The Blog

  • 1700s Beadwork of Southeastern Tribes


    “1700s Beadwork of Southeastern Tribes” exhibit is now open in the Holisso: The Center for the Study of Chickasaw History and Culture.

    Currently on loan from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, this collection showcases beautiful beadwork from the Southeastern Native Tribes.

    Neil Curtis, the Head of Museums at the University of Aberdeen, traveled from Scotland to install the exhibit.

    The exhibit features woven and beaded items that date back to the 1700s. 

    These exquisite pieces were collected by William Ogilvie, an alumna of University of Aberdeen, between 1765 and 1775. 

    For some of...

  • Campus Gardens


    One of my favorite things to do at the Cultural Center is walk through the gardens. Not only are they a beautiful sight to see, they hold significant meaning to Chickasaw culture. If you look closely, you will see informational garden markers identifying plants used by Chickasaws. The Garden marker lists the plant name, its natural habitats and traditional uses.

    Right now the gardens are in full bloom, I couldn’t resist sharing a few photos!

    The Oakleaf Hydrangea (pictured below) is native to our homelands in Mississippi. The bark of the hydrangea was used to ease muscle sprains and...

  • Stomp Dance


    Stomp dancing is a treasured tradition amongst Chickasaw people.

    Stomp dance songs are sung in a call-and-answer format with a male lead singer and backup singers. For social songs, the lead singer may use a handheld rattle or drum. For ceremonial songs, however, a rattle or drum is not used. Rattles can be made from many materials including, turtle shells, horns, gourds, cans, and coconuts.

    Women wear shakers made from box-turtles, deer toes, or cans, on their legs to keep the rhythm of the songs while the men sing.

    Chickasaws dance around a sacred fire. It is believed the smoke from the...