The Choctaw Nation puts on heritage day at headquarters

Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 5:01 PM CST
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DURANT, Okla. (KXII) -From beading, weaving, and stickball, all traditional items of the Choctaw people could be found at heritage day, held Monday at the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s Headquarters in Durant.

Sandy Vigil, Director of Education at the Choctaw Cultural Center said, “it’s an opportunity to reconnect.”

The morning started with devotional and Choctaw hymns.

And tribal traditions echoed throughout the hallway where both educators from the Choctaw Cultural Center and vendors were stationed.

“It’s just really, really important for us to connect and stay connected with our ancestors,” Vigil said.

Vigil added, “we do teach classes for beading over at the cultural center, we teach weaving classes.”

Vigil said the classes are for all ages, “one that we’re doing right now is a very, very popular pine needle basket, so we are taking pine needles from our environment and we’re using either sinew or thread and wrapping the pine needles together to make different types of baskets.”

And for the kiddos, “we also have a kids puppet workshop, where we’re talking about some of the origins of the stories of why the rabbit has a short tail, and then when they’re done the kids get to make their own puppets they can take home with them,” said Vigil.

Culture Educator, Jared Tom spoke about the importance of stickball, “right now it’s kind of family orientated but also we look at it as a healthy aspect, you know a lot of tribes battle with diabetes or lack of exercise.”

And even if you’re not Choctaw, the Cultural Center is for everyone to enjoy, “lots of things going on at the Cultural Center class wise, click on our website and just look under things to do and events and you can see all the wonderful classes and workshops that we have,” said Vigil.

For Choctaw Cultural Events, click here.