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They Say the Wind Is Red: The Alabama Choctaw Lost in Their Own Land

Jacqueline Anderson Matte

NewSouth Books
$19.95 paperback
6 x 9
224 pages
black-and-white photos & maps throughout
Published in 2002

They Say the Wind is Red tells the history of the Choctaw Indians who managed to remain in Alabama when other southeastern Indians were forcibly removed to the West in the 1830s. This small band lived mostly hidden from public view in the swamps and piney woods of Mobile and Washington counties. Often misidentified as black or even Cajun, the ancestors of today’s MOWA Choctaw maintained their Indian communities throughout the 1800s and early 1900s. This book chronicles the Choctaws’ pride, endurance, and persistence in the face of abhorrent conditions imposed by government at all levels.

The new, revised edition now includes a resources guide for southeastern Indian genealogy.


“Now in a newly revised edition which includes a resource guide for southeastern Indian genealogy, They Say The Wind Red: The Alabama Choctaw—Lost In Their Own Land, by Jacqueline Anderson Matte is a compelling and accurate history of those Choctaw Indians who successfully remained in Alabama, when other southeastern Indian tribes were compelled to relocate to the American West during the 1830s. An invaluable addition to the growing library of Native American Studies, They Say The Wind Is Red is a very highly recommended history of pride, love of land, danger, and a people's determination to endure and preserve their way of life in spite of severe and enduring hardships.” —Midwest Book Review
They Say the Wind is Red represents the successful effort of the MOWA Choctaw to articulate their own history. This development pleases all of us who believe in the place of American Indians in American history.” —W. Richard West, Director, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution
“I found They Say the Wind is Red moving and convincing.” —Virginia Pounds Brown, Southeastern Indians expert and author of Cochula’s Journey
“Very impressive . . . [gives] a good understanding of the history of these people.” —from the foreword by Vine Deloria, Jr., author and advocate for Native American affairs