Zigler exhibit chronicles history, culture and people of local Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana

Published 1:46 pm Friday, June 2, 2023

An exhibit of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana will be on view until Sept. 29 at the Zigler Art Museum, 154 N. Main Street.

The “Ko-kowassatok-om Ii-stil-ka-konaam: We Are Koasati, We are Still Here” exhibit opens with a special reception at 6 p.m. tonight, June 1 at the museum. The reception and exhibit is open free to the public.

The exhibit chronicles the history, culture and people of the local Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, who have made their home near Elton for more than 200 years.

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The exhibit coincides with the 50th anniversary of tribe’s federal re-recognition on June 27, 2023.

“We have been hoping to host an exhibit like this with the Coushatta Tribe for a long time,” Museum Director Tesha Oneillion said.

The exhibit is a walk through on the history, culture and people of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana.

“This is a look at the earliest roots of our state,” Oneillion said, adding that the exhibit will be a place people can learn more about the Coushatta Tribe.

The exhibit will feature a timeline of the tribe, along with posters about different aspects of Coushatta history and culture including its language, dance, food, maternal clans and how they settled in this part of Southwest Louisiana. Native American artwork, traditional dress, books and photographs, many from the Coushatta Tribal archives, will also be included as part of the exhibit.

The highlight of the exhibit will be the Coushatta baskets.

During the 20th century, Coushatta women began to utilize their basketry skills to provide income by creating river cane baskets and long leaf pine needle baskets for trade or sale.

As long leaf pine needle baskets increased in admiration for their beauty and precision, Coushatta baskets became sought after for exhibitions throughout the United States. This practice grew into the present international market for Coushatta baskets as both commodities and highly prized art forms.

The museum is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. It is closed on Sunday.

Admission to the museum is free.

For more information, contact the museum at 337-824-0114 or follow them on Facebook.