Living Village

For thousands of years, generations of Choctaw people flourished in the shadow of Nanih Waiya, the Mother Mound. Our Living Village reflects the lifeways of the Chahta families who lived in the homelands of what is now Mississippi. Here, guests can follow a walking path that takes them past a mound like the ones our ancestors built so long ago. Explore the chukkas (houses) and take part in demonstrations of Choctaw farming, weaponry, and social customs.

As you enter the Living Village you can experience our patio area. Here we invite guests to sit and take in the scenery. In the fall, you can also experience movie nights on the patio.

Winter homes
Next, you will visit our Anuka Lashpa (winter homes). Every fall, our Lukchuk Ke Pila program invites the community to help us prepare the homes for the coming winter.

Stickball Demonstration Field
Here, our exhibition stickball field serves as one of three fields we have on our campus. Guests can observe and learn about the ancient game of ishtaboli (stickball), including its history and the various techniques still used in today’s gameplay during our daily stickball exhibition. (Weather permitting.)

Our mound serves as the centerpiece of our Living Village. This modern-made mound reflects the rich moundbuilding culture of the Choctaw people.

Surrounding the Living Village, a remnant prairie displays plants native to our homelands in Mississippi and here in Oklahoma.

Earth Ovens
Our Choctaw ancestors used a modified fire pit called an earth oven for cooking and firing pottery. In October, Historic Preservation hosts Archaeology Day, where we provide information about traditional Choctaw artforms and offer traditional foods.

Further along, we have our garden that displays the relationship between the “three sisters” and other crops. In the spring, we invite guests to join us for our Okchahli program, to plant a new round of crops for the year.

Our arbors provide shade for guests while they observe and participate in our Living Village exhibitions.

Dancing circle
Guests will be able to observe Choctaw social dancing and may even be invited to join in! There are many different types of Choctaw social dances and during the exhibitions, we share their meaning and demonstrate the steps. (Weather permitting.)

Living Village
Basket Making
Living Village
Living Village