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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Celebrating our Native American culture

Red Earth Museum

There’s no better place to appreciate Oklahoma City’s significant Native American culture than the Red Earth Museum. Located downtown, the Red Earth Museum features a permanent collection of more than 1,000 Native American art items of all types, from pottery, beadwork and basketry to fine arts and textiles. Educational programs based on the museum’s exhibits, workshops and demonstrations are also available throughout the year.

Its “mission is to promote the rich traditions of American Indian arts and cultures through education, a premier festival, a museum and fine art markets,” and is definitely worth checking out the next time you’re downtown.

museums, native american, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Red Earth Treefest

Seminole Tree Photo Provided By Red Earth Museum

[Photo provided by Red Earth Museum]

You’ve heard us talk about the history and heritage of OKC. Why not explore some of our rich heritage and maybe start a new tradition with your own family this holiday season? There’s no better place to get in the holiday spirit than in OKC.

Explore Oklahoma’s Native American culture at the Red Earth Treefest. Your family is sure to be amazed at 25 Christmas trees adorned with handmade ornaments from Oklahoma tribes including the Cheyenne and Arapaho, Chickasaw, Citizen Potawatomi, Comanche and Osage nations, each showcasing the distinctive and diverse cultures of the Native nations and tribes that call our great state home. This year’s exhibition will run through Jan. 5 at the Red Earth Museum and Art Center and is completely free. That means you don’t have a single excuse to miss it.

 

holiday, museums, native american, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Red Earth Festival

Red Earth dancing competition

Come out and experience the pride of our nation’s Native American culture June 9-12. This year, Red Earth will turn 30, and the fun can be found at the Cox Convention Center. The festival includes sample art from some of the nation’s best Native American artists, and the art ranges from contemporary art to native jewelry, the perfect range to fit your taste.

Native dancing is a big part of the celebration, as hundreds of native dancers from around the United States will gather. On June 9 and 10, you can discover the Grand Entry of Dancers and watch as tribes preform ceremonial dances. A full schedule can be found here. There will also be an “Ask the Expert” time where you can bring up to three pieces of your own Native American artwork and talk with native art professionals about the value of your art.

Ticket prices include admission to the Art Market, admission to all Festival Activities and admission to the PowWow. More information can be found at https://www.redearth.org/.

arts and culture, festivals, native american, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A history lesson

Cowboys

Our state has a storied history. From gun slingers and outlaws to Olympians and war heroes, a short trip to the east will highlight the diversity in our state.

Check out the 14 Flags Museum in Sallisaw, paying homage to the 14 different nations of people the state has been home to. You can explore historic structures dating back to the time when Cherokee settlers began arriving in the state in 1830. Other places to quench your historical thirst include Robbers Cave State Park and the Spiro Mounds.

Sports enthusiasts can visit Yale to tour the former home of 1912 Olympian Jim Thorpe displaying track and field awards or Stillwater to tour the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

day-trip, family-friendly, history, native american, Oklahoma
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Cultural Celebration

If you’ve been in OKC any time at all, chances are that you’ve heard of the Red Earth Festival. The exciting three-day event celebrates the rich Native American culture that makes our city and state unlike any other.

The event will kick off with the annual Red Earth Festival parade this Friday in downtown OKC.  The majestic parade is a certainly a sight to behold. Not only has it been heralded as one of the most unique in America, but it’s also something that you will only see in Oklahoma City. Tribal members from across the country will take to the streets, many in full tribal regalia. Native American bands, honor guards, dignitaries and tribal princesses will provide entertainment during the hour-long event.

Inside the Cox Convention Center, expect to be wowed by the nation’s best Native American dancers from more than 100 tribes as they compete during the Red Earth Fancy Dance competition. The booming drums and rhythmic stomps of hundreds of dancers showcase the emotion and celebration of the tribes’ dances. While you’re here explore the history of the Five Civilized Tribes that were relocated to Indian Territory, or discover the culture of the tribes whose headquarters are in Oklahoma. And the kiddos are sure to be entertained with exciting hands-on activities and will have an opportunity to learn about Oklahoma’s deep Native American roots.

festivals, native american, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Works of Art

During the annual Red Earth Festival, the talents of a multitude of Native American tribes will be on display during a juried art show and market. Handcrafted beadwork, basketry, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, paintings, graphics and cultural attire are just a small sampling of the art you’ll see. But there is more to Red Earth than just the annual festival. The Red Earth Art Center hosts a respected permanent collection featuring more than 1,400 pieces of Native American artwork. Expect to see fine art, pottery, basketry, textiles, and beadwork. The Center features widely acclaimed traveling exhibitions, as well as such prized permanent exhibits as the Deupree Cradleboard Collection, one of the finest individual collections of its kind in North America. The Red Earth Art Center also provides an outlet for Native American artists to sell their works to the public. 

Exhibit C also features works by Chickasaw artisans. The hand-crafted pieces include jewelry, pottery, paintings and clothing. There’s always something new to see at Exhibit C, as a new artist is featured every four months. 

A can’t miss exhibit this month is ”Best of the West” at JRB Art at the Elms. The exhibition, which runs through June 27, features works by Joe Andoe, Billy Schenck and Bert Seabourn. Andoe, an Oklahoma native who is part Cherokee, is celebrated across the county. His works are part of permanent collections in a variety of museums including the Museum of Modern Art and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art. Seabourn, an internationally acclaimed expressionist painter and sculptor, has made Oklahoma City his home. Seabourn’s works are held in private and public collections worldwide including The Vatican Museum of Religious Art in Rome; The National Palace Museum in Taiwan; the Smithsonian Museum of National History, Washington, D.C.; and the President Gerald Ford Library. Outside of the “Best of the West” exhibit, Seabourn’s work can be seen locally at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

arts and culture, festivals, museums, native american
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A Rich History

Have you ever wondered why the influence of Native American is predominant in Oklahoma?

You might be surprised to learn that even the state’s name can be traced back to early Native American settlers. In the Choctaw language, okla means "people;" homma or humma means "red." So Oklahoma literally means “red people.”

Certainly Native Americans have played an important role in shaping our great state, settling here nearly a half-century before the Land Run of 1889. Their contributions to our heritage are evident in everything from our state flag to the markings on our overpasses. Throughout history, Oklahoma has been home to 67 American Indian tribes, and even today, more than 35 federally recognized tribes call Oklahoma home. The state is even home to the Spiro Mounds, considered to be one of the most important Native American sites in the nation. The mounds are open to the public, weather permitting.

To get more information on the history of Native American and our state read one of our past blogs here.

history, native american, Oklahoma
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Kingfisher

Just slightly northwest of Oklahoma City you will find Kingfisher. First and foremost, cool name right? Kingfisher is named after an early resident name King Fisher. Want another fun fact about Kingfisher? Walmart founder Sam Walton was born there in 1918.

Kingfisher was located right on the Chisholm Trail, over which millions of cows were driven from Texas to Kansas. This was right after the Civil War so when we say driven we don’t mean by semi-truck. You can learn all about this fascinating time in America’s history at the Chisholm Trail Museum. The museum features one-of-a-kind artifacts from that time period including Native American, farm and pioneer implements.

The grounds of the museum is also home to a pioneer village that features five original buildings from the late 19th century, including a one-room school house and the first bank established in Kingfisher.

So in short, Kingfisher is a great place to take a quick drive to and learn more about a unique time in Oklahoma history.

history, Kingfisher, museums, native american, Oklahoma
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Red Earth Festival Returns

The 28th annual Red Earth Festival, celebrating Native American arts and culture, kicks off this week. This year, the festival will be held at Remington Park on Thursday through Saturday (June 5-7), with the traditional parade at 9 a.m. on Friday downtown. A full schedule of events including live music, dance competitions, an arts market, native food and more can be found at http://www.redearth.org/red-earth-festival/. Experience one of our state’s most unique and culturally vibrant events!

arts and culture, family-friendly, festivals, native american, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Get Some Culture in Sulphur

A great way to learn about Native American culture in general, and the Chickasaw culture specifically, is to visit the aptly-named Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur. The campus consists of an exhibit gallery with “Spirit Lesson Stations,” language learning stations and historical objects; a Stomp Dance interactive display; the “Removal Hallway” exploring the Chickasaws’ painful “Trail of Tears” experience; and even an historically accurate outdoor “Inchokka’” traditional village, among other exhibits. The center aims to “capture the essence of Chickasaw culture” as well as share the Chickasaw’s “unique culture with the world,” and is a can’t-miss stop.

“But wait,” you say to yourself. “Where is this ‘Sulphur’ of which you speak, and how do I get there? Is it a burdensome journey?” Easy there, Chief. Sulphur is less than 90 miles from OKC and makes for a quick and easy day-long or weekend escape. There are tons of other cool things about Sulphur – the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is one of the nation’s oldest national parks and has about 10,000 acres of pristine preserved flora and fauna to explore, the nearby Lake of the Arbuckles offers camping, boating, fishing and more, and popular Turner Falls features a 77-foot waterfall, hiking trails, sandy beaches, three natural caves, and even a rock castle(!), among other beachin’ items. Yep, sounds like a trip to Sulphur is the kind of cure you’re looking for.

For more info on Native American cultural attractions in our great state, check out http://www.travelok.com/article_page/top-native-american-attractions-in-oklahoma.

[Image via Chickasaw Nation.]

western heritage, day-trip, museums, native american, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A Brief History of Tribes

Deeply and inexorably rooted in Native American culture and history, Oklahoma as a state proudly bills itself as “Native America,” with a statue called “The Guardian” depicting a Native American man with a spear and shield by former Seminole Chief and member of the Oklahoma Legislature (not to mention artist, obvi) Enoch Kelly Haney sitting atop the dome of the Capitol. The name “Oklahoma” even comes from two Choctaw words meaning red (“humma”) and people (“okla”).

A total of 67 Native American tribes have called Oklahoma home, and the state is currently home to 38 federally-recognized tribes producing an estimated $10.8 billion in economic impact. As with many indigenous cultures the world over that have been subject to the forces of imperialism or colonization, the history of Native Americans in Oklahoma is not only a source of pride for Oklahomans but is also complex, often tragic, and naturally difficult to sum up in a blog format. But, we endeavor to please, so here’s a brief sketch.

Prior to European contact, native tribes such as the Wichitas, Caddos, Apaches and Quapaws inhabited modern-day Oklahoma. As European influence and pressures elsewhere grew, other tribes migrated here including Pawnee, Osage, Comanche and Kiowa, in some cases displacing other native peoples. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 then forced all native peoples west of the Mississippi, and the “Five Civilized Tribes” (Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw and Seminole) were relocated to Oklahoma (the eastern half of the state was known as “Indian Territory”), along with several others (Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Shawnee, etc.).

After more post-antebellum resettlement due to stresses partially brought on by the expansion of rail networks through then-Indian lands in Kansas and Nebraska, The Dawes Act of 1887 (and other subsequent legislation in the case of the Five Civilized Tribes) then effectively ended communal land ownership, with the government ceding plots to individual tribal members. The “leftover” land was then allowed to be resettled, often via land run (the method by which a large portion of central Oklahoma was opened). The Wheeler-Howard Law or Indian Reorganization Act ended the practice of allotment and renewed tribal government and organization rights in 1934. After World War II, Congress then decided to end recognition of some tribes, resulting in land forfeiture in some cases.

From 1968 to the present day, Native Americans have been able to claim more sovereignty and take advantage of more of a stance of “self-governance” toward the tribes from the federal government, reestablishing themselves as cultural and economic forces.

For a bibliography/source info and more on this complex subject, please check out:
http://www.theamericanindiancenter.org/oklahoma-tribal-history
http://www.okhistory.org/research/oktribes
http://www.travelok.com/american_indian_culture
http://www.travelok.com/files/genealogy/origins_of_oklahoma_tribes.pdf
http://www.travelok.com/article_page/oklahomas-rich-indian-history
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Removal_Act
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_Tears
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawes_Act

history, native american, Oklahoma, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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