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By Louis F. Burns

Lines four hundred years of Osage tradition from prehistoric instances to the group's present prestige as an formally well-known tribe.Osage conventional lands can be found in mid-continental the USA encompassed by means of the present-day states of Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. significant waterways via those lands and the defensible terrain of the Ozark variety supplied the tribe a special virtue in prehistoric and early old occasions. A warlike humans, the Osage lengthy encroached on neighboring tribal lands, in particular these of the Caddo to the southwest. but solid traditional barriers and centuries of luck in conflict afforded the tribe little virtue in makes an attempt to prevent Euro-American westward growth. 3 significant routes to the West—the Missouri and Arkansas Rivers and the Continental Trail—crossed Osage land, so clash with the novices was once inevitable.Louis Burns attracts on ancestral oral traditions and learn in a extensive physique of literature to inform the tale of the Osage humans. He writes in actual fact and concisely, from the Osage point of view. First released in 1989 and for a few years out of print, this revised version is augmented by way of a brand new preface and maps. as a result of its masterful compilation and synthesis of the identified info, A background of the Osage humans is still the simplest reference for info on a tremendous American Indian people.Louis F. Burns, of Osage-French-Scottish history, is a member of the Mottled Eagle extended family and writer of six books, together with Symbolic and ornamental paintings of the Osage humans.

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Because of this, the Osages were cosmopolitan in many facets of their culture. Since virtually all the North American Indian cultures were basically continental cultures, this made the midcontinent location of the Osages especially signi¤cant. The location of the Osages at the northwestern edge of the Ozark Uplift was also a great advantage. Uplifted plateaus, such as the Ozarks, are among the most rugged land forms known to man. History records that a handful of Spartans seriously delayed a vast Persian army at the narrow pass of Thermopylæ.

One, called the Little House of Mysteries, was placed in charge of the Isolated Earth People. Ironically, or maybe wisely, this was the House of Peaceful Ceremonies. For example, the Isolated Earth clan always conducted the naming ceremonies. The other house was called the Big House of Mysteries and it was placed in charge of the Black Bear or Radiant Star clan. All ceremonies of war, which included the hunt since it too involved taking life, were held in this house. Generally, throughout the ceremonial songs, the expression, “it has been said,” refers to the house of peace and the expression, “it has been said in this house,” refers to the house of war.

Even here, a retreat into the Ozarks would have forestalled a fruitful invasion. The fortress, which was their homeland, provided a secure base for Osage expansion. It is worth noting that this base also lay across three of the four routes to the American West—the two river routes of the Missouri and Arkansas Rivers and the ancient Continental Trail. For over a century and a quarter, the Osages denied the effective use of these routes to EuroAmericans. Only the western portion of the Continental Trail which lay beyond Osage territory was ever used by Euro-Americans to reach the Far West.

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