Chitimacha Villages Prior to 1900

The Chitimacha villages clustered about the waterways of the Lower Atchafalaya Basin. Their inhabitants raised swamp living to a high art. They built the very best pirogues in Louisiana and made fine baskets out of cane. With all this dependence on the swamp, they grew tall corn and other crops on the high levee land of their villages.

Looking at the Indians about 1700, we can say in general that they were sedentary farmers who lived in villages and supplemented their crops with generous participation in hunting and fishing. Spring was a time for fishing, when the fish ascended the streams in great numbers to spawn. Summer was crop-growing time. With the fall and winter coolness after the harvest, hunting became a major pursuit. This is an annual schedule not totally unfamiliar today. [1]

Ama’tpan na’mu: two villages: (1) 3 miles east of Charenton on Bayou Teche; (2) on the east side of Grand Lake opposite Charenton.

Grosse Tête na’mu: 2 miles from the village at Plaquemine.

Hi’pinimsh na’mu: at the Fausse Point in the western part of Grand Lake, near Bayou Gosselin.

Ka’me naksh tcat na’mu: at Bayou du Plomb, near Bayou Chêne, 18 miles north of Charenton.

Ku’shuh na’mu: on Lake Mingaluak, Near Bayou Chêne.

Na’mu ka’tsi: the Bayou Chêne village, St. Martin’s Parish.

Ne’kun tsi’snis: opposite Ile aux Oiseaux, in the Lac de la Fausse Pointe.

Ne Pinu’nsh: on Bayou Teche, 2 miles west of Charenton.

Oku’nkiskin: probably at some sharp bend on Bayou Teche judging from their name.

Shatshnish: at Jeanerette.

She’ti na’mu: on Grand River west of Plaquemine.

Sho’ktangi ha’ne hetci’nsh: on the south side of Graine à Volée Inlet, Grand Lake.

Tca’ti kuti’ngi na’mu: at the junction of Bayou Teche with the Atchafalaya Bayou.

Tcat kasi’tunshki: on the site of Charenton.

Tsa’htsinshup na’mu: the Plaquemine village, on Bayou des Plaquemines near Grand River.

Waitinimsh: at Irish Bend near Franklin.[2]  

There are said to have been others at the shell bank on the shore of Grand Lake, close to Charenton, and at a place called “Bitlarouges.”

 


Works Cited

[1]Kniffen, Fred B.  Louisiana, Its Land and People.  Baton Rouge: LSU P, 1968. P. 112.
[2]
Swanton. “Indian Tribes of North America.” Bureau of American Ethnology. Bulletin 145. 202-203.