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Great Seal of the Chickasaw Nation


History:

When the Chickasaw Nation was officially formed on March 4, 1856, in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, the Chickasaw people honored War Chief Tishomingo by representing him on the Great Seal of the Chickasaw Nation. In addition, the figure represents the courageous Chickasaw people.

Following the Civil War, the Chickasaw people wrote a new constitution that was adopted on August 16, 1867. The Great Seal of the Chickasaw Nation was affixed to all legal papers until the state of Oklahoma was formed in 1907. Today, the Seal is again being used on legal documents by the Chickasaw Nation.

Meaning:

The figure of the ancient Chickasaw warrior symbolizes the Chickasaw people, traditionally a people of great courage. The arrows held by the figure signify the two divisions of ancient Chickasaw tribal society. The warrior also commemorates the beloved Tishomingo, last of the war chiefs before the Chickasaws left their home in the east and were removed to live among the Choctaw in the west.

About the Seal

1. The outer rim of the Seal is gold, and represents the purity of the Chickasaw people.

2. The inner rim of the Seal is light purple, and represents the honor of the Chickasaw people.

3. The two arrows held by the warrior represent the two divisions of ancient Chickasaw society. One group lived in the woods, and served as warriors, while the larger group lived in fortified towns.

4. The warrior commemorates War Chief Tishomingo and also represents all Chickasaw people.

5. The headfeathers represent the four directions of the earth.

6. The band crossing over the warrior's left shoulder and passing under his right

arm is known as the Warrior's Mantle and was made of swan feathers. It was a traditional decoration for great warriors.

7. The quiver was generally made of deerskin, with the bottom half being decorated with white fur. The quiver represents the hunting prowess of the Chickasaw warrior, as well as his willingness to defend his people. Since recorded history began on the mighty Chickasaw Nation, Chickasaw warriors have never been known to lose a battle.

8. The bow was made of hickory and also represented the hunting prowess of the Chickasaw people and the ability of a hunter to provide for his family.

9. The knee straps were made of deer hide strips and were a form of Chickasaw medicine. They were thought to bring fleetness to the wearer. Chickasaw warriors were known to be able to run for many hours in pursuit of their prey.

10. The shield was normally made of deer hide stretched over a frame. The shield signifies the protection of the warriors for all Chickasaw people.

11. The river in the background is the Mississippi River, which means "without source" in ancient Chickasaw. The river was crossed many thousands of years ago when the Chickasaws made their way to their promised land in the east.

12. The trees and plants within the Seal are those generally found near the Mississippi River and serve to remind the Chickasaw people of their original homelands.


This Page Was Last Updated Wednesday, 10-Apr-2002 19:42:12 MDT

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