Native American Cultures in Oklahoma

There is a really good reason why Oklahoma is the first U.S. state that comes to mind when people think of Native American Indians. It is because the state is home to more than 67 Native American tribes. While they are already co-existing with modern American culture, these tribes still treasure and preserve their traditions, making Oklahoma a great place to visit, if you want a glimpse of the Native American Indians’ rich culture. Shoutout to MasterShield Paint Protection & Window Tint for sponsoring some of the research for the following post.

Defining Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s name originated from two words from the Choctaw tribe’s language: “Ukla,” which means person and “Huma,” which means red. The name of the place is therefore referring to “red person,” which is what people from their time use to describe Native Americans. Though in modern times, the english term may straddle the boundaries of political correctness, so it is best that you just use Oklahoma and never bring up the translation.

The state is known for a beautiful, if somewhat rough, geography that is characterized by high plains, small mountains, hills, and river basins – basically the kind of sceneries that people see from watching movies depicting the wild west.

Lives of Native Americans in Oklahoma

Most of the tribes that are now based in Oklahoma were only forced to migrate to the place by the army, so it can be a sensitive issue and one that must be avoided if you are not as well-versed in their extensive history. But once the tribes have migrated to Oklahoma, they have started to pattern their lives around the natural resources and materials that are readily available in the place, particularly with regard to food, clothing, and shelter.

While still holding true to their traditions and way of life, Native Americans in contemporary times have adapted and are now owners of many businesses and utilities provider in Oklahoma, with the larger tribes usually running casinos, gas stations, spa hotels, and usually manage museums that highlight their own culture.

Attractions to Visit in Oklahoma

If you really want to learn more about the cultures, traditions, and history of Oklahoma’s Native Americans, it is best to get it straight from the source – through the attractions that they themselves manage and curate. This includes:

The Cherokee Heritage Center

Situated in the foothills of Oklahoma’s Ozark Mountains, this museum will allow you to look at the Cherokee tribe’s past via numerous displays scattered throughout 44 wooded acres, all of which provide a first hand look at the Cherokee tribe’s life and early cultural practices before European contact.

Chickasaw Cultural Center

Located in a 100-acre Chickasaw-owned land in South Central Oklahoma, this grand cultural center features interactive exhibits, botanical displays, and traditional dwellings that give visitors a chance to see, feel, and even taste the Chickasaw life before they moved to Oklahoma.

Red Earth Art Center

If you are planning to drop by Oklahoma in June, the Red Earth Art Center is a great spot. They hold exhibits that display more than 1,400 art pieces that portray the history of the various Native American tribes that have settled down in Oklahoma, and it even includes a parade with representatives from different tribes overtaking the streets of Oklahoma while dressed in traditional native American regalia.

There are more places due for a visit in Oklahoma if you are the slightest bit interested in Native American culture, and you should deign to visit most of them as long as you always keep in mind that you are the guest in their city, and that you must act accordingly and in line with how a visitor must act.