08
Aug
12

A Choctaw story

The Great Seal of the Choctaw NationMy mother is American. She was born and raised in Oklahoma, before she met an Englishman and emigrated to the UK in the 1970s. Her family, originally from a small town called Spiro, has given me some Native American roots: my mum is 1/8 Native American, which makes me 1/16… a tiny fraction, you might think, but it’s enough to make me eligible for membership in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

More specifically, then, this family heritage is Choctaw, the Native American tribe that gave “Oklahoma” its name (literally translated, a word meaning “red people”). The Choctaw people have a fascinating history that stretches from antiquity right up to the modern day. In one interesting episode from 1918, the Choctaw language was used as an Allied code in the First World War… because only a handful of people in the world could understand it.

I’ve always felt far removed from this strain of my DNA. Living in England, in the Old World that’s so very different to the New World, it’s easy to lose sight of my American roots – specifically the Native American side, which can feel distant and dislocated from the British culture I’ve grown up in.

In an effort to get back in touch with this Native American heritage, I did some research on Choctaw mythology and wrote a short comic script called “The Heart of Thunder”. It deals with a few figures from Choctaw legend and it’s quite sentimental in tone – borderline soppy, in fact… which is uncharacteristic for me. It felt somehow right for the story, though, so I decided to keep things that way. You can read the final script here: The Heart of Thunder_Script_R Norris

This story still needs an illustrator to truly come to life, so if anyone’s interested in lending their artistic skills – please get in touch!

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