University of Mississippi

JUST PUBLISHED! Robbie Ethridge with the University of North Carolina Press

In this sweeping regional history, Robbie Ethridge traces the metamorphosis of the Native South from first contact in 1540 by Hernando De Soto to 1715, when Natives no longer lived their lives in a purely Indian world, but on the edge of an expanding European empire and in a new social landscape that included not only Indians, but Europeans and Africans as well. Despite the fact that thousands of Indians died or were enslaved and virtually all Native polities were radically altered in these years, the collapse of this complex Mississippian world did not extinguish but rather transformed the Native peoples of the South. Using a new interpretive framework which Ethridge calls the “Mississippian shatter zone” to explicate these tumultuous times, From Chicaza to Chickasaw examines the European invasion and the collapse of the pre-contact Mississippian world and the transformation and restructuring of Native polities from chiefdoms to coalescent societies in a colonial world. Within this larger, regional context the story of one group, the Chickasaws, is closely followed through these tumultuous years. With skillfully synthesized archaeological and documentary evidence, this work illuminates the Native South in its earliest colonial context and sheds new light on the profound upheaval and cultural transformation experienced by the region’s first peoples.