The Chickasaw's Religious Traditions

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The Chickasaw The Chickasaw’s reputation as strong hunters and warriors sets them apart from other tribes. The Chickasaw have their own unique religious traditions, as well as social traditions. They are very similar to the other tribes in the southeastern United States. The rich traditions and history of the Chickasaw helped to shape their everyday life both in the past and modern day. (Sansing 51).
The Chickasaw had a rich history full of important events. Originally, the Chickasaws inhabited what is now Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama. The first European explorer to encounter this tribe was Hernando de Soto (“A Brief History of the Chickasaw Nation”). Many Europeans came to the Americas after Hernando de Soto. They saw
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Stomp dancing was an important tradition to the Chickasaw. They were often performed at the Green Corn Ceremony. During these dances, the Chickasaw would often dance in a circle around a fire. They believed the smoke from the fire would lift their prayers up the the creator, Aba Binni’li’. Stomp dancers moved counterclockwise with their hearts closest to the fire. Men would sing stomp dance songs in “callback” form, and women wore turtle shell shakers on their legs. These turtle shells represented the respect the Chickasaw had for animals, since they gave them many of their necessities. Some examples of stomp dances performed by the Chickasaw are the Snake Dance, Gar Fish Dance, and the Stealing Partners dance. In the Snake Dance, the Chickasaw would respect snakes because they were part of creation. However, they would not honor them. The Gar Fish Dance was associated with the Green Corn Ceremony. It is a purification ritual in which the garfish teeth are used. In the Stealing Partners dance, the men would dance in front of the women eligible for marriage and choose one of them as a wife (“Stomp…show more content…
They often hunted and used materials from nature for food and clothing. For example, the Chickasaw often hunted deer. They used the meat of the deer for food, and the deerskin to make clothing. The tips of the antlers were used to arrow heads. They also used the sinew and twisted them to make the bow strings. Bears were another animal that the Chickasaw relied on. They used the bear’s skin to make winter clothing, bed coverings, and moccasins (Gibson 73). The Chickasaw also harvested cane. They would use this cane to make baskets and mats. The language of the Chickasaw was Muskhogean. A European settler described Muskhogean as “very agreeable to the ears, courteous, gentle, and musical… the women in particular so fine and musical as to represent the singing of birds” (Gibson 70). Many of these traditions are still practiced by the Chickasaw today. The Chickasaws history, religion, social traditions, and way of life make them unique. This is what makes the tribe still relevant in today’s society. The culture and traditions of the Chickasaw helped to define the people’s everyday life in the past and present. For these reasons the Chickasaw will continue to be known for generations to
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