The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian presents this free two-day festival featuring music, dance, food, art and storytelling from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, June 27–28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See the full schedule here.
Each day will begin with a welcome and introductions by Chief Gary Batton and AssistantChief Jack Austin Jr. and members of the tribal council followed by social dancing, chanting by Brad Joe, flute music by Paul Hacker and storytelling by Tim Tingle. Booths in the Potomac Atrium will allow visitors tolearn more about stickball, flutes, pottery, beadwork, weapons, food and agriculture. Visitors will also be able to meet and talk to Choctaw Nation princesses and featured artists, including award-winning beadwork artists, Marcus and Roger Amerman, silversmith George Willis and potter Edmon Perkins.
Hands-on activities for children and families will include crafting beaded-loom bracelets and corn-husk dolls. Free timed tickets will be available daily; programs will commence each day in the imagiNATIONS Activity Center and Education Classroom (Rm. 3010) on the third level at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
A blowgun demonstration with Les Williston will be in the Outdoor Amphitheater daily at 11:45 a.m. A stickball demonstration will also be offered on Friday at 6 p.m. on the U.S. Capitol’s Reflecting Pool lawn.
Food will be available for purchase in the Mitsitam Cafe featuring traditional dishes like banaha, made with corn meal and similar to a meatless tamale, and tanchi labona, a stew of hominy and pork. Additional items include cherry-and-herb braised rabbit with a fava bean puree in a cherry reduction, venison gumbo, pinto beans with stewed pumpkin, skillet-fried potatoes and wild onions, grilled corn and squash salad with a strawberry vinaigrette and a grilled peach cobbler with corn topping.
In celebration of the festival’s theme, “Through a New Lens,” the Rasmuson Theater will offer daily films highlighting the Choctaw’s rich history. Three Choctaw Legacy films will screen, including Medal of Honor Winner Tony Burris, Choctaw Hymns and Chaplain Bertram Bobb, at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.
For more information, visit www.AmericanIndian.si.edu. To join the conversation, follow the museum’s Twitter feed, @SmithsonianNMAI, and use the hashtag #ChoctawFestival.