CUSTOMS, ETC. (cont.)
she was killed by the relatives of the
slain. If the murderer could not be found, it was lawful to put to death
the brother of the one who had done the killing, which made an end of the
The property of deceased persons went to
brothers and sisters, the husband, or wife and children not being entitled
to any part of the estate.
Children were not regarded as related to
their father, but were closely related to their mother, they being of the
same house-name. The husband and father were of a different house-name,
or clan, as it is called. A man and woman of the same house-name were not
allowed to marry, hence they considered the children related only to the
mother and not to the father. If a man married a woman who had several
sisters, he had a perfect right to marry them all, and live with them all
at the same time. A man who died, leaving a widow, gave his brother a sort
of lien on her ;28 and the surviving brother
could marry her, if he wished.
A person who stole a horse was whipped
by order of the king, but it was a rare thing for a Chickasaw to steal
at all. One of the light-horsemen who generally gave the lash, went by
the name of Ish-yah-kah-py. His English name was “Big Legs”; he
lived eight miles southeast of Pontotoc, on a creek called Punk-a-tuckah-ly,
a name which signifies “Hanging Grapes,” now called Pontotoc creek.
Cyrus Harris to author.