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What does Biskinik mean?   

Many of the readers are asking, 'What does BISKINIK mean?'

  Biskinik is a, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker:  Medium woodpecker, black-and-white mottled upperparts, white rump, and yellow-washed white under parts.  Red throat, black border, Red crown, black and white striped face, neck.  Dark wings have white shoulder patch.  The black tail has black barred, white center strip scissortail appearance.

  However, it is the beliefs of the ancient Choctaws concerning Biskinik that caused the Chief and Tribal Council to choose this as the name for your Choctaw newspaper.

  According to Choctaw Legend, when the "returning  waters'(that is the Choctaw term for the Great Flood) came, two birds, the Biskinik and Folichik (the scissortail fly catcher), were the only two birds to escape  drowning by flying as high as they could and perching upside-down upon the sky.

   As it was, the waters came so high that the birds' tails hung down where the dashing waters caused their tail feathers to separate, thus making them split or scissortail.

  Because of their bravery, the two birds were blessed by God, and because Biskinik was as grateful for this blessing, God decreed that Biskinik would always be a special friend to his people, the Choctaw.

  To the Choctaw, Biskinik was the friendliest of birds, was accorded special treatment and became known as "the little Chahta news bird".  Biskinik would live around Choctaw homes, and let them know whenever someone was approaching; the friendly little woodpecker was also believed to accompany hunting parties or war parties when they went into the field.  Biskinik would warn the warriors of the approach of an enemy, or would indicate to them when game was near and in which direction they should travel to find this game.     Should an enemy force approach an encampment of Choctaw Warriors during the hours of darkness, Biskinik would warn them by tapping out messages on trees about the camp.  Since it is the intent of your Chief and editorial staff that this newspaper  should "bring news" to each Choctaw about what other Choctaws are doing and about what other people are doing to the Choctaws, what better choice for a name could there be other than Biskinik? So, please welcome the BISKINIK into your homes as your monthly "news bird" from other Choctaws.     

This article and others came from the Choctaw Nation Biskinik. To see more history please refer to the following sites.
Sounds of Choctaw - Social Greeting
Sounds of Choctaw - Weather
Lesson of the Day