River Cane

Michael Cornelius

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.


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How Flutes are Made

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Michael Cornelius describes how flutes are made.

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

The Chickasaw Cultural Center: Traditional Village

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The Chikasha Inchokka Traditional Village is a unique recreation of a customary Chickasaw village made from native woods and river cane.