Native American Dance, Music, and Celebration Through the Choctaw Wedding

Background Information

The traditional Choctaw wedding is one of the most honored cultual observances in the history of tribal cutlture. This tradition has its roots in the Fall Harvest Festival of each tribal clan. 

At the end of a long day of festivities, the clans would gather around a fire and listen to the elders of each clan tell stories of their past. During storytelling times, young men searching for a bride would observe the young unwed women in attendance from the various clans. When a man noticed a woman he was interested in, he would toss a small rock at her feet. If she accepted his proposal, she would toss the pebble back at his feet.

Once the proposal was accepted by the two families involved, the courtship would begin. The groom presented the bride's parents with livestock or other gifts in hopes that the parents would allow the wedding. Once the bride's parents approve of the wedding, the bride's aunt plans that wedding, which would follow the style of the clan they belong to. Following the courtship and wedding preparations, a traditional series of events will occur, as further outlined in this Learning Center.