OSAGE
Click here for photos

Osage (corruption by French traders of Wazhazhe, their own name). The most important southern Siouan tribe of the western division. Dorsey classed them, under the name Dhegiha, in one group with the Omaha, Ponca, Kansa, and Quapaw, with whom they are supposed to have originally constituted a single body living along the lower course of the Ohio river.
Geographically speaking, the tribe consists of three bands: the Pahatsi or Great Osage, Utsehta or Little Osage, and Santsukhdhi or Arkansas band. These appear to be comparatively modern, however, and the Osage recognize three more closely amalgamated divisions which seem, from the traditional account of them, to represent as many formerly independent tribes. According to this account, as gathered by J. O. Dorsey, the beings which ultimately became men originated in the lowest of the four upper worlds which Osage cosmology postulates and ascended to the highest where they obtained souls. Then they descended until they came to a red-oak tree on which the lowest world rests and by its branches reached our earth. They were divided into two sections, the Tsishu, or peace people, who kept to the left, living on roots, etc.; and the Wazhazhe (true Osage), or war people, who kept to the right and killed animals for their food. Later these two divisions exchanged commodities, and after some time the Tsishu people came into possession of four kinds of corn and four kinds of pumpkins, which fell from the left hind legs of as many different buffaloes. Still later the tribe came upon a very warlike people called Hangka-utadhantse, who lived on animals, and after a time the Tsishu people succeeded in making peace with them, when they were taken into the nation on the war side. Originally there were seven Tsishu gentes, seven Wazhazhe gentes, and seven Hangka gentes, but, in order to maintain an equilibrium between the war and peace sides after adopting the Hangka, the number of their gentes was reduced to five and the number of Wazhazhe gentes to two. In camping the Tsishu gentes are on the left or north side of the camping circle, and the Hangka or Wazhazhe gentes on the right or south side, the entrance to the circle being eastward. Beginning at this entrance the arrangement of gentes is as follows:
Tsishu gentes (from east to west):
l, Tsishusintsakdhe;
2,Tsedtukaindtse;
3,Minkin;
4, Tsishuwashtake;
5, Haninihkashina;
6, Tsetduka;

7, Kdhun.
Hangka gentes (from east to west):
8, Washashewanun;
9, Hangkautadhantsi;
10, Panhkawashtake;
11, Ilangkaahutun;
12, Wasapetun;
13, Cpkhan;
14, Kanse.