The osage collection
The Osage Collection
Strong. Resilient. Enduring... Just some of the words that describe this extraordinary Native American tribe. The word "Osage" is actually the French version of their name: but amongst themselves, they are Wahzhazhe ( 𐓏𐓘𐓻𐓘𐓻𐓟 ), the "people of the middle waters." George Catlin, the 19th-century painter, described the Osage as "the tallest race of men in North America... many of them six and a half, and others seven feet." The missionary Isaac McCoy described the Osage as 'uncommonly fierce and courageous' and said they were the "finest looking Indians I have ever seen."
Like other Native American tribes, these proud, beautiful "giants" endured incredible hardships, from devastating epidemics to America's policy of manifest destiny which forced them off their land and destroyed a way of life that had existed for thousands of years. But one particular hardship was specific to the Osage alone and it's one many are only just hearing about. Soon to be a major motion picture, Martin Scorcese's film adaptation of David Grann's best-selling book, "Killers of the Flower Moon", starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro, tells the story of what was once called, The Osage Reign of Terror. While the actual number may never be known, it is estimated that a hundred or more Osage, mostly women and children, were systematically murdered in the 1920's for the wealth they'd acquired from oil leases on their land.
Because of all the Osage have endured and more, Vildekind is honored to celebrate the Osage Nation today for the beautiful people they are and the incredible example of resilience they have been for all people. Called The Osage Collection, it currently features the images of 4 proud Osage Chiefs: Chief Bigheart, Chief Bacon Rind, Chief Lookout and Chief Red Eagle. Plus, it also features a female Osage "chief" of another kind: the internationally renowned Maria Tallchief, America's first major prima ballerina, who was said to have "revolutionized the world of ballet."
Please join Vildekind in celebrating these wonderful, courageous people.
Because we should always applaud those who remain true to themselves and their people under hardship - whoever they may be.