Chickasaw Nation Virtual Tree


The Chickasaw Nation Department of Culture and Humanities is happy to participate in the Red Earth Treefest this year through a virtual presence. The ornaments you see in the video are created by employees from the Chickasaw Nation, Art & Humanities Division. View the tree here.

COPPER SUN CIRCLE TREE TOPPER – Much of our Chickasaw culture, as well as that of dozens of other Southeastern tribes, descends from the Mississippian Civilization. During this cultural period, the manufacturing of copper plates and various religious items were popular. Mississippian people also created copper axes, knives, gorgets, beads and fishhooks, as well as wooden beads and ear spools covered in copper.

CLAY ORNAMENTS – The clay ornaments represent Southeastern Indian iconography such as a paint palette (can you guess which one this is?), the forked eye symbol and hand of the creator; as well as various animal forms like loksi (turtle) and ihikommak (hummingbird).

CHICKASAW ARTIST ORNAMENTS – These ornament medallions (made with repurposed drink coasters) feature Chickasaw artwork and a brief description of the artist on the backside of each ornament. Certain elements were hand painted to compliment the artistic imagery and then adorned with bone hair pipe, tin cones, beads or imitation feathers.

THE TREE SKIRT – The tree skirt depicts stomp dancers and Southeastern Indian design aesthetics. Traditionally and still to this day, a central fire is present and dancers dance counterclockwise so their hearts are closest to the fire; as the smoke lifts their prayers to Aba' Binni'li' (the Creator).

Originally from Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, and Tennessee, the Chickasaw’s first contact with Europeans came with Hernando de Soto’s 1540 expedition where he met a highly developed society of thriving people.

For More Information on the Chickasaw Nation visit