Not many Native American Indian tribes were given as wide a birth as the Osage. They weren’t exactly “cupcakes”. They were big. They were scary. They were feared. In the early 19th century, this tribe dominated much of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Their name, Osage, is a French version which roughly translates to “war-like”.
President Jefferson noted that Osage men averaged 6 ½ feet to 7 feet tall. That was really big by 1830 standards, since the white Europeans in the United States in 1830 averaged about 5 ½ feet tall. A very ominous-looking statue of a typical Osage Indian stands in the state capitol building in Little Rock.
Often the Osage would start off a hunting trip on foot, but come back with horses stolen from neighboring tribes. Such behavior repeatedly resulted in war between the tribes. Typical weapons used by the Osage included, muskets, knives, lances, hatchets, and strong bows with arrows made of Osage Orange wood. The military post at Fort Smith was established to end the warring between the Osage and other tribes, mainly the Cherokee. The Osage regarded the Cherokee as invaders.
The War Eagle myth: The town of War Eagle was not named after a Cherokee. According to the Arkansas Encyclopedia of History and Culture, the signature of Hurachais, the War Eagle, appears on the 1825 Osage treaty with the U.S. that ceded area lands from the Osage to the U.S. government. He is commonly thought to have been the Osage leader in the Huntsville area. A town, local creek, and township are named after him.
You will not want to miss Steve Dunlap’s presentation regarding the exciting and provocative story of the history of the Osage Indians in our area.
Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection.
When: Sunday February 4, 2018
Time: 2:00 pm lecture
Cost: Free: The public is invited.
For more information, call: 479-789-5000
This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs Speaker’s Series.