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October 1, 2013

Chickasaw royalty crowned at annual pageant

Ada —  ADA — Amid tears, laughs and smiles, three ladies were chosen to serve as Chickasaw Nation envoys during the 2013-14 Chickasaw Princess Pageant held Monday in Ada.

Savannah Nicole Burwell, 20, Faithlyn Taloa Seawright, 15, and Jacee Grace Underwood, 8, all of Ada, were crowned Chickasaw Princess, Chickasaw Junior Princess and Little Miss Chickasaw respectively, by Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby.

“It is a source of great joy to see these young ladies take pride in our culture as they contend for a place among Chickasaw royalty,” said Anoatubby. “All of these extraordinary young ladies exemplify the best qualities of what it means to be Chickasaw. We look forward to the new princesses taking up the mantle of culture bearer. They will be carrying on the proud tradition of all those who have done an exceptional job of representing the Chickasaw Nation.”

The newly-crowned Chickasaw Nation Princesses will travel to numerous events and gatherings throughout the year across several states.

The new royalty will have the honor and privilege of representing the Chickasaw Nation at various events nationwide during their one-year reign.

Contestants were judged on the basis of traditional dress, poise and random questions.

There was also a talent portion of the competition. Singing, instrumental performances, storytelling and dance were just a few of the talents displayed.

The winners received a crown, traditional dress, shawl, sash, trophy, gifts and cash prizes.

Savannah Nicole Burwell was selected as Chickasaw Princess.

Burwell is the 20-year-old daughter of Jason Burwell and Leta Miller Burwell. She is a sophomore at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, where she is majoring in business.

“Being Chickasaw Princess will open opportunities for me to share our rich history of who our people are. We are known as the “Great Unconquered and Unconquerable Chickasaw Nation” and, as I continue to learn, I do know much sacrifice and suffering was endured by our ancestors in creating the strong nation we are today,” she said.

“I enjoy being a role model to our young people and want to share how the old ways are the foundation of our success today. It’s important to know where we came from so we are prepared for the uncertainties of tomorrow.

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