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In coastal South Carolina, there are the Gullah people, and in coastal Georgia the Geechies.(.) The Gullah are said to be descended from the Gola people of Angola, and the Geechies from the Gidzi people of Sierra Leone. The French colonizers of Louisiana were virtually all male.Most lacked the knowledge or energy required even to gather nuts and berries or to scoop up the bountiful shellfish that proliferated in the waters around the Gulf of Mexico.Soldiers at the forts considered a good day’s work was getting drunk by noon and then talking an influential Indian into supplying women to satisfy their sexual appetites.
For more than 20 years, the French interlopers regularly faced starvation.Iberville, commandant of the newly constructed fort, declared friendly intentions of the French by smoking the ceremonial calumet with the visiting dignitaries.For Indians, this ceremonial gesture was as serious as business ever gets: Smoking the pipe represents a sacred trust between the two groups of people, that members of each group are bound to help members of the other under any circumstance. Even though six outposts were established within the first few years, few “settlers” were willing or able to do even the minimal amount of work required to produce their own food.They cut pine trees to build Fort Maurepas, the first of several forts in the region.
Without even so much as a “Bon jour” to the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Natchez and other nations they had invaded, they planted their flag and declared that tens of millions of acres of land in the Louisiana Territory now belonged to France.
American Indians had never been exposed to the diseases Europeans brought with them, and consequently lacked the immunities Europeans had built up over countless generations of exposure. Further, Indian religious leaders and Elders complained bitterly when young people in their towns began to rely on European trade goods guns, knives, iron kettles instead of making their own tools in the traditional way.