FAM Mound

The FAM Mound connects our past with the present. This 21st-century FAM mound is a tribute to the many tribes in Oklahoma who descend from Moundbuilder cultures or have earthen architecture as part of their cultural lifeways. 

The FAM Mound path intersects with the Hall of The People and three outdoor Terraces. The Moon, Sun and Stars Terrace offer an opportunity to pause and connect with the elements.  The mound cradles the Festival Plaza and together acknowledge the earth as an integral part of native cultures’ collective past, present and future.

Oklahoma has a rich legacy of mound building cultures dating back to around 500 CE. The Caddo Nation and Wichita and Affiliated Tribes have always called this place home. Archaeological evidence demonstrates advanced trade networks were established with other cultural groups that spanned a large portion of the present-day United States.

The Spiro Mounds in eastern Oklahoma are considered one of the most important archaeological discoveries in North America.

—Oklahoma Archeological Survey 

The FAM Mound is 1,000 feet in diameter and ramps up to 90 feet high at the peak. It is a two-thirds of a mile roundtrip walk. 45,000 semi-truckloads of earth were brought in to build up the FAM mound.

Moon Terrace

The moon terrace recalls the story of the 13 moons on the turtle’s back. The Creator created turtles for a purpose. Creator created thirteen moons, or “thumb prints,” on the turtle’s shell to represent 13 cycles of the moon. The edge of a turtle’s shell also includes 28 sections, symbolizing the 28 days between one new moon to the next.

The scaled edges of a female turtle’s shell will flip up, recalling a shirt. Male turtle shells will have their scales straight down. Also, you will find a bow shape on the shell of the arch behind the turtle’s neck.


Some of these sites were built around things like the 17-year phase of the moon. There’s a lunar cycle that takes 17 years to complete and some of the mound sites were built in alignment with that…That depth of knowledge around all of those things is probably what led to these becoming epicenters. You can’t accomplish that growth and political and social organization without having a really strong understanding of the world in which you live.
—Stacey Halfmoon (Caddo/Choctaw/Delaware)

Sun Terrace

…there are only a few true powers. And that is our Father the Sun, our Mother, the Earth, the sacred moon that governs the rhythm, the water that is life, the very air that is the breadth that we are, the plants, all of the things that the great mystery put into place have reason, have life and have a right to continue…Our responsibility is for those generations to come and for the ancestors who left a path open for us to walk through, and to honor that, to honor who we are, and to lead the way.
–Casey Camp (Ponca)

Stars Terrace

Native people were really students and scholars of the natural world and very much a part of it… They understood the skies, the constellations, the movement of those over many, many, may years and were able to then alter an environment that completely aligned with those mounds. They were able to incorporate all of that, what they had seen into these mound constructions and even the layout.
–Knowledge Giver Don Fixico, PhD (Shawnee/Sac and Fox, Muscogee Creek/Seminole)