River Culture

7 Items

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.

Chickasaw River Culture

Michael Cornelius

Michael Cornelius, Chickasaw flute player and Cultural Activities Manager for the Chickasaw Nation Department of Culture & Humanities, reflects on the origins of the flute and its significance to his tribal culture. When they lived in the homelands east of the Mississippi, Chickasaws used river cane to make flutes and baskets. Both items are still created in the traditional and used to this day, perpetuating the Chickasaw artistic history.

SHOW MORE

PLAYLIST

Related Videos

5 Videos

Mississippi River Aerial Tour

Experience Chickasaw History and Culture
The Chickasaws were known as the "Spartans of the Mississippi," recognized for their success as fierce warriors and protectors of their land.

River Cane

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

How Flutes are Made

Michael Cornelius
Michael Cornelius describes how flutes are made.

The Chickasaw Cultural Center: Traditional Village

Michael Cornelius, Cultural Activities Manager, Chickasaw Cultural Center
The Chikasha Inchokka Traditional Village is a unique recreation of a customary Chickasaw village made from native woods and river cane.

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.