Press Release

Release Date: March 29, 2017

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office



Purcell, Okla. -- The Chickasaw Nation will host a stomp dance presentation 6-8 p.m., Thursday, April 6, at 1430 Hardcastle Blvd. This event is open to the public at no charge.

Instructor Jesse Lindsey, who is cultural activities manager for the tribe, will talk about the history and cultural significance of stomp dancing. He will also play flute, sing and answer questions.

While there are still different dances for various occasions, stomp dances today are often social rather than spiritual in nature. No matter the type of dancing, it is always an opportunity to come together as a community.

Men sing stomp dance songs in a call-and-answer format, following a male song leader, who often sets the dance rhythm using a handheld turtle shell rattle. Women enhance the rhythms with shakers made from box turtle shells worn on their legs.

Social dances often have animal-themed names, like the snake dance and the raccoon dance. Each social dance has a fun and unique technique. The snake dance, for example, has dancers hold hands while they curve and swerve much like a snake would. The snake dance is one of the oldest-known Chickasaw dances and has been passed on to successive generations.

The Chickasaw Nation has planned monthly community arts and crafts classes for locations across south central and central Oklahoma all year. Class topics include the Chickasaw language, finger weaving, beading and painting.

A language class will be offered in May at Pauls Valley. Upcoming classes are also planned for Duncan, Oklahoma City and Ardmore.

Registration is required and seats are limited. For more information, or to register, contact Julie Underwood at 580-622-7140 or Julie.Underwood@chickasaw.net.

Last Updated: 09/16/2016