How to Identify Choctaw Indian Arrowheads

Your arrowheads may be authentic Choctaw, or they may be modern reproductions.

The Choctaw Nation lived for thousands of years in the southeastern United States until forced removal to what is now Oklahoma. They were a farming society, growing corn as a staple crop. Wild game was also an important part of the Choctaw food culture and arrowheads used for hunting are sometimes found in the Mississippi River Valley and parts of Oklahoma and Texas. Due to extensive reproduction work, identifying real Choctaw arrowheads is difficult and best done with the help of a certified professional.

Look for Choctaw arrowheads in places where they are known to have lived, such as the Mississippi River Valley and Oklahoma. Be sure to ask for permission to hunt on any private lands. The best time to hunt is after several strong rains in a row. Since hunting parties would most often camp near water sources, check river banks and lake beaches for arrowheads. Make sure the lakes aren't modern, man-made lakes.

Inspect any found arrowheads for authenticity. The most common material for Choctaw arrowheads is flint. Any other material may mean the arrowhead is a reproduction rather than authentic. The edges of the arrowhead should look like they've been worked with rocks and hammers rather than modern machinery. The edges will probably not be smooth. You may be able to tell where laces wound around the arrowhead to attach it to the body of the weapon.

Send your arrowhead to a reputable certifier or dealer. Once you've determined that your arrowhead is likely authentic, contact an authorized antiquities dealer who specializes in Native American artifacts. Check local and online listings for "arrowhead certification." These certifiers are often current or retired archaeologists or experts in the field of Native American artifacts and can provide you with artifact evaluations and certificates of authenticity.

Take a photo of your arrowhead before sending it in for certification. Be sure to wrap the arrowhead carefully, mail the proper payment with your package and print your return address clearly on any required forms.

Nadia Nygaard has been writing and editing since 2005. She is published in "Farm and Ranch Living" and has edited projects as diverse as grant proposals, medical dissertations and tenant law handbooks. She is a graduate of the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in English and women's studies.