Bellzona's Picture Book
The Osages - Billy
Billy Arthur Mashunkashey
Sin-Tsa-Wan-Kon-Tah Allottee N. 3166
Billy is the grand son of
Ben Mashunkashey, and son of Charlie Mashunkashey. This is a report of an
interview with him..
The strip of winding
asphalt covered a road up an Osage Hill. There were trees lush with the
waxy leafed oak leaves growing thick there. The road led to the burial
grounds of Billy Mashunkashey's family and many other Osage families of an
earlier era. The new Jeep he geared down once and then again to climb the
grade of the hill. An opening in the woods came into view and clear blue
sky was behind the markers. There were large white marble markers to cover
the entire hillside and they were organized into family groups. The
grounds were well treated.
As he left the Pawhuska
cemetery Billy swept his hand in a gesture this way and that pointing to
the large elaborate low rambling ranch homes standing on good sized
acreage's. "These homes were all built on what was Mashunkashey land
belonging to my grandfather, Ben, and then to my father Charlie. I, in my
lifetime, saw that it was subdivided and built up with these lovely homes
you see here."
Driving through the long
narrow entrance to his home, Billy pointed out a well_kept large red brick
house. He said this home was built because his father's house at Sycamore
Creek in Greyhorse had been burned. This was during the time of the
conspiracy against tribal members to kill them and capture their wealth.
Billy's well organized
meticulous thinking was in no way slowed by his measured steps which were
a testimony of a war injury he sustained during the height of battle in
Iwo Jima. This was in the second world war. Along with the following
records of his family dating back to 1817 he handed me a carefully kept
diary of each incident, no matter how small, recording valuable knowledge
and historically valuable information.
The literal translation of
Billy's Indian name, Sin-Tsa Wah Kahn-Tah is: "The respecter of the
sun, the rain, the trees and grass, the animals, our sources of food and
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