Summary of Native American Tribes – C

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Summaries:  A  B  C  D  E-I  J-K  L-M  N  O  P  Q-R  S  T-V  W  X-Z

Choctaw – This Muskogean tribe, also known as Chakchiuma, or Chatot, traces its roots to the Mississippi Valley and some parts of Alabama. The Choctaw were one of the first of the “Five Civilized Tribes” to reluctantly accept expulsion from their native lands and move to Oklahoma. See Full Article HERE.

Choula – This was a small tribe of 40 individuals who lived on the Yazoo River in Mississippi. Their name means “fox” in Chickasaw and Choctaw.

Chowanoc – An Algonquian tribe formerly living on Chowan River in northeast North Carolina, about the junction of Meherrin and Nottoway Rivers. They were said to have been a sedentary hunter/farmer tribe who spoke the Powhatan language. In 1584-85, when first known, they were the leading tribe in that region. One village called Ohanoak was said to have 700 warriors. They gradually dwindled away and by 1701 were reduced to a single village on Bennetts Creek. They joined in the Tuscarora War against white settlers in 1711-12, and at its close, the remnant, estimated at about 240, were assigned a small reservation on Bennetts and Catherine Creeks. By 1820 they had been entirely absorbed into the Tuscarora tribe.

Chumash – A linguistic family who traditionally lived on the coast of southern California, who were also known also as Santa Barbara Indians. There were seven dialects of the Chumashan family. All were fairly similar except the San Luis Obispo, which stood apart. Evidence was found, showing that they have had settlements on the Channel Islands and Santa Monica Mountains as far back as thousands of years ago. There were at one time over 20,000 Chumash living along the California coastline. The historic Chumash were a maritime culture, using long wooden canoes called tomols to fish and travel between different villages along the Pacific coast. They also hunted and gathered to provide for themselves.

They were first visited by Europeans as early as 1542, when Portuguese explorer, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo spent some time in their territory, meeting with an exceedingly friendly reception. More explorers followed and five missions were established by the Franciscans among the Chumash; those of San Luis Obispo, San Buenaventura, Santa Barbara, Purísima, and Santa Inez, from 1771 to 1804. The missionaries met with little opposition and no forcible resistance. However, some of the bands begin to resist missionary ruling and in 1824, the Indians at Santa Barbara, Santa Inez, and Purísima revolted against the mission authority, though there was no loss of life. Their grass houses were dome-shaped and often 50 feet or more in diameter and each was inhabited by several families.

Even during mission times the Chumash decreased greatly in numbers and continued to decrease as more and more white settlers moved into their lands. By 1900, their numbers had declined to just 200. However, several bands continue to exist today, though they have no reservation lands. Only the Samala, or Santa Ynez Chumash, have received federal recognition. However, there are an estimated 5,000 people who identify themselves as Chumash.

Native American DreamcatcherClackama – A Chinookan tribe formerly occupying several villages on the Clackamas Alaska River, in Clackamas County, Oregon. In 1806 Lewis and Clark estimated their number at 1,800. They also claimed the country on the east side of Willamette River from a few miles above its mouth nearly to Oregon City and east as far as the Cascade Mountains. This territory they ceded to the United States by the Dayton Treaty of 1855 and were later removed to Grande Ronde Reservation, Oregon, where they were said to number about 60. Their descendants today belong to the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon.

Clatskanie – Belonging to the Athapascan linguistic stock, they lived on the prairies bordering Chehalis River, Washington, at the mouth of Skookumchuck River. However, when game became scarce, they crossed the Columbia River and occupied the mountains about Clatskanie River. For a long time, they exacted a toll of all who passed going up or down the Columbia River. They were estimated to have numbered 1,600 in 1780 but by 1851, they had been reduced to less than a dozen.

Clatsop – A Chinookan tribe they formerly about C. Adams on the south side of the Columbia River and extending up the river as far as Tongue Point and south along the coast to Tillamook Head, Oregon. In 1806, Lewis and Clark estimated them to be about 200. In an 1851 treaty, the Clatsop tribe ceded 90 percent of their land to the U.S. Government. This treaty was one of many in the Northwest that were never ratified by Congress. Unlike other tribes, the members were not required to move to a reservation, and in fact, they were the only tribe in Oregon that was not removed to a reservation. Today, there are about 200 members who have recently organized as the Clatsop-Nehalem Confederation. The members are scattered across Oregon and southwestern Washington.

Clowwewalla – This tribe to the Clackamas division of the Chinookan linguistic stock and lived at the falls of the Willamette River in Oregon. Subdivisions may have included the Cushook, Chahcowah, and Nemalquinner. The Cushook were estimated by Lewis and Clark to have numbered about 650 people in 1806. They were greatly reduced by the epidemic of 1829 and in 1851 numbered 13. They are now apparently extinct.

Coahuiltecan  – A linguistic family that included numerous tribes in southwestern Texas and in Mexico. It is probable that most of the so-called Tamaulipecan family of Mexico were really related to this, and that the Karankawan and Tonkawan groups were connected as well, though more remotely. They were spread over the eastern part of Coahuila, Mexico, and almost all of Texas west of San Antonio River and Cibolo Creek. The tribes of the lower Rio Grande may have belonged to a distinct family,  but the Coahuiltecans reached the Gulf coast at the mouth of the Nueces River. Northeast of that point they were succeeded by Karankawan tribes. Toward the north, it is probable that the Coahuiltecans originally extended for a long distance before they were displaced by the Apache and Comanche.

Coaque –  A tribe formerly living on Malhado Island, off the coast of Texas. Spanish explorer, Alvar Cabeza de Vaca found two tribes, the Han and the Coague living there, each with its own language. They subsisted on a root taken from the shoal water, on fish, and visited the mainland for berries and oysters. The houses of the Coaque were of mats and were set up on a “mass of oyster shells.” The men wore a piece of cane, half a finger thick, inserted in the lower lip, and another longer piece thrust through one or both nipples. They are said to have spoken a dialect of the Karankawa. In 1778, about 20 families were living between the Colorado and the Brazos Rivers, opposite the island of La Culebra. They are extinct today.

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