chapter  9
Indigeneity and incorporation
Pages 32

Scholars now understand that the time of early European colonialism in the late sixteenth, seventeenth, and early eighteenth centuries were a time of a profound social transformation among the Native people of the southern United States. The Native people who stood on either side of this great transformational divide were organized into quite different kinds of societies. The Indians of the eighteenth-century South are the ones familiar to most people and whose descendants are recognized today as the Creeks, the Cherokees, the Chickasaws, the Choctaws, the Catawbas, and so on. We now know that these societies formed out of survivors of the polities of the sixteenthcentury precontact world-Coosa, Mabila, Pacaha, Chicaza, Cofitachequi, and others-as they broke apart in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. We still do not have an adequate vocabulary to describe the Native societies of the eighteenth century. They have been called “confederacies,” “tribes,” “nations,” and so on.We now generally call them “coalescent societies” because theywereall, tovaryingdegrees, coalescencesofpeople fromdifferent societies, cultures, and languages who relocated and banded together after the fall of their polities (Hudson and Ethridge 1998).