Date of Award

8-1-2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Hill, Jonathan

Abstract

Collective memories and how they are enacted through sensual experience of the material world play a key role in maintaining group identities. Material creations like art or social activities such as sports incorporate the social ideals of both the past as well as present; these creations can transform feelings of personhood into socialized objects. This thesis examines some of the creative expressions found within Oklahoma Choctaw revitalization practices to better understand how people maintain cultural sensory embodiments after they have experienced extreme social dislocation. Through the examination of the senses from an ethnographic approach a researcher can possibly identify those areas of culture that become embodied over time. I will be examining previously written research, oral histories pertaining to the Choctaw origin, and key material expressions of Choctaw identity alongside the contemporary practices associated with the current Choctaw revitalization efforts in Oklahoma.

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