My Mother, Emma Louise Gray Redcorn, Pah hu le ze, had many sterling characteristics. One of those characteristics was that she was a person of strong faith. At least once, as a child I remember her saying to me that, “There is nothing a person could say about being Indian that should make a person not want to be Indian.”
I remember being cheered up by whatever it was that brought the subject up in the first place. I do not remember if it was something that I had heard someone say, or maybe it was something else. I do not think it was something that I would have believed anyway, because being Indian is one of the most positive things I can think of, even now.
My Mother was Deer Clan and she played the Piano and did beautiful Osage Ribbon work. Also, she taught us how to dry corn.
When I became an adult she repeated those words about being Indian at least once. She did let me know that she was not talking about me or something I had done.
I remember her saying those words when I was in my early formative years, and another time when I was an adult. I do not remember precisely what the subject was when she made that statement. Still, those words have stayed with me all these years, and I believe them to be true.
I also tend to think there is a lot of history of positive reinforcement behind that phrase.
Of course, it is true those Old Osages, while not having a monopoly on egos they did have good and positive self-images, and why shouldn’t they have positive self-images.
They knew they came to Earth from the stars. They knew they were sent to Earth by the one who created all of us.
They also knew they had developed the skills that protected their domain well enough to hang on to ownership of one of America’s great energy reserves. There was enough there for Osages to be referred to as, the wealthiest People in the world
That is one view of Osages, but what was it that allowed those Old People to hang onto such valuable resources. I believe that hanging on to that valuable piece of the Earth was in keeping with an Osage way of looking at the world in general.
They observed the world around themselves and constructed a Clan system as a way of explaining creation, and they did it without making themselves the center of the whole picture.
Like I have pointed out in other comments, those Old Osages got up each morning and walked a short distance from the dwelling and welcomed the Sun and thanked Wa ko’n ta for their existence.
Charles Red Corn
Original Publish Date: 2015-05-27 00:00:00