Storytellers

Upcoming Storyteller Events

There are no storytelling events scheduled at this time. Please check back soon.

For additional information, including booking a storyteller for a class or event, contact Stephanie Scott, Chickasaw Nation Arts & Humanities Division, at (580) 272-5520.

Oral tradition tells us the earth began when Crawfish dove into the watery depths of the world and built the first landmass from mud at the bottom of the ocean. From these early beginnings, all things good sprang to life, including the Chickasaw. It also speaks of our migration from “the place in the West” to our promised homeland in what are now the states of Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and parts of Kentucky.

The importance of oral tradition was held in high regard. Long before the written word, Native peoples, including the Chickasaw, respected and honored the “Keepers of the Flame.”

With each generation, such stories were passed down to the next. Once a keeper was given the oral stories, his or her responsibility was to continue the tribe’s legacy and became its storyteller.

The storytellers of the Chickasaw were and are some of the most revered citizens of the Nation. For centuries, their stories reminded people of who they were, why they existed and where their place was within the universe. Stories, songs and prayers came to life through the power of words. Through them, we can still hear the voices of our ancestors recounting what is sacred and what is history. In days of old, the elders told ancient tales during cold winter evenings within the warmth of the winter house. It was a time of sharing, learning and reflection. But any time was a good time for a great story.

Even today, storytellers are still considered some of the most respected and sacred members of their tribes. They continue to share the same ancient stories that were told long ago. Now, as a new generation of Chickasaw citizens emerge, they will have the opportunity to be able to continue our legacy as Keepers of the Flame.

From Te Ata, an inspiring storyteller who shared Chickasaw culture with the world, to our youth storytellers who continue to learn the oral tradition, the Chickasaw Nation has many gifted storytellers who share their talents both in and outside of our tribal community.

Last Updated: 02/7/2017