By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
GUNTOWN – After 11 hours on a bus from Ada, Okla., to Guntown, Lanny North said it felt good to finally be home.
Even though he’s never lived or visited the north Lee County town, North made it to the place where his ancestors roamed hundreds of years ago.
Dozens of American Indians from the Ada, the headquarters of the Chickasaw Nation, made the pilgrimage to a small farm in Guntown to see the site where Chief Tishomingo and the Chickasaw tribe once called home.
“Chief Tishomingo was a great Chickasaw chief and warrior,” said Dr. Amanda Cobb-Greetham, who made the trip with the Chickasaw Nation. “And he lived right here on this land. It was thought that this land was lost to history, but the work of a man named Mitch Carver helped to uncover the history.”
Carver is a local man who was interested in Tishomingo and whose research led to discovering his home site.
“Tishomingo is a characteristic of all things Chickasaw,” said Cobb-Greetham. “It’s good for us to be here today. This is a real connection to us and our homeland.”
Lawrence Edwards had no idea that land was the old home of Tishomingo when he bought it in 1971.
“A logger stopped by one day and told me about the history of the land,” said Edwards. “I had no idea before then. I’m glad they got a chance to come and see the land.”
Chickasaw Nation members dressed in traditional Chickasaw garb for the occasion, to the awe of those in attendance.
“They look just like the Indians you see in old Western movies,” said Joanne Walters. “This is living history. You can’t get a feel for the beauty of their clothes from a television show.”
North was all smiles as he looked around the land and viewed a monument put up in remembrance of Chief Tishomingo.
“Like I said, it’s good to be home,” he said. “This won’t be my last trip here.”
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.