Chitimacha Indians in Louisiana


The Chitmacha Tribe

In Charenton Louisiana, there are Native Americans who live on their Chitimacha Reservation. This Indian Nation is very proud of their heritage. The reservation is located near Bayou Teche. The Chitimacha Tribe has been in Louisiana for a very long time. The word “Chitmacha” means “red altogether”.

There is an old Chitimacha legend that says that Bayou Teche was created by a huge poisonous snake. It was so large that it was not measured in feet but in miles. The legend says that it head was where Morgan City is now and it’s tail was near St. Martinville. If you look on the internet or any map, it shows you that the mythical snake would have been almost 25 feet long! Many legends and stories of the older Chitimacha Indians are still part of the tribe today.

On the reservation long ago life was different. Both then and now the reservation had beautiful trees. Long ago they lived in round or rectangular houses. Louisiana Indians did not live in teepees. Today, the Chitimacha Tribes live in regular houses, have a museum, offices, and a school. The reservation at this time is on 260 acres of land. The school built in the village is for children in Pre K through eighth grade. When the students leave this school they attend either West St. Mary High School located in Baldwin, Louisiana or Hanson Memorial High.

The Chitimacha Indians hunted, fished and trapped to survive. Dance, music and storytelling have always been a part of the Chitimacha tribes. Music was made by drums, alligator skins, gourd rattles and flutes. The children practice their dance each week. Basket weaving is a still a part of the Chitimacha traditions. The Chitimacha Tribe is very proud of it’s history.