Nanih Waiya Choctaw Indian Mound

Teaching Strategies

1. Introduce historical background of Nanih Waiya Mound and its importance to the indigenous Choctaw Nation.

  • Plot its location on the map of Mississippi.
  • Plot the remaining Native American Choctaw communities on the map of Mississippi: Bogue Chitto, Bogue Homa, Conehatta, Pearl River, Red Water, Standing Pine, and Tucker.
  • Research and outline the history of the Nanih Waiya Mound on a timeline identifying its importance to the Choctaw Nation from past to present.

http://www.choctaw.org/Government/Tribal%20Lands/Tribal%20Lands.html

2. Read and discuss the different myths and legends associated with the Nanih Waiya Mound. Refer to the Resources section of this Learning Center for web pages and publications that contain versions of the story, including the three essential elements of the story:

  • Those regarding the creation of the Native American Choctaw from the Nanih Waiya Mound.
  • Those relating to the emergence of the Native American Choctaw from the Nanih Waiya Mound.
  • Those associated with the migration of the Native American Choctaw from the Nanih Waiya Mound.

3. As a class, brainstorm questions that can be used to interview Choctaw elders to determine which version is best, and ways that the origin story continues to be important in Choctaw life today.

  • Small group discussions could be used to brainstorm interview questions.
  • Large group discussions could be used to compile the interview protocols that will be used by the entire class.

4. Students will share interview results from Native American elders regarding creation, emergence, and migration myths and legends related to the Nanih Waiya Mound.

5. Students will create an original poem related to the study of the Nanih Waiya Mound.

6. Choose an original art form to depict one of the Native American myths and legends of creation, emergence, or migration.

7. Students could dramatize myths and legends about the Nanih Waiya Mound and its association with the creation, emergence, or migration of the Native American Choctaw Indians.

  • Class will be divided into small groups.
  • Favorite myth or legend will be selected.
  • A dramatization of the myth or legend will be developed.
  • The dramatization will be performed to the whole group at the completion of the assignment.