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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mosaic of Notes on Native Trade Around Mississippi Mounds

Where much of Pasagoula, Mississippi is, there was a set of Indian earthworks. Pasagoula is not unique in its relation to ancient earthen monuments. St Louis, Missouri is built were there were a great number of ancient earthworks. There are similar mounds in Lincoln county, MS, more in Lowndes county of that state, and others near Brookhaven, Mississippi. The construction of the youngest of these particular Mississippi mounds began before 3000 BC.

Remember these are my best guesses of the moment. Please correct any errors you find!

Early Mississippi Indians have the fame of having made and traded beautiful stone beads. Stone worked into beads in Mississippi came from, at least, as far away as the Ouachita Mountains in What is now the state of Arkansas. There is evidence of Mississippi beads having been traded to people in what are now the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Alabama. However, the evidence for this trade may go back to 400 AD or later. 

Stone pendants in the form of turtle, duck, owl, kingfisher, and others of imaginary or composite form are found at or near mound sites.

American Indians have inhabited the area for over 6000 years.

Remarkably there is little evidence of warfare among Native Americans in the area until after 300 AD. That date suggests a period of relative peace for 4000 years.

Of the states mention here, six are of American Indian origin. Some place names came to us via the French, the Spanish, or via later Indian peoples:

Alabama is probably named after the river. The river may have been for a local tribe there called Alibamu. The Alibamu were probably part of the Muskogee/Creek confederacy. (What's an "Okie from Muskogee?)

Arkansas may be the French interpretation of a Sioux word meaning down-stream place.

Mississippi may be from a French rendering of the Anishinaabe, The Anishinaabe are an Ojibwa/Algonquin people. Mississippi may mean Great River.

Oklahoma may be based on the Choctaw for 'red people.'

Tennessee may have been named for a Cherokee village called Tenasi. Some say that the name Tenasi is Yuchi or Creek.

Texas is probably a Cado word which came to us via the Spanish. "Texas" may have been used by Cado people to refer to the greater Cado nation. Sometimes its said to mean friend or friendly.

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