DescriptionOK Reads Choctaw Road Discussion guide Crossing Bok Chitto Teaching Guide
"Oklahoma" comes from the Choctaw word "Okla Homma," meaning "Red People." In this, his first collection of stories, acclaimed storyteller and folklorist Tim Tingle tells the stories of his people, the Choctaw People, the Okla Homma. For years Tim has collected the stories of the old folks, weaving those tales into his own stories, mixing traditional lore with stories from everyday life. Thus, Walking the Choctaw Road has a mixture of contemporary stories of Choctaw people living their lives right now, historical accounts passed down from generation to generation, and stories arising from beliefs and myths.
In one of the eleven stories, Tim tells how audiences are always wanting to hear stories about the Indian Wars, so he tells about his own Indian War, which he calls "Archie's War," the 20-year war between his father and him which ended in hard-won respect and love for them both. In another he lets a five-year-old boy tell us a magical, tragic tale about "The Trail of Tears" when the U.S. government forcibly removed the Choctaw people from their homeland to Oklahoma. And in another a Choctaw preacher tells about his grandmother, a healing woman, who has a beyond-death relationship with her protector dog, Shob.Stories in Walking the Choctaw Road include:
- Crossing Bok Chitto
- The Beating of Wings
- Trail of Tears
- Bones on the Brazos
- The Choctaw Way
- Lizbeth and the Madstone
- Tony Byars
- Archie's War
- We Are a People of Miracles
"For a good many years now, Tim Tingle has been one of my favorite American storytellers. Invariably, his narratives honor the Choctaw traditions of his ancestors. Yet they are told with such poetic clarity that any good listener, whether Indian or not, will feel invited into that world, a place of memory and song, courage, magical reality, and the extraordinary lives of everyday folks. Delivered in Tim's quiet, down-home Indian voice, they're the sort of lesson stories that stick to you like a burr. The good news for readers is that these written versions of Tim's tales lose none of the gentle intensity of his memorable oral tellings. Walking the Choctaw Road, like one of those old Choctaw chants that kept the people's feet going along the long journey, will stay with you and lend you some of its strength. Cross the river with these stories: they'll give you safe passage."
Teachers: Walking the Choctaw Road is perfect for the classroom as a supplemental resource and here's a teacher's guide to help. This guide was created by the Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma folks after Walking the Choctaw Road won the Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma Statewide Literary Book Contest for 2005!