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Nancy Bellzona's Picture Book
Osage Wedding - Unidentified Photograph


Unidentified Photograph"The creed of the Little Ones seemed to be Life, inasmuch as they were ever concerned as a tribe in prolonging it as a species of religious tenet. Old age was wisdom, and in their rituals everything had reference to the hope, the struggle, the necessity, the imperative urge to attain old age and thereby serve Wah-Kon-Tah's purpose. In order to attain old age and thereby serve Wah'Kon-Tah's law, they had to have valor, and this was an obsession. They were sometimes as afraid of lacking valor, as they were of having Wah'Kon-Tah "take away their remaining days, and from all the "little people" of the earth who had offered themselves to the Little Old Men, to serve as tribal symbols, they chose the hawk as the symbol of tribal valor, ruthlessness, swiftness in war, courage in attack, and artfulness in retreat, and the longevity which they believed he enjoyed."

"Stern faced Long Knives would talk with the gentile leaders away from the Place-Of-The-Many-Swans, and if their own party was a large one, warn them severally about things of which they knew nothing. They would tell them about people being killed on the Arkansas and near the Three Forks, and the chieftains would say, "Ho, ho that is bad, but we do not know about this thing."

The new Long Knives would become very angry, and spit tobacco juice to one side, and swear that they would "git even," and 'iffen they had their way there wouldn't be a goddam Injun left in the country nohow." *

*The Osages, Mathews

Material from the book of the Osages does show the climate of thinking a little before Dennis and Bertha entered into a permanent relationship of marriage. Bell and the Joneses Indian ancestry made it acceptable in the Osage's minds. However, it was not approved by the general populace this intermarriage between races.