When Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto and his army crossed through this geographical area almost five centuries ago, the Chickasaw people had already settled here. “First Encounter,” a presentation Monday at noon at the Columbus Arts Council’s Rosenzweig Arts Center, 501 Main St., explores the historic experience.
Dr. Brad Lieb and Dr. Charles Cobb will share their expertise and introduce the 28-minute documentary, “First Encounter.” Lieb is tribal archaeologist with the Chickasaw Nation Division of Heritage Preservation. Cobb is a professor of archaeology with the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Historians know that de Soto’s initial encounter with the Chickasaws occurred somewhere along the Tombigbee River in December of 1540. The film presents an interpretation of this pivotal event in North American history. Following the documentary there will be a discussion of current archaeological research on 16th century Chickasaw settlement patterns and possible de Soto contact in the prairie land west of the Tombigbee River.
Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby said it is important to note the documentary tells the story from the Chickasaw point of view.
“Hernando de Soto is a significant historical figure who had a profound effect on the Chickasaw Nation and the history of North America,” said Anoatubby on the Chickasaw Nation website. “While our first encounter with de Soto has been told from other points of view, we believe our perspective adds significant context to the historical narrative.”
The Chickasaw Heritage Series film earned top honors as Best Documentary at the Trail Dance Film Festival in 2015.
Brown bag lunch
Those attending are invited to bring a brown bag lunch. Drinks and desserts will be provided. The event is free.
This program is a joint effort of the Columbus Arts Council, the Division of Heritage Preservation of The Chickasaw Nation, the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Billups-Garth Foundation and the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library.
For more information, contact the CAC, 662-328-2787 or visit columbus-arts.org.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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