Saturday, as part of the 102nd birthday celebration of the National Park Service, Shiloh National Military Park is hosting the Chickasaw Heritage Festival.
The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Shiloh Indian Mounds National Historic Landmark, on Shiloh battlefield.
The Aug. 25 festival brings together traditional Native American music, demonstrations, storytelling and scholarly talks. Tribe members from the Chickasaw Nation will return to their ancestral homeland for a day of cultural demonstrations that include stickball, the Chickasaw Nation dance troupe, archeology, and storytelling. National Park rangers will also be demonstrating pre-historic weapons of the Native Americans.
“The Shiloh Indian Mounds National Historic Landmark preserves the remnants of a Mississippian Era Indian village that is culturally affiliated with the Chickasaw Nation,” said park Superintendent Dale Wilkerson. “We are very pleased to partner with our friends at the Chickasaw Nation and the Inkana Foundation to present a variety of American Indian activities to our visitors.”
Shiloh is one of the very few places in the eastern U.S. where remains of prehistoric houses are still visible on the ground’s surface. About 800 years ago, a town occupied the high Tennessee River bluff at the eastern edge of the Shiloh plateau. Between two steep ravines, a wooden palisade enclosed seven earthen mounds and dozens of houses.
Throughout the day, programs on Chickasaw culture, language, and Shiloh archeology will be provided by several scholarly authorities, including: John Cornelison, archeologist for the National Park Service; David G. Anderson, Professor and Associate Head of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville; Joseph Smith, manager of the Chickasaw Homeland Affairs Area for the Division of Heritage Preservation; and Eric (Ric) Greenwood, manager of the Chikasha Academy and an expert in the Chickasaw language.