An inventive and creative spirit who introduced agriculture, language and other gifts of knowledge to man. (What Are Choctaw Lifeways? Historically, the relations among European settlers and the Choctaw over time were complicated.  See David I. Bushnell, Jr., “Myths of the Louisiana Choctaw,” American Anthropologist New Series, 12 (4) (Oct. – Dec., 1910): 526. “Stitches in Time: The Rebirth of Southeastern Woodlands Beadwork.” First American Art Magazine (March 27, 2015). Green, Rayna, with Melanie Fernandez. Ph.D. thesis. The motif was often inscribed on prehistoric Mississippian ceramics during the same era.  Brian Zepeda, quoted by America Meredith, in “Stitches in Time: The Rebirth of Southeastern Woodlands Beadwork,” First American Art Magazine, March 27, 2015. There is also evidence that the Choctaw and Chicksaw were closely linked before separating into two distinct tribal nations before Europeans arrived. “Choctaw in the East.” In Handbook of North American Indians: Southeast, edited by R.D. Uktena Horned Serpent //Throughout the history of mankind, and in cultures around the world, generations of people have passed down stories of a legendary horned serpent.// Among the Tsalagi / Cherokee tribes, this snake was known as an Uktena. These sashes must be interpreted as more than merely decorative clothing in order to fully convey the tangled crossings of these histories. In the role-playing game Werewolf:The Apocalypse, Uktena is a godlike tribal totem to the Uktena tribe of werewolves. Similar coiled designs can be seen in some of the mounds constructed in ceremonial landscapes in the Choctaw homeland in Mississippi. Also Richard Green, “Beyond the Divide: Chickasaw-Choctaw Warfare,” on the Chickasaw Nation website, August 13, 2014.
Archaeological and Ethnological Trips, Louisiana and Arizona: “Beyond the Divide: Chickasaw-Choctaw Warfare.”, “Stitches in Time: The Rebirth of Southeastern Woodlands Beadwork.”, “Moose Hair Embroidered Birchbark Trays: French, Native, or Both.”, “Blackfeet Moccasins: A Gift to Charles Stephens.”, “Tlingit Raven Rattle: Transformative Representations.”, “Children Among the Caribou: Clothes for a Young Innu.”, “Object Matters: Considering Materiality, Meaning, and Memory”, “Deep Description and Reflexivity: Methods for Recovering Object Histories”, “The Speck Connection: Recovering Histories of Indigenous Objects”, Explore the Penn Museum Digital Collections, Report Web Accessibility Issues and Get Help.  “Choctaw Beadwork,” Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians website. Sint Holo is an invisible, great horned serpent, having spiritual and cultural significance among the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and adjacent tribes. The Horned Serpent Symbol meaning. See Joseph H. Appel, John Wanamaker Founder and Builder: America’s Merchant Pioneer from 1861 to 1922 (New York, NY: The Macmillan Company, 1940), 404. ): Cultural Preservation in the Casino Era. University of New Mexico.  Most of these Choctaw sashes were made with a red wool background and thin strips of blue wool placed between the rows of white pony beads. In other depictions he is shown as human, but is accompanied by bashmu, horned serpents. F. Kent Reilly and James Garber, ed (2004).  “Traditional Clothing of Choctaws,” Choctaw Nation Store.  James T. Carson, Searching for the Bright Path: The Mississippi Choctaws from Prehistory to Removal (Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press, 2003). The Choctaw horned serpent deity called 'Sint holo' is seen as a source of inspiration. , The ram-horned serpent is a well-attested cult image of north-west Europe before and during the Roman period. 2014. • With Ben Kelser.  Notes on Penn Museum Catalogue Card. Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press. An inventive and creative spirit who introduced agriculture, language and other gifts of knowledge to man.
“Children Among the Caribou: Clothes for a Young Innu.” The Horned Serpent was venerated, in various forms, by the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Creek, just to name a few. The horned serpent is thought to represent the great spirit of the underworld.” Source Material for the Social and Ceremonial Life of the Choctaw Indians. • With Lilianna Gurry. .They use red [wool] and white beads, with white spirals.” The sashes reflect the adaptability of cultural cohesion over time, weaving together old symbols with new materials..
It appears three times on the Gundestrup cauldron, and in Romano-Celtic Gaul was closely associated with the horned or antlered god Cernunnos, in whose company it is regularly depicted. In the role-playing game Rifts, Uktena is not only a monstrous spirit of godlike stature but a rival to the Ondi Thunderbird and the Native Americans. , Other deities occasionally accompanied by ram-horned serpents include "Celtic Mars", "Celtic Mercury", and the horned snake, and also conventional snakes, appears together with the solar wheel, apparently as attributes of the sun or sky god..  Details vary among tribes, with many of the stories associating the mystical figure with water, rain, lightning and/or thunder. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.   Little people and other human-like creatures. The sash worn across the shoulder is currently on display in the Native American Voices exhibition at the Penn Museum, but the other sash rests in collection storage. Culture and Customs of the Choctaw Indians.
1999. Deep in a cave below the water, Sint Holo dwelt. Alabama, GA: University of Alabama Press.
One of Louisiana Governor Vaudreuil’s officers, Jadart de Beauchamp, went so far as to suggesting that fighting for the French was a perfect outlet for Choctaw expressions of masculinity and prowess, stating that if they are “men today,” “it is to the French alone that they are obliged for it.” Perhaps these sashes were adopted to emulate the bandoliers worn by their French allies? . In the end the Thunderbirds destroyed them, except for small species like snakes and lizards. Her name means "woman who stretches way back," in other words Long-Ago or Unknown Woman. Choctaw Genesis.  On a practical level, the sashes could be used as shoulder straps to attach to shot bags or powder horns, or simply worn across the chest to signal the status and identity of the wearer. During the early 1800s, most of the Choctaw rejected Tecumseh’s offer to join his Indian Confederacy and fight against Euro-American settler colonials; this choice was likely motivated by survival instincts. This pairing is found as early as the fourth century BCE in Northern Italy, where a huge antlered figure with torcs and a serpent was carved on the rocks in Val Camonica.
Another photo, taken at the same time, shows a Choctaw man named “Ahojeobe or Emil John” wearing the same sash (photograph number BAE GN 01102B13 06226200). Fogelson, 499-519. , When Stewart Culin met with Pisatuntema in 1902, he noted that “she had the ornamented blue calico shirt and the baldrics (ska-bo-chai) of red flannel, ornamented with white bead work in characteristic scroll design, which her father had worn for his picture.” Her husband Ernest then “kindly put on the costume and allowed me to photograph him.”. Since some objects have minimal provenance data, we seek out and consider similar materials, research articles and archives, Indigenous knowledges and histories, and non-material evidence (oral traditions, ecosystems, museum memories, etc.) What was the Choctaw motivation in emulating European dress and forming an alliance with these colonial settlers? This "snake" might reveal its presence to any male youth who had demonstrated a marked degree of wisdom or intelligence beyond his peers. The Choctaw venerated Sinti lapitta, a horned serpent that visited unusually wise young men. Horned Serpents were major components of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex of North American prehistory.. Swanton, John R. 1931. with documentation (texts, photographs, ethnographic data, etc.). “Myths of the Louisiana Choctaw.” American Anthropologist New Series, 12 (4) (Oct. – Dec. 1910): 526-535. Green, Richard. sint holo: Chickasaw, Choctaw sinti lapitta: Choctaw uktena: Cherokee. “Beyond the Divide: Chickasaw-Choctaw Warfare.” Chickasaw Nation website. The motif was often inscribed on prehistoric Mississippian ceramics during the same era. Searching for the Bright Path: The Mississippi Choctaws from Prehistory to Removal.  The coiled designs evoke ancient motifs seen in Eastern Woodland Mississippian and Early Historic period pottery. 2018. Among the Eastern and Western Cherokee Indians, the horned serpent known as Uktena was venerated. The Horned Serpent appears in the mythologies of many Native Americans. This object analysis was conducted for the Fall 2018 University of Pennsylvania course “Anthropology of Museums.” Students are examining Native American objects in the American Section of the Penn Museum by combining material analysis (elements, construction, design, condition, etc.) The Choctaw tribe honored a spirit called 'Sinti lapitta' who was a horned serpent … The little man was called Bohpoli or Kowi anukasha, both names being used alone or together. • With Leana Reich. Ningishzida shares the epithet Ushumgal, "great serpent", with several other Mesopotamian gods. The National Museum of the American Indian has 17 Choctaw sashes in its collection, most of which were collected by Mark Raymond Harrington; see, for example, this Choctaw sash collected in 1908 from Agnes Wallace. The British Museum Encyclopedia of Native North America.
New York, NY: The Macmillan Company. Article created on Tuesday, May 6, 1997. , A bronze image at Étang-sur-Arroux and a stone sculpture at Sommerécourt depict Cernunnos' body encircled by two horned snakes that feed from bowls of fruit and corn-mash in the god's lap.
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