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.


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.


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



A Tochchí’na-toed box loski.

I would later visit the aachompa with their abooha,


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


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.


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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