Unnamed Chickasaws 1

Character Key Number: 
Display Name: 
Unnamed Chickasaws 1
Sort Name: 
Unnamed Chickasaws 1
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 

The Indians who lived in the area that became Yoknapatawpha in the early 19th century appear in a number of Faulkner's fictions, sometimes as Choctaws, more often as Chickasaws. The Indians in "A Bear Hunt" are in a separate category. They are "a remnant of a once powerful clan of the Chickasaw tribe" who still live in Yoknapatawpha in the 1930s, a century after a hostile federal government 'removed' all the Chickasaw beyond the Mississippi River (65). This remnant lives "under Government protection" on what must be a kind of reservation (65). None of them appear directly in the narrative, but as 'Indians' they play a role in the imagination of the county's young white boys, whose ideas are derived from reading "dime novels": they were "a little fabulous, their swamp-hidden lives inextricable from the life of the dark mound" that their ancestors built, "as though they had been set by the dark powers to be guardians of it" (65-66). And the offstage but pivotal role they play in the story's narrative, when they threaten to torture a man they believe is a federal agent in order to protect their moonshining operations, could also be said to derive from popular stereotypes.

Linked Characters