Many days were required to ferry all the people and their belongings to the opposite side, but, in time, the difficult crossing was completed.

The families rested by the river several days, then packed up and continued their eastward march.  Some weeks later they camped at a certain place,
which later became known as Nanih Waya, in what is now Winston County, Mississippi.  At daylight the following morning, the people found the
kohta falaya wobbling around crazily, leaning first in one direction and then another.

The migrants became somewhat excited -- and uneasy, too -- for they had never before seen the sacred long pole behave in such a strange manner.  At
last the kohta falaya grew very still and stood perfectly straight.

At this point, the two brothers -- Chief Chickasaw and Chief Choctaw -- had their first difference of opinion.  Chief Choctaw, as well as some of the
prophets, was quite satisfied that the perfectly erect pole was the divine sign from Ubabeneli that their new home had been reached.  Chief Chickasaw
on the other hand, was not at all pleased with the way the sacred pole had wobbled around, and he felt certain the promised land lay farther toward
the rising sun.

Discussions on the matter were held by the two chiefs and the prophets, but at the end of several hours, opinions remained unchanged.  Seeing that
talking was getting them no place, Chief Chickasaw pulled the sacred long pole from the ground and commanded all those who believed the promised
land lay farther to the east to pick up their packs and follow him.

That was the beginning of the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indian Nations.  From that day on Chief Chickasaw's followers, who were relatively few
compared to the great number who remained in camp, were referred to as Chickasaws, and those who stayed with Chief Choctaw were called
Choctaws.

After leading the Chickasaws farther eastward to various parts of what are now states of Alabama and Georgia, the kohta falaya reversed its
direction and guided the people westward to a place in the vicinity of the present-day towns of Pontotoc and Tupelo, Mississippi; and there, less than
a hundred miles north of where the Choctaws had settled, the sacred long pole stood straight as an arrow.  The Chickasaw people then knew with
certainty that at last they had found their new homeland and that their long journey was at an end.
Chickasaw Legends