Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation
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The following is a brief summary of the ritual of selecting a mate and the wedding of a Choctaw couple.

The Courtship

The ancient manner of Choctaw courtship was quiet and fairly easy even for the bashful or timid young man.
When a young man had selected someone from his tribe he wanted to marry, he kept his decision in deep silence to himself.
Not even disclosing to the chosen one his desire to make her his bride. After selecting a girl, he then had to see if she would choose him back. He would put on his best clothing and with a fluttering heart put himself in the midst of the young maiden and her family.
In this instance, it is during a social event with dancing and song. He waited for an opportunity during the social dancing and song.
He waited for an opportunity during the social when he would be comfortable in making his move. When this moment came, he flipped a small pebble or token, which is carried for that purpose, toward the girl of his choice. She observed the source from which it came and understood the meaning of the little messenger of love. If she approved, she would slyly return the messenger in the same manner in which it came. If she did not approved, she would suddenly rise from her seat and frowning disapproval, would, leave the room.
As the Choctaw tribe in matriarchal, the two intended run separately to tell their aunts. The Aunts then question their relative’s choice with personal questions… If the aunts satisfied that they have made a good choice, they will approach a minister to ask for his services.

The Chase

On the wedding day, members of both families gathered at a designated site. The relatives of the bride had begun the day before, preparing food for the wedding feast.
Before either party sat down to eat, the girl at a given signal started away from the group on the run and her intended husband pursued her, with her being assisted by her relatives and him with his.
If the boy caught the girl too soon, she was considered weak and indifferent to the match and the wedding might be called off. On the other hand, if he were unable to catch her in a reasonable length of time, he might be considered weak and indifferent.

The Wedding

The Native American Indians respected the four cardinal directions and its effects on their social life. The Choctaw wedding included a firm instructional speech from the elder or presiding spiritual person to the couple. The couple is instructed to always face the oncoming life together and not to face each other in disrespect.