A History of the Osage People

A History of the Osage People

A History of the Osage People

A History of the Osage People

Excerpt

Several improvements have been made in this Osage history. Most of Part One has been almost entirely omitted in order to enable the reader to start right off with the Osages. The appendices have also been deleted. Since the botany section, added originally as a point of interest, was general and not Osage specific, it was not needed here. The biographical section has been reluctantly left out to conserve space.

A number of corrections were necessary. An incredible amount of archaeological developments have occurred in the past decade, and the same is true of Indian literature. This new information has been added.

Most of the additions are clarifications. Transmitting a thought from one person to another can be tricky. Rereading something years after it was written often allows one to see the need for clarification. A signi¤cant addition is a redesigned population (1878) graph (Fig. 25) that allows the reader to view the entire graph on one page. The use of story in lieu of myth in this account must be justified. There are, of course, distinctions among myth, legend, and folk tales. However, that myth is sometimes taken as a fable is a deep concern. Myths should always be taken as a part of sincere religious devotion.

In the haste to get the history into print, its original preface omitted an important recognition, that is, not giving acknowledgment to a dear, sweet man, Dr. Abraham P. Nasatir, who gave us a whole day of his valuable time. If the Spanish period in the Osage history has special merit, it is because of the late Dr. Nasatir. The first preface acknowledges my wife Ruth as my helper for forty-four years. Now, in 2002, I must thank her for fifty-seven years.

As a final note, I would like to stress again the lessons of the Osage experience as exposed in the history. The first lesson is that of being adaptive to change—this is the only constant. The second is to love the earth, for it is all we have.

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