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.
Before moving to the Oklahoma Territory, the Chickasaws of the southeastern United States were river people – they founded their cities near rivers and canebrakes. From blow guns and bows to flutes and baskets, river cane became necessary for the Chickasaw way of life. Now, only a handful of people know how to craft with river cane, but they're passing those skills on through classes and demonstrations at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur.