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Press Release

Release Date: October 17, 2018

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office



  • The Oct. 20 Shoot of the Nations competition and showcase will task participants with accurately using a stick bow and cornstalk arrows. The event is open to the public at no charge.

ADA, Okla. -- The Chickasaw Nation will host the annual Shoot of the Nations, a traditional Native American cornstalk shooting showcase, Saturday, Oct. 20, at Kullihoma Recreation Area.

Cornstalk shooting is a traditional Native American sport played by archers of the Southeastern tribes. Participants compete by using custom, handmade bows and arrows. Contestants must use a stick bow and cornstalk arrows. The archers shoot at two targets made of cornstalks at opposite ends of a field.

“This is more than just a piece of wood. This is engineering, science, physical exercise,” Eli Johnson, Chickasaw bowyer, said about one of his personally crafted traditional bows. “Our ancestors were geniuses to be able to work with a natural material like this.”

Bow making is a link to our past, Johnson said. It was a lifesaver - protected families, provided food, clothing and shelter.

“No matter what your interest is in archery, that’s the one thing common to all people of the earth. At one time every culture and creed had a bow,” Johnson said. “I could take this bow to Japan. I don’t speak Japanese, but they know about bows. We can get along and understand each other there. It unites us as human beings. I’m just fascinated by it.”

More than a competition, the event gathers Native Americans from across Oklahoma who share similar cultures and history. Many tribes within Oklahoma have organized teams. These teams generally share not only the sport with one another, but the cultural aspect of making bows, traditional regalia and other native traditions.

As a competitive sport, points are scored by the number of cornstalks skewered per arrow of the target. The targets range from 50 to 125 yards from the archer. Targets, which are made from cornstalks, are typically 3 feet in length, stacked 3 feet tall and are approximately 12 inches deep. Each shooter has two arrows per round. The competitors continue shooting at each of the targets until a shooter has penetrated 50 stalks and declared the winner.

There will be a children’s division (ages 12 and under) and adult division. Trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place.

This event is open to the public at no charge. Registration opens at 8 a.m.

Bows and arrows will not be provided; participants will provide having crafted their own.

Kullihoma is located 7 miles northeast of Ada on state Highway 1. Watch for the Kullihoma exit signs.

For more information, contact Jordana Miller at (580) 421-8801.

Last Updated: 09/16/2016