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Choctaw Culture

At first glance, a visitor to the Reservation might think that Mississippi Choctaws are focused on what is new. Choctaw school children attend classes in modern, well-equipped buildings. Many of their parents work at jobs that didn't exist on the Reservation thirty years ago. Each autumn sees Choctaw graduates leaving the Reservation for colleges around the country so they can return to take their places in a growing, thriving Tribal community.

Still, no matter how much change comes to the Reservation, one constant remains - the traditional culture of the Choctaw people. Choctaw culture is a vital aspect of community life. The entire community turns out for school spring festivals to watch children dance and enjoy a traditional meal of hominy, frybread, and fried chicken. The beadwork of Choctaw artists is proudly displayed each year at the Choctaw Indian Fair. Also, the skills of Choctaw dressmakers are evident each year at the Choctaw Indian Fair, where community dance groups perform for friends and visitors. Traditional dress is an important element of the Choctaw Princess Pageant. Social dance, stickball, basket making, traditional clothing, foodways, and other cultural traditions are places where the generations intersect, passing on wisdom along with recipes, advice about life as well as dance steps, and Choctaw words along with basket patterns, each generation teaching the next what it means to be Choctaw..