Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chickasaw Cultural Center

Today we visited the Chickasaw Cultural Center near Sulphur, Oklahoma.  It opened its doors in 2010  and celebrates the rich heritage of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma. The Chickasaw are the 13th largest federally recognized tribe in the United States.
Greeting visitors to the Chickasaw Cultural Center is this larger than
life representation of the Chickasaw warrior.
Inside the Exhibit Center are numerous exhibits depicting the life of the Chickasaw people in their ancestral lands which were primarily in Mississippi (many near present-day Tupelo, MS).  The exhibits continue with the stories of the eviction of the Chickasaw peoples from their homeland by the U.S. government, and their forced relocation to their present land in Oklahoma in 1837.
In addition to the indoor exhibits there was a live demonstration of the Stomp Dance.
Several bus-loads of children and other visitors watched the Stomp Dance demonstration.
The Chickasaw Cultural Center has a large and well-designed campus on 109 acres of beautiful Chickasaw territory in southern Oklahoma.  The sprawling campus features state-of-the-art exhibits, outdoor gathering places, a theater, café, and lush trails and woods.
Visitors can also walk through a Traditional Village.
The reconstructed Chickasaw village includes the large council house, two winter houses to the left of the council house, a tiny food storage shed behind them, and a summer house to their left.  The protecting enclosure fence can be seen surrounding the village.  Not pictured, to the left of this scene, is the ceremonial mound which served as the base for the home of the tribal chief.

It was a delightful day for us, both interesting and informative.