River Culture

The Mississippi River provided an essential resource for the tribe's people: river cane. This Chickasaw necessity was used for everything from basketry to tool making – disciplines that are still passed down at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.

8 Items

Chickasaw River Culture

Michael Cornelius
Chickasaw flute player Michael Cornelius reflects on the origins of the flute and its significance to his tribal culture.

River Cane

Michael Cornelius
Before moving to the Oklahoma Territory, the Chickasaws of the southeastern United States were river people.

Artist Jeremy Wallace: Creation of Blow Guns

The Chickasaw Southeastern Art Show & Market
Chickasaw artist and musician Jeremy Wallace described how the art of his blowguns evolved and the history of their use.

Passing on Crafts to Family Members

Michael and Tim Cornelius
Michael Cornelius is a flute maker who specializes in crafting traditional Chickasaw flutes he constructs from river cane.

Chickasaw Youth and Their Tribe's River Culture

The Chickasaw Nation
Olympic gold medal-winning British coach Shaun Caven "jumped the pond" in 2009 to help develop the rising river sports movement in OKC.

How Flutes are Made

Michael Cornelius
Michael Cornelius describes how flutes are made.

Oka' Yanahli Preserve

Experience the Chickasaw Nation
The Nature Conservancy is the newest nature preserve, located along Oklahoma's Blue River.

Traditional Flutes

S5 • E9
Chickasaw flute maker Tim Cornelius is passing the art of traditional flute making down to his son, just as his father taught him.