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The Native Americans Traveling Trunk focuses on the Mississippi Native American groups of Choctaw and Chickasaw.

With this trunk students will have an opportunity to:

  • Listen to the oral storytelling of tribal origins and illustrate the stories
  • Create Native American music with turtle rattles
  • Learn how to play common Native American games such as stickball
  • Cook and eat food common to Native Americans in Mississippi
  • Handle Chickasaw artifacts including a turtleshell rattle, stickball equipment, bowls and jars, and a tanned deer hide

A teacher’s notebook and material list is included in the trunk. This trunk is organized as a five-day unit but teachers are encouraged to organize, revise, and adapt its contents to best fit the needs of their students.

Day One and Two

Students will learn about Native Americans in early Mississippi – their customs, habits, clothing, food, and homes. Using the story of The Big White Dog and the Sacred Pole, students will hear the origin legend of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes and learn the importance of oral storytelling in a non-literate society.

Day Three

On the third day, students learn how integral “play” was in learning each person’s role in Native American society. Students will have the opportunity to make instruments and listen to music as well as read an excerpt from the writings of early nineteenth century painter, writer, and traveler George Catlin on the Choctaw game of stickball.

Day Four

NA turtle rattleStudents are given the opportunity to learn about the history of Mississippi Native American tribes and their modern-day struggles from members of the five tribes of the Southeast – Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muskogee Creek, and Seminole – through viewing of the film The Native Americans: The Tribes of the Southeast.

Day Five

Discuss the diet of Native Americans, how foods were gathered, grown, and hunted, as well as the many varieties of food that modern Americans are indebted to the Native Americans for. If desired, included recipes may be distributed to students to prepare at home and then bring to class to share.


Trunk Competencies Chart

Contents of Trunk

Trunk Weight and Dimensions

Weight: 28 lbs.
Dimensions: 9” (h) x 23” (w) x 30” (l)


To learn more about the Traveling Trunk Lending Policies and Procedures, the content of specific trunks, or to book a trunk, please contact:

Outreach Programs Coordinator
Museum Division, MDAH
P.O. Box 571
Jackson, MS 39205-0571
Phone: 601-576-6997