Choctaw Days at the Smithsonian: Part 2

Sitting on the sidelines was not an option at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. With every dance step and every note sung, the audience is immersed in Choctaw culture. This dance called stealing partners, it was typically a for young people to better examine the choices of eligible youth switching from partner, to partner, and even a little tug of war every now and then.
As the feature tribe at the Smithsonian the Choctaw Nation hoped sharing the past by stories that have been passed down for generations.
Another part of the Choctaw Culture is their music. It explains the pain of the past and the strength that they have to move forward. It gives all those who listen a chance to understand what it truly means to be Choctaw.
" The music is very important its spiritual, " Moses Johnson said.
Since he was 3 years old Moses Johnson says his family has been singing hymns. To him music is more than just entertainment but a reflection of who they are.
" It feels really good. that we can share and give the people a little bit of our history and where we come from in the past. But it's really a good feeling and I think everyone should know about different cultures, " Johnson said.
The flute is one of the many instruments the Choctaws use. They come in many different sizes and most of them are handmade. The detail and smooth sound of the flute quickly became a festival favorite especially for Irish flute player John Etherton.
" I play a brass whistle so it's a metal whistle that has a sharper tone to it. His are wooden whistles that have a much more mellow airy quality to it," Etherton said.
After dancing, singing, and storytelling most visitors had worked up an appetite, and of course the Choctaw Nation delivered.
" There are many foods they are going to try. We would like for them to try rabbit gumbo," Chef Vonna Schults said.
Many were brave of enough to try something new..those who did walked away full and satisfied.
"The grape dumplings were a favorite so it was a great treat," visitor Annette Fromm said.
Visitor Alma Douglas says, " I think it's delicious. I love this cafe because I think it gives us a wonderful look at the culture and traditions of Native Americans."
Visitors also had a lesson in making Choctaw food.
Shirley Barboan Chef said" It's called cornmeal mush. You can keep pounding into whatever food you are making. And if you need more than this you will have to keep pounding over and over until it is completed, until it is the amount that you want."

Coming up Friday night at 10 a wrap up of the weeks events and a showcase of the artistic side of the Choctaw Nation from beautiful pottery to paintings.


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