Norma Howard is a Choctaw-Chickasaw Indian. She began drawing at an early age, using the crayons her father would buy and later taught herself to paint using watercolors. Today, the images that Norma paints are a combination of personal reflection and Native American heritage.

     A central theme in all of Howard’s painting is family. She had seven brothers and sisters and her family often struggled against poverty on the same parcel of land that her mother, Ipokni, homesteading after walking almost 500 miles from Mississippi to Oklahoma in 1903. 

     In spite of financial hardships, however, Norma’s personal memories of her family tend to be joyful and exuberant. Whether painting images of youth play or remembering sharing the same bed with four sisters and her mother, the artist always manages to depict a deep sense of commitment and affection.

Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa now displays one of her paintings, "Gathering Corn," in its permanent collection.

She lives in Stigler, Haskell County, Oklahoma.



Choctaw Paintings

Norma Howard

Rt 2 Box 1687

Stigler, OK 74462





   “Choctaw Village” depicts a Choctaw family living 

around the Mississippi period. The corn was the main

 source of food, along with a summer garden, and a 

granary was set high on a post for the storage of

 vegetables. The huts were made from canes and covered

 with mud. This painting won “Best of Division” and “Best 

Traditional” at the 1998 Santa Fe Indian Market.

"Making Baskets"                                         


"When I was a child my mother spent many happy                          

 hours on my grandmother's back porch, as grandma

 and her sister made baskets for the family's use. The 

baskets were made from cane that was split with knives. "

---Norma Howard 


"Going to Town"

"After a week of work, it's Saturday morning and the father 

is taking his family into town. The family all loads up 

in the wagon. The mother and father discuss the grocery list

while the kids enjoy the ride." ---Norma Howard



"The Ballgame"

"The Snake Dance" won first place at the Santa Fe Indian Market in 1997.




"Kids in the Field" "One day, I heard a noise coming from the tall grassy fields behind my house. At first I thought it might be a pack of dogs, but then I realized that it was a group of small children playing some kind of game, holding hands and making sweeping gestures with their arms. seeing me they flashed a wide grin and began to wave happily. I have managed to capture the love and happiness that we share so many times as we ran carefree through the grassy fields."


"Summer Evening Cooking" was created as the poster for the Tulsa Indian Art Festival in 2000. It is typical of  Howard's work, depicting Indian women and children in a quiet, almost nostaglic scene.

"I remember that wherever my momma went, we kids were always hanging around while she and the other women went about what they had to do,"---Norma Howard.





"Dinner on the Ground"

These dinners were held outside after a family or church gathering. The wooden tables were generally full of all kinds of food. The boy and girl at the end of the table have their eyes on the pie.


"Raccoon Dance"

At the beginning of this dance, the boys and girls hold hands on musical cue. Each boy pursues a girl and runs around through the other dancers. The "chase" portion is an imitation of raccoons at play in the cornfield.

"Pickin Cotton"

My family and neighbors raised cotton and picked for wages. Cotton was a good cash crop and came in the fall before winter set in.

"First Day of School"

The first day of school was very special. The dress I am wearing was made by mom for this day. As she helps me get ready, my face shows the excitement and anticipation of this very special day.


Choctaw Paintings

Norma Howard, Rt 2 Box 1687, Stigler, OK 74462



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