Historic Choctaw Fair Underway

By: Wendy Suares
By: Wendy Suares

A simple beat and chant bind the eight Mississippi Choctaw communities together for a traditional dance they've done for generations.

"It's like a big family reunion, basically," said Kevin Edwards, councilman for the Standing Pine Community.

It's a reunion filled with rich culture, seen in the traditional Choctaw dress, handmade by the family. The diamond trim represents the rattlesnake, next to a design of a stickball, the game the Choctaw have been playing for hundreds of years.

"It's really a rough game," said 14-year-old Melody Denson. "It's really fun."

Visitors can watch a game of stickball or shop for handmade crafts made on scene by Choctaw craftsmen.

The annual event serves to teach the younger generation what it means to be Choctaw, while exposing the culture to the thousands of visitors who know very little about their Choctaw neighbors.

"They're right here, but we take it for granted," said Michael Helton of Laurel.

"There are a lot of people in Mississippi that don't know about the tribe. It's a chance to showcase our tribe and it's a chance to meet the people," said Edwards.

The 57th annual fair continues through Saturday night.


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