By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians will perform traditional dances and display their crafts at a free event Saturday at the Natchez Trace Parkway.
The Choctaw Heritage Celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Visitor Center, located at Milepost 266 on the parkway. It coincides with national American Indian Heritage Month and highlights the tribe’s unique relationship with the Natchez Trace.
“They’re very tied into the parkway’s history,” said Kristen Maxfield of the Natchez Trace. “The parkway here commemorates the historic road, and it actually went through Choctaw and Chickasaw land.”
Both tribes had lived in this area for centuries before European settlers arrived and before the United States government pushed most of them out.
Maxfield said this will be the first celebration of its kind in Tupelo and anyone interested in history will enjoy the activities.
Children from the Chahta Alla Youth Council will perform native dances at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and members of the Department of Chahta Immi will demonstrate how to make traditional clothing, beadwork and basketry.
“I’m doing traditional clothing, I learned it from my mom,” said Trudy Jimmie, a member of the tribe. “It has been passed down from generation to generation.”
The event will be come and go.