De Soto's First Encounters

Richard Green

De Soto encountered Indian groups as he traveled northwest from Florida. Chiefdoms were the precursors of tribes -- usually associated with mounds, they were ruled by a leader who had absolute power. But as de Soto arrived, chiefdoms had started to dissolve.

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Related Videos

8 Videos

1540: De Soto Arrives in a "Little Ice Age"

Richard Green
Climatologists assert that the Mississippi area was much colder in 1540 than it is today.

The Chickasaws: Avoiding an Uncontrolled Confrontation

Richard Green
Green relates that while de Soto remained camped in their village, how careful the Chickasaws were to avoid doing anything to trigger violence.

Tribes Shared Information on de Soto

Richard Green
The tribes, or chiefdoms, who had long traded together, carefully observed and communicated de Soto’s abusive actions to forewarn others.

De Soto Expedition: Telling a Balanced Story

Scott Pardue
Scott Pardue explains the importance of telling the story of De Soto in a balanced way.

De Soto from the Native Perspective

Scott Pardue
The retelling of the de Soto story has been biased from a European perspective. It is time for Native Americans to offer their perspectives.

The Significance of de Soto

Scott Pardue
Scott Pardue shares the significance of de Soto's exploration throughout the Southeastern United States.

The Native Outlook on a Sustainable Way of Life

Hermann Trappman
Hermann Trappman, historian and artist, discusses how the Native Americans viewed the world differently than the European conquistadors.

De Soto Arrives in North America: A Great Collision of Cultures

Hermann Trappman
Historian and artist Hermann Trappman describes the cultural clash when European explorers arrived on the North American continent.