Monday, May 11, 2015

Chickasaw Cultural Center

Kochcha' Aabiniili' Amphitheater
(photo from CCC website)

Name: Chickasaw Cultural Center
Tribe: Chickasaw
Location: 867 Cooper Memorial Drive, Sulphur, Oklahoma, 73086
Type: Cultural heritage, art, and event center, traditional food, research archive
Visiting Info: Open year-round; Admission $2-$10, separate theater/combo tickets, free entry to campus shops and gardens
Contact: Website, telephone 580-622-7130

The award-winning Chickasaw Cultural Center opened in 2010 as one of the largest Native American cultural heritage destinations in the country. The 109-acre campus includes gardens, an amphitheater, an exhibit center, a replica tribal village, a movie theater, a café serving traditional cuisine, and a archival research facility. The Center is located a short distance off I-35 in between Oklahoma City and Dallas, so it's a convenient stopover for people who are just travelling through.

The extensive outdoor space includes the Aaholiitobli' Honor Garden, the Kochcha' Aabiniili' amphitheater for cultural events, the Aba' Aanowa' Sky Pavilion, a replica traditional village which hosts cultural and crafts exhibitions, and the Spiral Garden with its presentation of the Three Sisters crops: corn, beans, and squash.

The Aapisa' Art Gallery in the Welcome Center and the Aaittafama' Room next to the Chikasha Poya Exhibits feature revolving collections of Chickasaw art and crafts. As of this post, there is currently a dugout canoe exhibit with an upcoming display of 1700's Beadwork of Southeastern Tribes.

The Chikasha Poya Exhibit Center consists of a variety of interactive historical and cultural presentations. There is an introductory film in a replica council house, a presentation on tribal spirituality, the Removal Corridor experience, and a multimedia stomp dance display.

Next to the 350-seat Anoli' Theater, the Aaimpe' Café offers traditional Chickasaw cuisine, such as pishofa and grape dumplings, as well as typical museum café fare for the unadventurous. There are also two gift shops on the campus.

And if your interests run to the more academic side, the Holisso Center for the Study of Chickasaw History and Culture is a beautiful research library and archive of materials about the Chickasaw tribe and other native tribes from the American Southeast. Genealogical and research help is available by appointment (email, and Holisso provides some online resource catalogs.

There are tons of ongoing events, workshops, films, demonstrations, celebrations, etc. Check the calendar before you go! There seems to be something for everyone no matter what your interests at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.

The Chickasaw Nation
Adventure Road Project
The Chickasaw Nation Video Network
Chickasaw Country

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