My Seminole friends have been telling me about the new Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma, so I had to check it out. Things on display range from moundbuilding culture to the modern revival of their tribe.
For you southeastern cultural folks, here is a feathered cape on display:
The tour starts off with the migration legend with the white staff that would point the direction each day that the tribe would go. Here is a modern art preproduction in the courtyard in front of the museum.
Along their journey was a big white dog who would guard the tribe. They crossed the Mississippi River on rafts. Unfortunately the rafts broke apart, and the dog disappeared. They don't know if he survived or not, but hold fond reverence to dogs because of their protector.
One day the staff fell down on the ground, and the tribe had a disagreement on what that meant. So they split off into two tribes, the Chickasaw and the Choctaw.
What is interesting about this, is that I have the same story from a Muskogee Ground. But this version of the story does not include the Muskogees. Since they Muskogees are the last group to migrate to the southeast after the other tribes, it makes us wonder if they were along or if they borrowed the story from the Chickasaw? Or that the Muskogee towns were made up of some of the Chickasaw? Either way, I really enjoyed seeing the migration legend shown here.
The museum continues with the European contact, and the Indian fur trade. Then about the political alliances and negotiations with President Washington.
The Chickasaw are very proud of their finger weaving. (I got a couple of sashes in the gift shop.)
And their stick ball. Interesting is that the chickasaw ball is woven instead of folded and stitched buckskin.
Many different Mississippian items are incorporated into the exhibits.
Then we came into a gallery that had modern art interpretations of the Mississippian dress.
I don't remember how much the entrance fee was for the museum. I was just so impressed that it was worth whatever few dollars I paid.