Community , Culture

Osage delegation to take part in bicentennial celebrations for Smallin Civil War Cave in Missouri

Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear, Osage Language Director Vann Bighorse and Osage Language instructor Cameron Pratt will be part of the Smallin Civil War Cave’s bicentennial celebration activities on March 29.

A new Marker Tree dedication will take place at 10 a.m. and the Osage delegation has been invited as the cave was once home to the Osage, according to a staff archaeologist. The Smallin Civil War Cave was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places for its relationship with the Osage Nation and a special invitation has been extended to Osages living in the area. The dedication is free and open to the public.

According to a prepared release, “A ‘marker tree’ is a tree that has been bent and shaped when it is young to mark a significant location or direction. The tree that will be dedicated, a pignut hickory, faces east, the same as the 230-year-old black walnut marker tree already standing on the property. The dedication ceremony will include a discussion of the role of marker trees; the symbolic importance of the tree’s eastern direction; and a cedar smoke wash of the tree. This will serve to tell a portion of the Osage culture which once dominated the Ozarks.”

The Cave is located just south of Springfield, Mo., off Highway 65. Business hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. A one-hour guided tour is available for $9.95 per child, ages 4-12, and $17.95 for ages 12 and up. For more information call (417) 551-4545 or visit

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