The Great Seal of the Chickasaw Nation

When the Chickasaw Nation was re-affirmed as a tribal government on March 4, 1856, in Tishomingo, Indian Territory, the Chickasaw people honored their last war leader, Tishominko, by representing him on the Great Seal of the Chickasaw Nation. In addition, the figure represents the courage of the Chickasaw people.

The Great Seal of the Chickasaw Nation was affixed to all legal papers and government documents by the tribal government until Oklahoma statehood in 1907. At that time the federal government took possession of the Seal for use in its representation of the Chickasaw tribal government. The Seal was returned to the Chickasaw tribal government in 1984 and is used today by the Governor on official tribal government documents.

About the Great Seal of the Chickasaw Nation:
  • The warrior featured on the Seal represents the Chickasaw leader Tishominko who is remembered as one of the last “traditional” leaders of the Chickasaws.
  • The outer rim of the Seal is gold, and represents the purity of the Chickasaw people.
  • The inner rim is light purple and represents the people’s honor and pride.
  • The head feathers represent the four directions of the earth.
  • The band crossing over the warrior’s left shoulder is known as the Warrior’s Mantle and was made of swan feathers.
  • The two arrows in the warrior’s hand represented his guard over the two ancient phratries, or tribal divisions, in which all Chickasaw clan and house names originated.
  • The quiver, made of deerskin, represents the hunting prowess of the Chickasaw warrior, as well as his willingness to defend his people.
  • The bow, also representing the hunting prowess of the Chickasaw people, was made of hickory.
  • Knee straps were made of deer hide and were a form of Chickasaw medicine; they were thought to bring fleetness to the wearer.
  • The shield, also made of deer hide, signifies the protection of the warriors for all Chickasaw people.
  • The Mississippi River is in the background. It was crossed at some indefinite time when the Chickasaws made their way from the west to the land of the rising sun.
  • The landscape serves as a reminder of their Homeland.

The origin of these interpretations is not known, but it is possible that Muriel Wright, through her extensive knowledge of Chickasaw history and culture, took it upon herself to interpret the elements depicted on the original Seal and directed Guy Reid to draw in additional elements, such as the Warrior’s Mantle and shield, the river and plants, which she also interpreted.