In February we had the pleasure of escorting a dear friend to the annual Choctaw Nation Cultural Meeting held at the Hilton in Mesa, AZ. The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is large. In fact once covering a very large and possibly largest area in the southeastern portion of Oklahoma. Since many in the tribe are living elsewhere the Chief and tribal leaders travel to the tribe. Art goes yearly and invited us, being a Choctaw - he made us honorary Choctaws for the day. :)
We made new friends and Art (center) got to meet up with old ones - so much fun! He enrolled me in a beading class and I made a pair of earrings.
I was so impressed with everything I saw and heard. From the opening prayer by elder Lilly Roberts (very moving) - I wished I had a better picture or clip of the prayer! She prayed in the Choctaw language and translated in english. She also teaches the Choctaw language, a lovely woman.
Chief Gary Batton and Asst. Chief Jack Austin Jr. both had wonderful things to say about their people and plans for their future.
Chief Batton was amiable and I enjoyed watching him interacting with others. Everyone seemed important to him. He honored the elderly, as well as, the young and in conversation genuinely seemed interested in what you were saying. We all need more of that!
I don't want to forget the dancing and again I wish I had been able to take video clips for you to see and enjoy.
We did have such a wonderful time and enjoyed learning more about the Choctaw people. Below are a few links of interest. Again I'd like to throw out a big thank you to Art! :)
Clip on Cultural Revival (cultural history and preserving their culture - very interesting)
the opening on clip is from the previous Chief; the Wheelock Academy Broading School.
Lastly from Smithsonian NMAI
I Hope You Enjoy!