We know it to be true, listening to the generations before us will help us to endure as a People. We also know there are many ways of listening.
Probably the best way of listening would be to sit on a blanket on the ground in a half-circle and listen while an elder retells stories of the People, retelling those stories in the Osage Language. While that method of relaying that knowledge is not available to our generation, those teachings remain valuable.
Over a century ago the Smithsonian Institution sent a Czechoslovakian sculptor named Frank Micka to Osage Country to select Osages to sit as models. Micka created the likeness of ten Osages in plaster busts.
Those Osage plaster busts were created through the Smithsonian’s Department of Natural History to be shown during the California-Panama Canal Exposition in 1915-1916 as a part of the “Evolution of Man” exhibit.
For over a century the ten busts remained in the Smithsonian. In 2005 the director and staff of the Osage Museum contacted the Smithsonian and worked out an agreement that allowed the busts to be replicated and made permanently available to the Osage People’s museum.
Costs of the Osage Ten project has been paid through generous donations of friends of Osages and individual Osages and their families.
Nine of the “Osage Ten,” as the busts have become known, have been dedicated by the Osage People and are in the museum.
The last of the “Osage Ten” works of art and history will be presented on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 10 a.m. at the Constantine Theatre, Pawhuska. Lunch will follow.
Saturday’s event will feature the sculpture piece in the likeness of Wah Hrah Lum Pah, Margaret Goode. Wah Hrah Lum Pah is remembered as one of our elders that Osages listened to.
Truly an event Osages can be proud of.