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The Osage Language

My childhood memory retains many images of Old Men and Women, dressed Osage. In my memory there are Old Men speaking to The People in our unique and ancient language of Osage.  I remember how sometimes those Old Men would move their Eagle Fans in order to bring life to a thought they were expressing. There were times when they did not hold a fan. During those times they were simply wearing a blanket, it did not matter, they were something to see and to hear.

Those occasions were much like occasions we have today. Occasions such as gathering under one of the arbors, or maybe a funeral that mourns the departure of one of our People, or a gathering to examine a political development, or a prayer in one of the Churches. Osages are a praying People.

Each of those wise Old Men expressed his thoughts clearly through the beautiful cadence and rhythm of formal Osage Oratory. It is a rare sound. 

When those Old Men had delivered their thoughts they would sometimes translate those strong and powerful words into another beautiful form of speech. 

That other beautiful form of speech I speak of was the manner those Osages of the past had when translating clear thoughts into spoken English. That old way of interpreting beautiful thoughts and verses into English also has a unique cadence and rhythm and sentence structure. They had a way of putting those thoughts into words that brought an added beauty to the language called English. 

Those Old People were not trying to persuade their listeners to some point of view, rather, they were teachers who were repeating knowledge they had spent their lives learning from previous generations of elders, knowledge that teaches humans how to live life on this earth.