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Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

According to tradition, the Choctaw people had wandered in the wilderness for 42 Green Corn Festivals, through which they carried the bones of their dead, who outnumbered the living. They finally found a leaning hill, where the magical staff indicated they should stay. It was then was bountiful land. The tribal council proposed they build a mound of earth to respectfully inter the bones of their ancestors, which they agreed to do. First, they erected a frame of branches. Then these were covered over, and layers of earth were deposited during their domestic tasks. At last, the mound reached great size. When they finished, they celebrated their 43rd Green Corn Festival since wandering in the wilderness. They said that once the main mound had been completed, smaller conical earthen mounds were built and used for single burials.

In August 2008, the Luke family deeded the mound to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, a federally recognized tribe, so the Choctaw have regained the sacred place. They have declared August 18 as a tribal holiday to mark the return of the mound, and have used the occasion for telling stories of their origin and history, and performances of dances.

The Choctaw Indian Reservation consists of 35,000 acres of trust land scattered over 10 counties in east central Mississippi. The nearly 10,000 members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians live in the eight reservation communities of Bogue Chitto, Bogue Homa, Conehatta, Crystal Ridge, Pearl River (the site of tribal headquarters, the industrial park, Pearl River Resort, the Choctaw Health Department/Center, and other main tribal services), Red Water, Standing Pine, and Tucker.

The Stories

Samiah Willis beads the crown for our Choctaw Indian Princesses not knowing who will win the crown. She has colours and designs that come together that reflects the winning prunes to a T! Her designs are very modern. Her countless hours, every stitch, every placement of ear is a reflection of her talent.

Credit to: Valerie Vaughn

Chief Phillip Martin helped the MBCI (Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians) tribe to grow into a greater environment for future Choctaw children.

Credit to: Tana Jimmie

Chief Phillip Martin “was truly one of the first and most important leaders in the drive for tribal self-determination,” Joseph Kalt, co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, said in an interview. “Chief Martin led this movement in which first the Mississippi Choctaw and then many other Indian nations have said: ‘We’re just going to run everything ourselves. We’re building our own schools, our own police department, our own health program, our own economy.’ ”
To read more click here.

Credit to: Dennis Hevesi, New York Times

Davita McClelland dared to differ through how she helped Bogue Chitto community grow.

Credit to: Mississippi Museum of Art member

Chief Phyliss J. Anderson is the first female Tribal Chief to be duly elected by the Choctaw people in the Tribe's history.

She takes care of our tribe.

Credit to: Mississippi Museum of Art member

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