The Choctaw Cultural Center takes a look in traditionally cooking methods

Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 5:06 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CALERA, Okla. (KXII) -The Choctaw Cultural Center in Calera, took a look into the past of how Choctaw ancestors cooked.

Kim Hinson, Tribal Archaeologists at the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma said, “we’re working with a PhD student from the University of Alabama, Mike Fedoroff and he is sharing his research with us today on earth-oven technology.”

An earth-oven is described as a slow cooking fire pit that differs in size based on what is being cooked.

Hinson said, “it’s a technology that goes back thousands of years and Choctaw traditionally practice this in their home lands, Mississippi and Alabama.”

Ian Thompson, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer said the process can take hours, “it’s not really a speed cooking type of thing but if you have something you want to cook for four to 12 hours it’s the perfect way to do it.”

While different types of meats and plants can be cooked inside earth-ovens, at Tuesday’s demonstration, rabbit and venison were on the menu.

“Indigenous people, we have a connection with our homeland, with the plants and the animals and the soil and the water and this type of cooking maintains that connection,” said Thompson.

While the demonstration was held just for one day, the cultural center hopes to continue earth-oven education, “I think the intention is to leave this open and to leave it as a space to potentially do demonstrations like this in the future,” Hinson said.

Thompson added, “it’s doing something that our ancestors did with the same materials, putting ourselves in the same place and there are important things that you can learn from that, that are timeless.”