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Members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians will show traditional methods of beadwork, teach visitors about the game of stickball, and demonstrate Native American songs and dances at the Museum of Mississippi History on Saturday, November 17. The free program Choctaw Expressions will kick off at 11 a.m. with craftspeople inside the museum and dancing at 1 and 3 p.m.

“We’re so happy to have this wonderful event on the third Saturday of the month, when admission to the museums is free,” said Museum of Mississippi History director Rachel Myers. “Plus November is Native American Heritage Month, an especially appropriate time to highlight the vibrant Choctaw culture of Mississippi.”

The Oka Homma Chatah Allah Hilha Alheah group, whose name translates to Red Water Choctaw Children Dancers, will wear traditional clothing while demonstrating social dances and songs, accompanied by a drummer. Wauseka York will show visitors how to play stickball, a Native game that is the basis for lacrosse, and explain the rules and equipment used. The game was called “little brother of war” because it was sometimes used to settle disputes instead of resorting to outright battle.

Karon Bryant will discuss the decorative beadwork that Choctaw men and women incorporate into clothing. Such pieces might include a sash, belt, and collar necklaces, with women adding earrings and lapel pins. While there are common shapes and motifs found in many pieces, different artists express themselves through unique designs and colors.

Mississippi Public Broadcasting will also be at the museum to screen selections from the new PBS documentary Native America in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium. Admission will be free that day, and visitors to the Museum of Mississippi History can discover other artifacts and stories from Choctaw culture in the First Peoples gallery.

The Mississippi Museum Store also offers Choctaw beaded rings, bracelets, and river cane baskets. As part of Choctaw Expressions, all Choctaw baskets will be 20% off.

For more information call 601-576-6800 or email info@museumofmshistory.com.

The Museum of Mississippi History opened alongside the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum December 9, 2017. The Museum of Mississippi History explores the entire sweep of the state's history. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum explores the period from 1945 to 1976, when Mississippi was ground zero for the Civil Rights Movement nationally. The Mississippi Department of Archives and History administers both museums.

Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The museums are located at 222 North Street, Jackson, MS 39201.

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