Yazoo (American Indians Ready Reference)
In 1682 Henri de Tonti found this small tribe living on the Yazoo River, close to the Mississippi River, north of present-day Natchez, Mississippi. The Yazoo tribe was closely associated with the Koroa tribe, resembling them in speech patterns. Both tribes used an “r” sound in speaking, which other tribes in the area did not.
As European trade increased in the lower Mississippi Valley, many of the tribes eagerly sought the goods that could be obtained by trading fur pelts and widely increased their hunting range. The Yazoos took captives, especially the Chawashas, and sold them as slaves to British traders; at times they were made captives themselves (particularly by the Chickasaws), sold into slavery, and sent to Charleston markets. Some were purchased by local planters, but the rest were shipped to the West Indies.
The houses of the Yazoos were round and constructed of poles plastered with a clay-moss mixture. This structure was then covered with cypress bark or palmetto. There was one door, approximately five feet high, but no windows or chimneys. Little is known about tribal customs. After a death, the corpse was carried into the woods, escorted by relatives carrying lighted pine torches that were thrown into the grave before it was covered. Relatives and friends went to cry nightly at the burial site for six months. A post, carved with the figure he painted on his body, marked the head of a chief's grave.
The Yazoos joined...
(The entire section is 337 words.)
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