‘Echo’: Here’s How The Lighthorsemen Are & How They’re Connected to Maya

Echo Heres How The Lighthorsemen Are How Theyre Connected to Maya

Following the debut of ‘Echo,’ the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) introduces another prominent Native American anti-hero, enriching her character with strong ties to tradition. Maya Lopez, a Choctaw tribeswoman, traces her ancestry back to Chafa, the first Choctaw created. However, Chafa is not the only noteworthy ancestor in Maya’s in-universe lineage. She is also directly linked to Tuklo, the inaugural female member of the Lighthorsemen. For viewers unfamiliar with the term, especially those outside the USA, even in its real historical context, we’ll delve into an analysis of who the Lighthorsemen are and their connection to Maya Lopez within the MCU.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • The Lighthorsemen constituted a mounted police force organized by tribes and operational during the 19th century.
  • Their formation aimed to address property crimes and horse thefts through the enforcement of tribal law.
  • The connection between the Lighthorsemen and Echo exists through one of her ancestors, Tuklo, who was a member despite being a woman.

The true historical background of the Lighthorsemen

The Lighthorse, also known as Light Horse, served as the mounted police force established by the Five Civilized Tribes in the United States. These forces were organized into companies and assigned to different districts, with the Cherokee Lighthorsemen from Georgia gaining particular renown. Disbanded as the tribes lost their lands and independence in the late 19th century and 1906, some tribes still incorporate the Lighthorse name into certain police force components. Specific branches include the Cherokee Light Horse, Chickasaw Light Horse, Choctaw Light Horse, Creek Light Horse, and Seminole Light Horse.

This post will focus on the history of the Choctaw Lighthorsemen as they are directly connected to Maya Lopez in the MCU.

In 1820, the Treaty of Doak’s Stand allocated US$600 annually to the Choctaw Nation for the establishment and maintenance of the Choctaw Lighthorsemen. This granted them the authority to apprehend, adjudicate, and penalize violators of tribal laws. Operational from 1824, the force was led by Peter Pitchlynn starting in 1825. Following the forced removal of the Choctaws to Indian Territory during the Indian Removal (1831-1833), the Lighthorsemen reported to the tribal Chief.


Here’s When & Where ‘Echo’ Takes Place – Timeline Explained

The Choctaw Constitution of 1838 detailed the duties of the Lighthorsemen in election procedures, underscoring their responsibility for maintaining order. Historian Carolyn Foreman observed that the treaty specified an annual allocation of $200 per district by the United States to fund the costs of establishing and sustaining the corps. Serving as executive officers, this corps guaranteed good order and compelled individuals without proper authorization to depart from the nation.

The Lighthorsemen, utilizing their personal horses and weapons, played a pivotal role in enforcing tribal laws and preserving order within the Choctaw Nation.

Echo inherited some of her powers from Tuklo, a female member of the Lighthorsemen

Echo’s superpowers are rooted in her heritage, manifesting as the power of ancestral empowerment. This ability allows her native ancestors to “echo” through her, providing assistance in times of need or danger. In episode 2, appropriately titled ‘Tuklo,’ we are introduced to one of Echo’s ancestors, Tuklo, a female Choctaw living in the 1800s. The episode provides a brief description of the Lighthorsemen and their principles.

Tuklo aspired to join the police force but faced rejection because of her gender. Despite her proficiency in horseriding and marksmanship, societal expectations dictated that her role was to create life, not take it. Defying this norm, she braided her hair, typically associated with male warriors, and continued training while finding ways to uphold the law.

During an ambush on Tuklo’s father and their group by presumed criminals, she seized the opportunity to sneak up on the wrongdoers, skillfully taking them down from an impressive angle. This act earned her the recognition to officially join the Lighthorsemen. Echo later harnesses Tuklo’s powers of marksmanship, evident in her precise targeting while facing Kingpin’s men.


Is Tuklo a depiction of a real individual?

Tuklo is a fictional character and does not appear to be based on any real-life individual, as per available sources. Information on the Lighthorsemen is limited, contributing to the scarcity of details. While the show’s creators collaborated with the Choctaw Nation during production, local lore might contain references to a similarly named figure. However, official sources do not acknowledge Tuklo. It is probable that Tuklo is a fictional creation within the MCU crafted to convey a specific narrative.

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