Brenda & Norris Samuels Collection

Languages Represented: The collection materials are in Choctaw and English.

Collection Date Range: 2001 - 2006

Creators: Brenda Samuels, Norris Samuels, Michael McCarty

Extent: 9 items

Abstract: Brenda and Norris Samuels collected audio and video footage that documents the Choctaw language and partnered with Rondell Kemp and Michael McCarty, multimedia specialist, Sam Noble Museum, to produce recordings of Choctaw hymns in Norman and Bethel, Oklahoma.

Acquisition Information: These records came to the Sam Noble Museum in 2006 and 2007, deposited by Mary Linn and Michael McCarty.

Access Restrictions: The records are open to research. Contact the NALC at 405-325-3332 or

Cite As: [title], [catalog number], Brenda & Norris Samuels Collection, Sam Noble Museum Department of Native American Languages.

Collection Scope and Contents:

Norris Samuels is a member of the Choctaw Nation. He has served as language instructor at the Oklahoma Choctaw Alliance and has collaborated on several books. He was a translator for author S.D. Brook during the writing process of Brook’s 2009 novel “A Cowboy In Time.” Along with his wife Brenda, Norris assisted Devon Abbot Mihesuah with his 2009 book “Choctaw Crime and Punishment, 1884-1907.”

Norris’s wife, Brenda, was born in 1959 in Bentley, Oklahoma. She was raised by her grandmother and was taught to speak fluently in her native Choctaw. She would later go on to be a teacher of the Choctaw language at the Oklahoma Choctaw Tribal Alliance Community Center and the University of Oklahoma until she passed away in 2009. Two years prior to her passing, the Brenda and Norris Samuels Collection was established.

The collection features video documentation of Choctaw, a language traditionally spoken by the Native American Choctaw people of the southeastern United States. Choctaw is one of six languages in the Muskogean language family still spoken today (the others being Alabama, Chickasaw, Creek-Seminole, Koasati and Mikasuki). Among the video footage are speeches, dances and prayers from the 2001 Choctaw Language Workshop in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and the 2001 Choctaw Language Program graduation ceremony.

Catalog #Title
BNS-001 Choctaw Language Workshop
BNS-002 Choctaw Language Program Graduation Ceremony, August 17, 2001
BNS-003The Lord's Prayer in Choctaw, Read by Norris Samuels
BNS-004 Choctaw Hymns, As Sung By Brenda and Norris Samuels and Rondell Kemp
BNS-005 Talking About Choctaw Hymns: Shape Note Singing
BNS-006 Choctaw Hymns, As Sung By Rondell Kemp
BNS-007 Choctaw Hymns, As Sung By Raymond Johnson
BNS-008 Choctaw Choir
BNS-009 Choctaw Hymns from Bethel, Oklahoma