Biloxi. Tunica. Pascagoula. Yazoo. Tishomingo. Yalobusha.
Tallahatchie. Itta Bena. Yockanookany. Bogue Chitto. These and
hundreds of other place names of Native American origin are
scattered across the map of Mississippi. Described by writer Willie
Morris as "the mysterious, lost euphonious litany," such colorful
names, which were given by the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and other
tribes, contribute significantly to the state's sense of place. Yet
the general public is largely unaware of exact meanings and tribal
"Native American Place Names in Mississippi" is the first
reference book devoted to a subject of interest to residents and
visitors alike. From large rivers and towns to tiny creeks and
rural communities, Keith A. Baca identifies the most likely
meanings of many names with more than one recorded interpretation.
He corrects misconceptions that have arisen over the years and
translates numerous names for the first time. For the benefit of
travelers, he provides the location of each named place. To bring
attention to often inconspicuous and unmarked streams he also
indicates points where highways cross rivers and creeks with Native
American appellations. Sidebars present Native American history,
legends, and myths that surround these enigmatic and alluring
Formerly an archaeologist with the Mississippi Department of
Archives and History, Keith A. Baca is an independent researcher
and writer living in Starkville, Mississippi. He is the author of
the award-winning "Indian Mounds of Mississippi: A Visitor's
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