OKGenWeb Notice: These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by any other organization or persons. Presentation here does not extend any permissions to the public. This material may not be included in any compilation, publication, collection, or other reproduction for profit without permission.
The creator copyrights ALL files on this site. The files may be linked to but may not be reproduced on another site without specific permission from the OKGenWeb Coordinator, [okgenweb@cox.net], and their creator. Although public information is not in and of itself copyrightable, the format in which they are presented, the notes and comments, etc. are. It is, however, permissible to print or save the files to a personal computer for personal use ONLY.

Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: January 28, 1938
Name: P. W. Hudson
Post Office: Hugo, Oklahoma
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Information on father:
Place of birth:
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Pete W. Cole
Interview #12815

The ancient Choctaw tradition attributes the origin of the prairies along the banks of certain rivers to the fact that there existed some huge mammoths before the coming of their ancestors from west of the Mississippi River.

Their tradition also states that Nahullo (Supernatural), a race of giant people, also inhabited the country, with whom their forefathers very often came in contact. These mighty people broke off the low limbs of trees, eating the leaves, and also gnawed the bark of the trees, which in a short time withered and died.

These giants roamed in different bands and engaged in war whenever they met but eventually decreased in numbers so that in the course of a few years all had perished but two large males who, separate and alone, wandered about for several years. One day they met and, of course, engaged in a duel until one was killed. The survivor, now alone and only monarch of the forests, strolled about for several years until he also died and with him the race became extinct.

That the Choctaw traditions of both the mammoth and the great men was based on truth as to their former existence in the southern and western parts of the continent is satisfactorily established by the many mammoth skeletons of both men and beasts and fragments of huge bones that have been and are continually being found in different parts of the country.

It is also known that the ancient existence of those giants and mammoths was wholly unknown to the white race. The excavation of the bones proved their existence but was regarded by the whites as only an Indian fable unworthy of belief or even a second thought. According to history, a huge skeleton of one of these ancient animals has been found.

There are other places that prehistoric animals have been found, and many citizens of the neighborhood have visited the place of disinterment and viewed the solitary grave and have seen with wondering eyes and much interest the unknown animals. Hushi aiokatulla pilla hatak pe tikba a minta (Our forefathers from the setting sun (west), so claim the ancient Choctaws through their tradition and that they saw the mighty beasts of the forests whose tread shook the earth.

The word Nahullo is a corruption of the Choctaw word and is now applied to the entire white race, but anciently it referred to a giant race with whom they came in contact when they first crossed the Father of Waters. The true meaning of this word is superhuman or supernatural, and the true words for white men are (hattak tobbi) man white or white man. The Nahullo were of white complexion, according to the Choctaw tradition, and were still an existing people at the time of the advent of the Choctaws. These people were a hunting people and thought to be also cannibals, who killed and ate the Indians whenever they captured them and were greatly dreaded by the Indians, and consequently were killed at first opportunity until extinct.

History records that Mr. Grant LINGICUM, an educated white man who came to the Choctaw Nation after the advent of the missionaries and settled here and there and wrote the Choctaw habits, customs, tradition and legends which have been lost, according to their tradition of the hunting people. It is also recorded that the Nahullo were the Car Indians, as they were said to be of gigantic stature and also cannibals who once inhabited this country. The early French writers called the Caribs by their Indian name "Attakapas", a corruption of the Choctaw word Hattak apa (man eater) and no doubt the French got the name from the Choctaws who gave the tribe that name. It is also thought that the Nahullo of the Choctaw tradition were not regular cannibals but that they sacrificed humans, victims in their religious ceremonies, who perhaps ate a portion of the victim's flesh in carry out their ceremonies.

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Sharon Olive DeLoache <deloache@intellex.com> 04-2000.