The Chickasaws do not have a tradition of a time when they were without belief in a supreme being, whom we call Abaꞌ Binniꞌliꞌ (Sitting or Dwelling Above) also called Inki Abu (Father Above) under Christian influence.

There were ancient beliefs in a multitude of celestial powers. There were four “Beloved Things” above: the clouds, the sun, the clear sky and “He that lives in the clear sky.”

It was believed that Abaꞌ Binniꞌliꞌ lived above the clouds and on earth with “unpolluted” people. He is the sole creator of warmth, light and all animal and vegetable life.

The Chickasaws worshipped Abaꞌ Binniꞌliꞌ, “in smoke and cloud, believing him to reside above the clouds and in the element of the holy fire.”

Lightning and thunder were called Hiloha (Hiloha-thunder) and its rumbling noise ROWAH. When it rained, thundered and strong winds blew for a long time; the beloved or holy people were thought to be at war above the clouds. Many Chickasaw used to fire off their guns, pointed at the sky, at such times. This was to show that the warriors were not afraid to die so that they could aid the holy people.

Fire was very much respected by our ancestors. Trees were deadened and later used to keep our annual holy fire burning. It was unlawful—and considered the work of evil spirits—to extinguish even the cooking fire with water.