Rebuilding and Respect

I would later take the prayers to the synagogue.  Packed to standing room only in Oklahoma City, there were yet only about a dozen who wore their kipa כִּפָּה‎  (kippot).  Deep in beautiful Native America, the next day I would visit the Chickasaw Cultural Center.

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After a morning walk alongside the lake with very vocal taloowa foshi and a river otter, I would later attempt a 9 mile bike – 3 mile hike with the ofi-i, only to cut it short to 4 miles of biking and 3 miles of hiking (up a onchaba).  We were too out of shape for the longer stint.

The water situation was dire.  The hills of the natural area protect against tornadoes, and historically harbor 33 different springs – each slightly different from a mineral composition point of view for some geological reason.  They had traditionally been used for healing.  One would choose a spring of a certain mineral composition for a specific disease.  Today, many of the springs have dried up.  During the bike ride, I had stopped at a spring to let the dogs drink some oka’, before realizing that there was a sign saying that the water had been contaminated with Arsenic and an unknown contaminant.

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My dogs (who can’t read) are in the same situation as the natural wildlife of the area.  It made me angry.

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A Tochchí’na-toed box loski.

I would later visit the aachompa with their abooha,

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and also the nature center hiking out to the Yanash and Antelope springs that were dry, and learn about the itti-i.

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Unsure whether to go back up to Moore, where there is plenty of work that needs to be done, or hike the “Trail of Tears“, I am called back to my ishki’ and inki’, and with the condition of my dogs, I Ifilammi.

Some VERY nice internet dog videos in Chickasaw!!!!  I was told during the visit to the cultural center that there are only about 55 sipokni’ that are still fluent in the language.

There is a nice story about the origin of the name of the Mississippi river, that coincides with the story of the common tribal histories of the Choctaw and the Chickasaw nations – notably the splitting of the land between 2 nafki’ with the river defining the boundary.  It reminded me of the trip that I took with the kids.  We had heard the same story from their dad, but referring to the Sabine river.  It is interesting to note that the original issi’-hide map (from the 1700’s) only displays locations to the east of the Mississippi, as if their knowledge of the relevant world ended there.

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The story on the internet (not Chickasaw), however, talks about a migration from the East.  Other stories of the common origin of the Choctaws and Chickasaws suggest a common original tribe from Mexico.  Most mound culture does seem to derive from an ascent up or descent down the Mississippi.

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