Thursday, September 19, 2013

The N Word

I want to take a few moments to talk about the N word. Nahullo. (Got ya)

For those who aren't Choctaw, Nahullo is the Choctaw word for a white person. Among some of the Choctaws it is just that, a word. Sometimes it's used with a lean towards a racial slur, or in jest. It is often used as a label.

To most Choctaws, I am a Nahullo. My Choctaw heritage is so diluted, from years of intermarriage with Nahullo's that legally I am only 1/32 Choctaw (actually about 3/64). I want to take some time to talk about this issue. Because there are a lot of us, who proudly claim to be Choctaw but look Nahullo. (I personally subscribe to the one drop rule, another racial issue, I mean it as one drop of Choctaw means I am Choctaw).

So, I was raised to be proud of my Choctaw family. My grandfather didn't tell me much about his people, but he talked about his grandmother. His pride in his heritage was an everyday experience for me.
Below you will find an illustration of Choctaws of my family, many well known, and the differences in how they look. Yet they were all Choctaw.

This is me and my grandfather.

And here is a picture of his grandmother, Margaret Trahern Adams

The truth is, you just can't go by looks to say who is Choctaw and who is not.

Here is Col. Tandy Walker, Governor of the Choctaw, who was 1/4 th Choctaw (he is my ancestor's first cousin). He doesn't look Choctaw but he was elected to Governor.
And here is his first cousin, Margaret Hall Moncrief (1/2)

And here is my great grandmother, legally 1/4 Choctaw (actually about 3/8), Margaret Pauline "Bonnie" Adams

Here is Margaret Trahern's grandfather, James Trahern (1/4 th)

And his half cousin Robert M. Jones (1/2)
And yet another cousin, a well known Choctaw, Peter P Pitchlynn (cousin to Susan Riddle)

And finally, here is Thomas J. Bond, the first Choctaw Doctor (1/8th), Jame Trahern's nephew
And this is Thomas' half brother, who was also part (a very small part, his grandmother was only 1/4) Creek. He was also a Choctaw doctor. George W. Walker.

They are all a mixture of Choctaw and Nahullo. Yet among the Choctaws of their time, they were only Choctaw. So the next  time you use the word Nahullo, just remember, some of the most influential Choctaws, looked like Nahullo's too.

1 comment:

  1. "Like"! I like that, it's so true. I started off in my research looking for my father's Indian ancestry, thinking it was a very small amount. But it has turned out to be much more. And my mother's has also turned out to be much more. I am Chippewa, Iroquois, Cherokee, Choctaw and Creek (from family stories and research I am just short of 1/2). My Aunt just proved the Iroquois connection last month. My g-grandfather looked full, and we think his was, and we have photos of many ancestors that "looked" full blood, but many more did not. My Dad and his family all had black hair, my Mom has dark brown hair, but her grandmother and grandfather had black hair and black eyes. Most of my family has dark skin (olive), as do I. But I have not been received well at all when I have tried to make contact with some of the Native American tribes, so I gave up. But I am still proud of my heritage, my Mom and Dad have always been, my Dad's mother was VERY proud of it, to the point of chasing individuals with her cane if they said anything otherwise. She was a fun woman! But many on both sides of my family tried to hide it, and many still do. Not me, I love it.