The name Pascagoula is a Mobilian Jargon term meaning "bread people". Choctaw native Americans using the name Pascagoula are named after the words for "bread nation". The Biloxi called them Pascoboula.
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville encountered the tribe in 1699 and was impressed by the beauty of Pascagoula women.
According to legend, the peace-loving tribe walked single file into the Singing River (now known as the Pascagoula River) because the local Biloxi tribe were planning to attack. The famous Singing River is known throughout the world for its mysterious music. The singing sounds like a swarm of bees in flight and is best heard in late evenings during late summer and autumn. Barely heard at first, the music seems to grow nearer and louder until it sounds as though it comes directly under foot.
The legend connects the sound with the mysterious extinction of the Pascagoula Tribe of Indians. Anola, a princess of the Biloxi tribe, was in love with Altama, Chief of the Pascagoula tribe. She was betrothed to a chieftain of her own tribe, but fled with Altama to his people. The spurned and enraged Biloxi chieftain led his Biloxi braves to war against Altama and the neighboring Pascagoula. The Pascagoula swore they would either save the young chieftain and his bride or perish with them. When thrown into battle the Pascagoula were out-numbered and faced with enslavement by the Biloxi tribe or death. With their women and children leading the way, the Pascagoula joined hands and began to chant a song of death as they walked into the river until the last voice was hushed by the dark, engulfing waters.
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John Sibley reported that they spoke their own language which was different from neighboring languages in addition to Mobilian Jargon. Their language is undocumented.
- Albert Gallatin A synopsis of the Indian tribes within the United States east of the Rocky Mountains: and in the British and Russian possessions in North America AMS Press, 1973 University of Wisconsin - Madison ISBN 0-404-07127-9, ISBN 978-0-404-07127-1 423 pages page 117
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- Sibley, John. (1806). Historical sketches of the several Indian tribes in Louisiana, south of the Arkansa River, and between the Mississippi and River Grand. In T. Jefferson (Ed.), Message from the President of the United States communicating the discoveries made in exploring the Missouri, Red River, and Washita (pp. 48–62). New York: G. F. Hopkins.