Exhibitions

Long Ago: Stories of the Choctaw People

In the changing exhibition gallery, you will find the exhibit Long Ago: Stories of the Choctaw People. This temporary exhibit demonstrates the importance and the artistry of oral storytelling. Long ago, stories were the main source of history keeping among the Choctaw people. These traditional stories have been carried forward so we can remember the world as our ancestors knew it. This exhibit will take you on an adventure, allowing you to interact with traditional stories themselves. The Long Ago exhibit will be on display from July 2021 to November 2022.

Funding for this exhibit was provided in part by the Chahta Foundation.

Orientation Gallery: Welcome to our Story

From the welcome lobby, visitors will pass through a short corridor lined with murals of the Choctaw reservation that funnels into a welcome space. Featured in this area will be a grouping of 12 exhibit vignettes featuring a Choctaw community member and the 12 districts they are from. The area ends at the entrance to the Orientation Theater, where visitors will view a short video about Choctaw culture.

Chahta Nowvt Aya: The Choctaw Journey

The permanent exhibitions are constructed of a four-part story focusing on the history of the Choctaw tribe from ancestral times to present day. These immersive exhibits will take viewers into Choctaw life, putting them face to face with culture and history as it was lived throughout time.

People of the Mother Mound

This exhibition shares the origins and creation stories of the Choctaw people. These stories have been passed down from generation to generation. In addition to the oral tradition, archaeological perspectives on these stories help illustrate them.

Chahta Pia (We Are Choctaw)

The second exhibit landscape takes guests to the time of Shomo Takali, or Hanging Moss. Shomo Takali was one of the earliest settlements founded during the time of European arrival and lasting until the early years of the Trail of Tears. Here, guests will be surrounded by the sights and sounds of the Mississippi homelands as they existed hundreds of years ago.

Moving Fires

The third landscape depicts how the Choctaw people maintained their government-to-government relations with the United States through a series of treaties and negotiations. Such treaties would ultimately lead to what is known as the Trail of Tears, which would last over 70 years. The exhibit features two families in different times and routes of the trail, each sharing their own challenges and hardships that they had to overcome.

Oklahoma

The largest and most complex of the four landscapes interprets the Choctaw Story in Oklahoma, stemming from the early years of the 1830’s to the modern Choctaw Nation. Guests will learn about the policies of land allotment, Choctaw schools and education and stickball, as well as ways the Choctaw Nation continues to invest in tribal members and their communities.