They marched, singing their death dirge, into the deepening waters of the river until they drowned. A tribe of Choctaw Indians in Pascagoula, MS, fearful of enslavement by their enemy, the fierce Biloxi tribe.
Pascagoula, MS is not a widely known city, but it’s seen its share of legends and disaster. Hurricane Katrina is the most recent of these, but the history of the Singing River lives on with the locals of the Gulf Coast.
In the early 1800s, the Mississippi Gulf Coast was inhabited by a peaceful tribe of Choctaw Indians, but they were the only settlers in the area. A more violent tribe, known as the Biloxi, occupied the lands to the west and the tribes became mortal enemies. In a tragic tale of love and death, Altama, the chief of the Pascagoula tribe, secretly fell in love with Anola, the princess of the Biloxi tribe. When Anola’s father discovered this, he declared war on the Pascagoulas. As the Biloxi tribe approached, the Pascagoula’s knew they were vastly outnumbered. Altama and Anola, refusing to live a life without one another, drowned themselves in the Pascagoula river. To save themselves from defeat and disgrace, the Pascagoulas joined hands and followed their leader into the river, singing and chanting until they drowned into extinction.
Today, in the still of the evening during late summer and autumn, their singing can still be heard, growing nearer and louder until it seems to come from under foot.
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