Topic: Mowa Choctaw

Wilford Longhair Taylor’s Testimony

Wilford “Longhair” Taylor Tribal Chief MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians Testimony Before the Committee on Resources Unites States House of Representatives Hearing on the Federal recognition and acknowledgement process by the Bureau of Indian Affairs March 31, 2004 Mr. Chairman and committee members: good morning. My name is Wilford “Longhair” Taylor and I am the elected tribal chief of the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians. Thank you for granting me the opportunity to testify on the federal recognition and acknowledgement process by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The Choctaw Indians of Mobile and Washington Counties, Alabama (MOWA) are the

Chief Wilford "Longhair" Taylor (Courtesy of MOWA Choctaw Cultural Center)

The MOWA Choctaws

Extinction by Reclassification: The MOWA Choctaws of South Alabama and Their Struggle for Federal Recognition – In the 1930s, Carl Carmer, a professor at the University of Alabama and author of Stars Fell on Alabama, traveled around Alabama collecting unusual stories. He said that he chose “to write of Alabama not as a state which is part of a nation, but as a strange country in which I once lived.” One of his stories describes his efforts to determine the ancestry of the so-called Cajuns who lived around Citronelle in southwest Alabama. Carmer’s story provoked a flurry of interest in the “Cajans,” when in reality they were not Cajun at all. Instead, they were descendants of the indigenous Choctaw Indians of southwest Alabama. Originally appearing in The Alabama Review, Volume 59, July 2006, pages 163-204.

Choctaw Indian Research

Choctaw (possibly a corruption of the Spanish chcdu, ‘flat’ or ‘flattened,’ alluding to the custom of these Indians of flattening the head). An important tribe of the Muskhogean stock, formerly occupying middle and south Mississippi, their territory extending, in their most flourishing days, for some distance east of Tombigbee River, probably as far as Dallas County, Ga. Ethnically they belong to the Choctaw branch of the Muskhogean family, which included the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Hunt and their allies, and some small tribes which formerly lived along Yazoo River. Archives, Libraries and Genealogy Societies Societies Oklahoma Historical Society Indian Archives Holdings Summary