In-Lon-Schka has come and gone at this end of June and I am tired and weary from the dances and from the extracurricular activities that come with it, which is the fellowship with my Osage family and friends but it is a good fatigue.
The Saturday night dance was cool, literally it was 75 degrees, which is a rarity at Pawhuska in June when the temperatures usually hover at 100 degrees.
Although at my age I was not able to dance, I was still grateful. I was able to sit in the stands with my brother C.R. Red Corn, my cousins Wakon Red Corn and Keith Robinson as well as my longtime friend Paul “Doon” Stabler. We told old football stories from our days at Pawhuska High School in the 1950’s and reminisced of our childhood running around Indian Camp. I am thankful these men I have known for over 80 years are still in my life.
I enjoy all In-Lon-Schka dance days but Sunday is my favorite because of the songs honoring Osage individuals.
It moves me to no end seeing Osage families and friends dancing around the drum to honor worthy individuals. Each family remembering their ancestors and bringing the present to loved ones’ memory.
My brother Andrew “Buddy” Red Corn has a song honoring him and I was able to honor him by dancing around the drum. Although at my age I was only able to dance around the drum in my wheelchair, I am grateful my grandson Miles, who was dressed in his Osage dance clothes, could push me around as we honored my brother. Being near the drum person was invigorating and soothed my soul as well as made me feel near my brother, who is not in this world anymore but he was there nonetheless.
One of my favorite songs is The Lady Singers song. At the end of the song when it is all the lady singers singing by themselves it gives me chills hearing their harmonizing beautiful voices.
Another honor song is the Cook song, because our dances wouldn’t be complete without the food at each camp prepared lovingly by our Cooks. The food prepared and served before and after each dance sustains us as we dance around the drum. The cooks are the backbone of our dances and I thank them for their hard work.
As I sat in the stands I marveled at how large our dance arbor is and the many dancers filling it, including the dancers who are children who are now participating in the In-Lon-Schka. It makes me feel good to know our dances will continue well into the future.