Unnamed Chickasaw Ancestors

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Unnamed Chickasaw Ancestors
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Unnamed Chickasaw Ancestors
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 

The people whom Sam Fathers calls "the People" and whom the story's title refers to as "The Old People" are the Chickasaw Indians who lived in Yoknapatawpha before the white settlers arrived in the 1830s. As a tribe they have disappeared from the land, but a cherished part of the narrator's apprenticeship to Sam consists of the stories the old man tells him about this "race," whom neither of them "had ever known" but who survive in the traditions that Sam passes on (204). As "the People," they seem much larger and more admirable than the individual Chickasaw Indians who are mentioned in the story. As the boy puts it: "Sam had marked me indeed with something he had had of his vanished and forgotten people" and this mystical marking presumably enables the boy hunter to witness Fathers speaking to the majestic buck that Fathers hails as "Grandfather" (209, 210).