Osage Indian Customs and Myths
By Louis F. Burns
Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press
2005. xvi+ 230 pp. $19.95 (paper)
Review by George Sabo, Department of Anthropology,
University of Arkansas
An Osage on Osages Louis F. Burns, a member of the
Osage Mottled Eagle clan, has written several
excellent books on Osage history and culture. This
latest volume provides the general reader as well as
the specialist a valuable introduction to Osage
ceremonial customs and associated traditional
narratives. The book is divided into two parts. Part
1, “Customs,” begins with a chapter describing the
Little Old Men. This is a group of elders who,
having devoted their lives to study and
contemplation, are charged with the responsibility
of upholding community spiritual, moral, and ethical
values. The Little Old Men functioned as the keepers
of the sacred lore that forms the primary subject
matter of this volume.
Seven additional chapters follow, detailing Osage
ceremonial life in the contexts of government,
religion, family life, food production, warfare,
funeral observances, and sundry other affairs. Part
2, “Myths,” presents traditional narratives in two
short chapters dealing respectively with genesis
accounts and general myths. These traditional
narratives provide the conceptual framework on which
the ceremonial life of the community is based, a
point that I wish the author had addressed in
greater detail. The bulk of the material presented
in the book pertains to a bygone era when Osages
existed as an in-dependent, native North American
tribe. Indeed, the primary source for the
information presented in the book is the voluminous
work of Francis La Flesche, an Omaha Indian who
worked for the Bureau of American Ethnology during
the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
on the book of your choice
By Luke Easter
Thousands of years
worship was being conducted at this sacred site,
Elders of many nations
from the four corners traveled day and night,
Some pilgrimages lasting
several years to curative waters, Nowasalon,
Sharing the gift, Breath
of Healing, as darkness blossomed into dawn.
Throughout the centuries
there has been entirely to much lost to neglect,
But, The Manataka
American Council exists to preserve and protect,
Now a poetic tribute to
help elevate factual timeless covered-up rights,
Using former knowledge
thereby enhancing the journey of modern life.
50's and 60's, were my
informative years as I attended various schools,
Indiana, Ohio and New
York it was all the same, Indian was bad news,
Every single movie or
television show, only cowboys could be heroes,
Not until half a century
later a fraction of the truth I'd come to know.
read more here!
Did you submit a prayer request above? If so, please
send us an update.
We are reluctant to remove anyone without knowing if more
prayers are needed.
Kade Matthew Christensen, Melbourne, Australia
Born August 15 at 4:46 p.m. to Renee Ann-Maree Smith
and Luke Christensen and has the same birthday of his big 13 year-old sister,
Cheyenne Craft. Baby and family are doing well.
Grandparents are Manataka members Lynn Dream Dancer
Smith and Baz Guy of Gleneagle in Queensland, who are coordinators of the
Manataka Gatherings in Australia.
"... isn't he the most gorgeous baby you've ever seen
..... ahhhh," said Grandmother.
Happy Birthday Helen RedWing Vinson!
On November 25, Thanksgiving
Day, everyone in the U.S.A.
celebrates Helen Redwing's
birthday with a big dinner!
She's 73-years old and
Have a wonderful birthday!
Phil Hodgson (Australia) A brave man and
Phil was unexpectedly diagnosed with terminal lung cancer 10 weeks
ago and has passed away. He was told by the doctors that there is nothing they can do for him. He is
being incredibly brave about it all and seems to be going out of his way to
reassure all his family and friends that he is good with this. he says he has
lived a great life and there is nothing in it that he regrets nor would he
change anything. His family and friends scattered across Australia are rallying
to help and support Phil as best we can. I pray to Creator that Phil receives
the healing and support that is right and perfect for him on all levels of his
being as Creator and he will. I give thanks for being able to support my
brother/friend at this time. Thank you. ~ Lynn Guy
(Akwesasne Mohawk Nation Territory)
the great Mohawk spiritual
teacher, has died. Swamp, a member of the Wolf Clan whose Mohawk name
“Tekaronhianeken” means “where two skies come together,” passed away
unexpectedly on the morning of Oct. 15 at Massena Memorial Hospital in Massena,
N.Y. He was 68. Swamp was a diplomat, author, teacher, chief, husband, father,
grandparent, great-grandparent and friend to many. He was a Mohawk sub-chief and
ambassador of the Mohawk Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) confederacy for
more than 30 years in which he served as a counselor and spiritual leader. His
responsibilities included presiding over ceremonies, including birth and
marriage ceremonies, counseling, and funeral rites. He also participated in the
politics of the nation and confederacy. One of the most respected and beloved
Haudenosaunee leaders of the past century, Swamp has been described as patient,
gentle, compassionate, humble, generous, intelligent and kind. He was noted too
for his sense of humor. In 1979, he founded the Akwesasne Freedom School,
a Mohawk language immersion school that was critically acclaimed and which today
serves as a model to many indigenous peoples in the United States and Canada. He
helped develop its curriculum based on the traditional values of the
Haudenosaunee. Swamp was an orator with a powerful command of the Mohawk
language and possessed great knowledge about the history and cultural heritage
of the Haudenosaunee, which he shared at forums, conferences and classes across
the world. In 1984, Swamp founded the Tree of Peace Society, that is based on
the teachings of the Peacemaker and the formation of the Iroquois Confederacy.
He traveled the world, sharing Haudenosaunee knowledge and planting white pine
trees that symbolized universal peace. On the Tree of Peace Society
website, Swamp shared his vision for future generations: “I have envisioned a
day when all of our dreams become a reality. Our multicultural programs,
historical presentations, environmental forums, and youth and elders activities
have enjoyed great success and every positive accomplishment comes with
additional requests. This inspires me to continue the work and hopefully our
work inspires you to join in our efforts. I congratulate you if you have already
found the path to the peace we all seek and hope to cross paths with more like
minded people such as you.” Swamp is survived by his wife, Judy; seven children,
23 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, 12 siblings, and many nieces and
nephews. He was predeceased by a brother, Joseph. Funeral services will be
held today at 11 a.m. at the Mohawk Nation Longhouse. Burial will follow in
Solomon Road Cemetery in Frogtown, Akwesasne. Condolences and other support may
be sent to Tree of Peace Society, 326 Cook Road, Akwesasne, NY 13655.
~Lynn Guy 10-25-10
Lorretta Webster (Hobart, NY) One
of the last people to learn Oneida as a first language, died Sept. 27. She was
100. The Hobart native worked with the Oneida Language Revitalization Program, a
project launched in 1996 after a survey found that only 25 to 30 tribal elders
were fluent in Oneida.
Pearl A. Tridento, 88, of 333 Ridge St., Emmaus, PA died July 13, 2010 in
Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township. She was the widow of Joseph Tridento
and Paul Mindler. Born in Freemansburg, she was a daughter of the late Golden
John Widrig and Annie Eliza (Buss) Widrig. Survivors: Sons, Dennis Ritton
and Paul Mindler, Jr.; daughters, Carol Ritton Henderson and Darlene Gratton:
sister, Geraldine Hughes; 12 grandchidlren; 25 great-grandchildren; and nine
great-great-grandchildren. Services: Private. Arrangements are by
Bachman, Kulik & Reinsmith Funeral Home, Emmaus - Carol Henderson 09-01-10
Lisa is pictured with her family during the
holidays in 2009. Lisa is second from the left.
Lisa Thornton, 37,
(Independence, MO) Our beautiful sister passed
at her home on Monday, July 11, 2010. Lisa is a member of Manataka
and loved making journeys to the sacred mountain. She was born
February 27, 1973 in Kansas City, KS to Linda Louann VanBibber and James
Earl Thompson. She attended school and
completed general education in Kansas City, Mo. She went on to
attend Concord Career Institute, where she studied nursing to obtain
her LPN license. She married her husband, Herbert Thornton, in
February 2007. She was a member at Greater New Home Baptist Church,
where she was active in praise dancing and choir, and helped in any
other area where she was needed. Lisa was a true example of what God
expects of us, as His children. She knew no stranger, opened the
doors of her home to whoever was in need. You could not be hungry or
homeless and know her. For if you needed food, shelter or a place to
rest, she invited you in expecting nothing in return. She gave to a
fault, always putting herself last. Lisa was a loving wife,
daughter, mother, grandmother and friend. Lisa could be whatever you
needed, a mom, friend, carpenter, housekeeper, she didn't know how
to say "no." She had many talents, from hair and nails, to home
interior and was very gifted in photography. Lisa leaves behind a
legacy. We can all learn a lesson in humanity and humility from the
life she lead. She will live on in our hearts and be forever missed.
Lisa was preceded in death by her maternal grandmother, Ester Marie
Daniels, grandfather, Duane William Daniels, paternal grandfather,
Earl Dewain Thompson, grandmother Wanda Johnson. She leaves behind
her husband, Herbert L. Thornton, son, Romeo Duane James Templeton,
daughters, Paris Vivienne Rehsaun Templeton and Imani Tobi Mariah
Thompson; grandchildren, Cameron Isaiah Oberndorfer, Phoenix Jameson
Lane Burgess; sisters, Dana Sue Terry, Tina Marie Lyle, Courtney
Leeann Hockman; mother Linda Louann VanBibber and father, James Earl
Thompson, along with a host of other relatives and friends. A
visitation will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 17, at The
Greater New Home Baptist Church, 501 S. Arlington, Independence. A
funeral service will follow the visitation and begin at 11 a.m.
Flowers will be accepted, or memorials may be made to The Greater
new Home Church C/o The R.O.C.K. House Women's Shelter. Arrangements
are made by Heartland Cremation & Burial Society (816) 313-1677.
Standing Yellow Horse
Merlin crossed over Tuesday, June 22, 2010. A
graveside service will be held at 10:00am at Springdale Cemetery in
Peoria, with Pastor Dan Lybarger officiating. If anyone would like to
view and/or put something with Merlin, please arrive around 9:45am. The
graveside service will follow the Wasco Nation traditional practices. In
lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a trust fund for his
son, Emerson Forrest Standing Yellow Horse, at any CEFCU. After
the service, a potluck luncheon and give away will follow at Dayspring
Church (201 N Norwood Place, East Peoria), please bring a dish to
share. If anyone would be willing to be at the church to help receive
people/food and be sure tables are ready, please contact either
309-698-6103 or 309-363-8772. On behalf of Pastor Dan and the entire NAF
Family, we offer our prayers and deepest sympathies to little Emerson
and his mother Nicole. To our brother, Merlin, we will miss you but we
know that you are now with our Creator. May the teachings that you
shared with us continue to educate and enhance our entire NAF Family.
In our Creator’s name.
Bonaparte (Hogansburg, NY)
"Ahawenra:the," 48, a native of Akwesasne, passed away on Wednesday morning,
June 16, 2010 at his home on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation after a
courageous battle with cancer.
Friends may call at the home of Michael "Gus" Pyke, Pyke Road, Akwesasne,
beginning Friday, 8 p.m. until 10 a.m. Sunday. A traditional funeral service
will be held Sunday, 11 a.m. at the Longhouse. Burial will follow in Frogtown.
Arrangements are with the Donaldson Funeral Home, Massena. Brad is survived by
his wife, Leslie; and their children, Yanenowi and Graham "Oshna;" and four
additional children, John, Kari, and Zachary Bonaparte, and Nicole Traylor and
her husband, Jon; his mother, Rosemary Tarbell Bonaparte; his father, Joseph
Bonaparte and his wife, Andrea; his siblings, Darren Bonaparte, Dawn Lazore and
her husband, Mathew, Brittany Bonaparte, and Joseph Bonaparte and his wife,
Becky; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Brad was born Jan. 7, 1962 in Syracuse, the son of Rosemary Tarbell Bonaparte
and Joseph Bonaparte. He attended local schools and graduated from Potsdam State
He was currently the executive director of the Ronathahon:ni Cultural Centre. He
was also an EMT for the Mohawk Council and an Ironworker in several different
places including Ground Zero and Nine Mile Point. He was a traditional
storyteller and an artist with several projects including those at the Mohawk
School, the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino and at the Seneca-Alleghany Casino.
Memorial contributions may be made in Brad's memory to the
Akwesasne Cancer Support Group, Hospice of Erie County or Roswell Park Chemo
Therapy Infusion Facility.
Condolences may be made online
Clarence Wolf Guts (Wanblee, Pine Ridge, SD)
the towers of the World Trade Center fell on Sept. 11, 2001, Clarence
Guts asked his son to call the U.S. Department of Defense to see if the country
needed his code talking abilities to find Osama Bin Laden. Wolf Guts was in his
late 70s at the time, so his son, Don Doyle, did not make the call, but said the
request personified his father's love of country.
Wolf Guts, 86, the last surviving Oglala Lakota code talker, died Wednesday
afternoon at the South Dakota State Veterans Home in Hot Springs.
A Native American code talker from World War II, Wolf Guts helped
defeat Axis forces by transmitting strategic military messages in his native
language, which the Japanese and Germans couldn't translate.
The 450 Navajo code talkers were the most famous group of Native
American soldiers to radio messages from the battlefields, but 15 other tribes
used their languages to aid the Allied efforts in World War II. Wolf Guts was
one of 11 Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Native American code talkers from South
Dakota. Wolf Guts, of Wamblee, enlisted in the U.S. Army on June 17, 1942, at
age 18. While in basic training, a general asked Wolf Guts if he spoke Sioux. He
explained the three dialects to the general and said he spoke Lakota. Wolf Guts
helped develop a phonetic alphabet based on Lakota that was later used to
develop a Lakota code. He and three other Sioux code talkers joined the Pacific
campaign; Wolf Guts' primary job was transmitting coded messages from a general
to his chief of staff in the field. Pfc. Wolf Guts was honorabl
"Clarence Wolf Guts was an
American hero; he was courageous and self-sacrificing. I have a
great deal of respect for Clarence and for the extraordinary
contributions Mr. Wolf Guts made to our country.
Tim Weaver (Yakima, WA) -- Longtime Yakama
Nation attorney Tim Weaver left behind big shoes to fill, a tribal leader
said Tuesday, a day after his death.
Weaver, a champion of American Indian law who battled in court for Yakama
fishing rights, died at home Monday. He was 65. He will be remembered as
an aggressive attorney who was an advocate for tribal treaty fishing rights and
who honored the Yakamas' way of life, said Yakama General Council Vice
Chairwoman Mavis Kindness.
Memory of Bill Prezwoznik
Silver Fox Prezwoznik was one of the
four founders of Manataka.
His wisdom and love guided
Manataka through its infancy
and his words and unselfish
deeds are often remembered. We love you Bill.
Corbin Harney Spiritual Leader of the
Western Shoshone Nation who dedicated his life to fighting the
nuclear testing and dumping. He
loved and cared for his family, friends
and all creation.
Memory of Granny Messenger
over a 1,000 grandchildren
but never bore a child. Her
memory will live with us
Messenger was a wonderful
school teacher, political
activist, owner of "Granny's
Junkology" and constant
supporter of Manataka.
She was loved greatly.
In Memory of Lance Selvidge
definition of a Martyr:
1: A person who
voluntarily suffers death as
the penalty of witnessing to
and refusing to renounce a
belief. 2: A person
who sacrifices something of
great value, especially life
itself for the sake of
principle. Lance, we
are all better because you
walked this world, we will
all become better because
you look back with eyes from
the angels world. Thank You.
The Selvidge Family. Little
Memory of Ruby Gilliham
We will always
remember this gracious and beautiful
woman in our hearts. She will
remain a part of Manataka forever.
(picture: Members of the Kootenai-Salish Tribe
assist with her funeral.
Greg Gilliham, Little Rock.
In Loving Memory of Jesse William "Stretch" Devereaux
Born: February 11, 1980, Santa Paula, California
Entered to Rest: July 29, 2009, Blythe, California
It was a great honor for Jesse to participate in Bear Dance Purification Lodge ceremonies on the Tule River reservation at Porterville, California. A memorial service was conducted on August 15 by the Zion Lutheran Church and an American Indian memorial ceremony was conducted on the sacred Manataka on December 5, 2009.
ELDER COUNCIL MEETING
The October Elder Council meeting
was held Sunday, October 17 with all Elders present.
The opening prayer was given by
Ceremonial Elder Linda Two Hawk Feathers James.
September minutes were sent to
Elders sometime following the meeting and
were approved with no changes.
MAIC currently has zero long-term and zero
All property taxes for the
previous year are paid. Cash flow is steady and all
needs are being met -- except the planned journey to
Australia and the 2011 Powwow (discussed below)
(a) Elders denied a request to use the
name Manataka for a business in Australia.
(b) Elders tabled a request for vendor
status for a non-member.
(a) Venezuela Tribal Representatives - King Coke.
2011 Powwow Committee -
Drum Project Flag Contest - Lee Standing
Bear. Contest ended August 30. The first place
winner was disqualified after a complaint was filed
claiming too many colors were used - against contest
Australia Gathering Journey - Amanda Morning Star -
Manataka Rummage Sale - Rebecca Flaming Owl
(a) Per diem procedures
for travel expenses was tabled. No action.
Standing Committee Reports:
Gray Hawk Coke
Ceremonies: Linda Two Hawk
Education Committee: Fred Wilcoxson
Smoke Signal: Lee Standing Bear Moore
Women's Council: Rebecca Flaming Owl Moore
Manataka American Indian Council Elders and
Becky Flaming Owl Woman Moore,
Women's Council Chair
Linda Two Hawk Feathers James,
NAGPRA / Ceremonies
Lee Standing Bear,
Secretary / Historian / Smoke Signal News
Robert Gray Hawk Coke,
Counseling Committee Leader
Daniel Seven Hawk Eyes Hoffman -
Fred Wilcoxson, Education
Public Relations Committee
Membership Committee Leader
Elders frequently communicate by telephone and email. Any
member who wishes to appear before the Elder Council is invited to write
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 501-627-055 to be placed on the agenda.
PAID YOUR DUES?
Now is a good time to support the many programs, services and
events of MAIC. We can always use a donation. Pay by check or credit card
online. It's easy, secure and fast!
Or send to: MAIC, PO Box 476, Hot
Springs, AR 71902
FOOD BASKETS NEEDED NOW!
people are hungry often throughout the year.
Please bring or send non-perishable food items. Gift cards for food from
Walmart, Safeway, Krogers and other stores are great.
Try Native Remedies for Pets:
100's of native
Cure the Cause
Don't just treat the symptoms
100% Natural - Organic - No
Manufactured under strict
60-day Money-back Guarantee
Manataka American Indian Council
PO Box 476
Lee Standing Bear Moore
Carol Perez Petersen
Grandmother Selma Palmer
- Sheri Awi Anida Waya
Hawk With Seven Eyes Hoffman
Walks With Hawks
Missouri - John and
Missouri - Linda VanBibber
New York - Waynonaha Two
Bobby Joe Runninbear
Tennessee - RedWing and Gray
Texas - Robert King Coke - Grey Hawk
Texas - Maxine Elisi Swan Dancer Fulgham
Osceola Birdman Waters
Blue Panther Keeper of Stories
Andrea Crambit, California
Romaine Garcia, Colorado
Dr. Joseph Mercola
Organic Consumers Association
Corina Roberts, California
Scott Treaty, Lakota
Union of Concerned Scientists
Qwina H. and Irma West, Piaute
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material for research
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of international copyright law.
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Indian Council. Use of this trademark without the expressed
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prosecuted. 15 U.S.C. Section 1051(a), (b). The Smoke
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expressed written permission of MAIC is strictly prohibited and
violations will be prosecuted.
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