Ruby Bolding, Cultural Artist, works as a part of the Choctaw Nation Historic Preservation Department to create historically accurate drawings of Choctaw people and history. Incorporating oral history, written sources, and archaeological data, some of her work depicts scenes from Choctaw traditional life that have never before been recorded visually. As a part of her work, Ruby honors living Choctaw people by featuring their faces in her historic representations.
Ruby’s Art Work
The Long Walk to Oklahoma
Permanently Displayed: The Old Washingtong State Park in Arkansas
In the left forefront a man is drinking water from a gourd. The bucket at that time was most likely Government Issue. Above this man is an 1830’s wagon. To the left of the wagon is a young girl with a burden basket on her back. This basket was usually used to haul gathered plants. To the upper right of the wagon is a woman showing that the burden basket is carried with a strap across the forehead. The next figure to the right is using a long stirring paddle to stir hominy. Hominy is made from corn that is dried in the husk. To the upper right of this woman is a young girl pounding corn kernels in a kiti, a mortar made by burning a bowl-like indentation in a three or four foot section of a small tree trunk. To her right is a man knelt in prayer. The Choctaws had embraced Christianity and brought their spiritual beliefs with them. To the far right is a man stirring hominy. Hanging from his belt are two sticks used in the Choctaw game of ishtaboli (stick ball). To the lower left of this man is a woman seated holding a basket of corn. Beneath her is a little girl holding a doll made of corn husks. To her left is a small boy placing a dart into a blow gun made from river cane.
Note: All the baskets show authentic Choctaw weave, and all the pottery reflects authentic Choctaw design.
Minnie Got Biscuit?
This Project was done at the request for a logo for the Foster Care Program.
The artist remembered a story one of the leaders had told her of his own childhood. As a young boy caught in a difficult situation with his mother’s boyfriend, he found himself locked out of the house often with no food. So he would walk through the woods to the small home of a Choctaw women. He would ask, "Minnie got biscuit?" Over the course of time this elderly Choctaw woman, Minnie, taught this boy to hunt rabbits and squirrels. To this day that boy, now a man, credits Minnie with saving his life. That was the foster care program of those days.
Choctaw Winter Hunting Lodge
Choctaw Confederate Soldier
Choctaw Confederate Soldier was made for the Iti Fabvssa Article "Choctaw Nation and the American Civil War". This picture shows what a Choctaw Confederate Soldier would have looked like during the American Civil War in Indian Territory in the 1860’s.
Choctaws Drying Jerky
This picture of a Choctaw atlatl, or Nan Ishpela, was drawn for the Iti Fabvssa Article "The Awesome Atlatl". This picture represents what a Choctaw river cane atlatl looks like, as well as one possible way they can be held.
Choctaw Garden was created for the Iti Fabvssa Article "Choctaw Agriculture". This drawing represents Choctaw women working in a traditional choctaw agricultural field. Close up on the left you can see Three Sisters’s plans being grown (Choctaw varieites of corn, beans, and squash) as well as a Choctaw women using a digging stick and a deer shoulder blade hoe.
Muscle Shell Pottery
Sidney White’s Stickball Sticks
Trail of Tears Crossing
The Rabbit Hunt