Bellzona's Picture Book
The Osages - Mae Rusk
Mae Rusk is the girl on
the left. Her allotment number is Ten. She has roll number ll. This
woman's full name was Mae Rusk, Red Eagle, Freemont. She was born
September 6, 1903, and she died August 18, 1953. She was Bertha's half
sister. Bertha's father was Harry Big Eagle. Mae's father was Rusk.
Their mother was Elsie Loho, Big Eagle, Rusk. Because of land holdings,
oil royalties, financial matters, and the listing of genealogy according
to their own language, searching for records, becomes a genealogical
nightmare. One has to understand the many precarious circumstances these
people, on an individual basis and as a tribe, have had to endure.
Despite these stumbling blocks some knowledge has been gleaned.
On the right sits Metza
(Osage name meaning first daughter) Bertha Big Eagle Jones, Mrs. Dennis
Homer Flynn Jones. These sisters were of the Osage tribe. This picture
may have been taken while the girls were still in school. Their girlish
beauty was picked up here by the photographer.
These people grew up in
the healthiest of circumstances. Many spent most of their time outside
or in the tepees camped around the lowland wooded area close to Ralston,
Oklahoma. They knew the foods growing wild and it was used. Wild game
made up a part of their diet. Dietary laws were strictly obeyed
according to a person's needs at the time. These diets varied according
to the needs of the person as to their age, health, or maternal
condition. For instance, women were advised to eat the organ meats while
limiting the muscle meats, such as steaks. There is a difference within
the tribe as to body stature, going to tall or petite, heavy or thin.
Some people are very tall and stately. Others are short and petite. The
thought was presented as to the possibility of the tribe practicing
genetic engineering years before science knew of these things.
They understood the uses
of medicinal herbs, leaves and roots. All this contributed to the health
and beauty of the people. The wild plants they ate were: Yonka Pins,
(water lily roots) wild plums, persimmons, pecans, wild grapes, and
mushrooms. There was every wild game, plentiful and easily caught. The
Osage had recipes for cooking the food and the recipes were passed down
from mother to daughter. One recipe is for wild grape dumplings. Fried
mushrooms were considered to be a delicacy. Yonka Pins are high in B
vitamins and protein. These roots taste a little like our beans. They
are about the size of a potato. A sliced wedge has holes that look like
Swiss cheese. A part of the plant was to treat malaria.
To fry a wild rabbit,
they first boiled it done and dipped the cut up pieces into a batter.
The pieces are deep fried. The meat is delicious cooked in this manner.
*See references at back
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