Jareth Ray, site attendant II at the Chickasaw Bank Museum in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, displays how to make a Chickasaw medicine bag.
In First American cultures, medicine bags hold special importance and are steeped in history. Usually, they contain items that retain protection or spiritual healing properties for their owners.
Medicine bags vary in size and are considered good luck due to the items inside. They are also holy and prohibited from touching the ground. Many things such as herbs, animal teeth, tobacco, feathers, stones and coins are stored in these bags. Content was usually kept as a secret from others to conserve the holiness.
The bags were sometimes buried with the owner or passed down from generation to generation.
The materials needed for the medicine bag are:
- Buckskin or cowhide leather
- Leather punch
- Beads, feathers
- Rawhide lace
All of these items can be purchased at most local craft stores.
For more information or questions, email HistoryInquiries@Chickasaw.net.