I enjoy writing about Osages, particularly those Old Osages of the distant past. Osages of any period in time, really. The ancient Osages lived with nature, learning from nature, and they lived that way for several centuries and came out of it with a well-organized view of the world. It is a view of the world that provides some successful strategies for living on this earth.
They had the Clans that organized and explained the relationship between humans and the world around us.
Of course, there are many groups of people who have successfully learned how to endure and to live on this Earth, but I am not part of those other groups.
It seems Osage People are pretty well pleased to be where we are at this point in our history. Simply enduring as a People was quite an accomplishment, and the People went beyond simply enduring as a People.
The Osage Mineral Estate is one good way of measuring how successful a group of Osage people have been. Someone will always point out that the Mineral Estate is not perfect because it does not benefit all Osages. However, when you know the whole story, and you look at how that story could have turned out, it is a little easier to accept the idea that over the long haul, the Osages have come out very well with the Mineral Estate.
The Mineral Estate remains a challenge that the Osage People will face and will handle. The history of the Osage Mineral Estate is on our side.
We just finished a period of traditional, meaningful dances that in recent history takes place during the month of June. When I was a child I remember several Older Osage People question whether or not we would have tribal dances. They were talking about In-Lon-Schka.
It is true that we are fortunate to have In-Lon-Schka. There have been many people who are dedicated to keeping it as an active part of the Osage life.
Also, as a child I remember a few adults saying to us, “You children, enjoy this dance while you can, because this dance may not be here when you are grown.” I am sure those were just words of caution. I believe they had just endured a historic period when much of what was known and admired as being Indian seemed to be disappearing, and that was during their lifetimes.
I cannot think of Osage People of today’s world without In-Lon-Schka. It seems to bring the People from the past and present together in a way that is most meaningful.
One of my earliest memories I have that relates to the Osage People is hearing the adults say that we are the only tribe that is organized in the way Osages are organized. Osages of the past and present have been able to deal with new and complex ideas of government, economic, and cultural affairs. There is no good reason we will not continue.