Osage Tribal Museum honors 105-year anniversary of Chief Bigheart


On Saturday, Sept. 28, the Osage Tribal Museum will commemorate one of the Osage Nation’s most outstanding leaders, Chief James Bigheart.

The event will begin at 3 p.m. at the Constantine Theatre in Pawhuska.

“Next month will mark 105 years that Chief Bigheart died and it’s time that we recognize Chief Bigheart and show our appreciation for the enrichments that he brought to our tribe,” said Kathryn Red Corn, the museum director.

Tickets can be purchased at the Osage Tribal Museum for $19.06.

The Osage Tribal Museum will honor this strong leader, exceptional politician, and constant advocate for the safeguarding of his family and tribe. Numerous honors were bestowed on Chief James Bigheart, during his lifetime but he remained a modest Osage leader devoting his life to the future of the Osage, with no pompous display of wealth or power or desire for recognition.

Activities on September 28 will include:

• 3 p.m. — A Stage Play: The Dawes Act - Location: Constantine Theatre. A 30-minute original play by Bob Hicks will be performed by mostly Muscogee (Creek) actors and performed in the Muscogee language. The Nation’s Language Preservation Group and the cast members translated the play into the Creek language. It will be translated in almost “real time to the audience. Bob Hicks, author of the play, is an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and a graduate of Hollywood’s American Film Institute in the Directors’ program. It is strongly emphasized that you need to see it from the “very beginning” to the “very end” in order to fully experience this performance.

• Following the play: Osage 1906 Allotment Act Discussion — Location: Constantine Theatre. Dr. Garrick Bailey will present an overview about the Dawes Act and the process of the Osage allotments distributed to the original allottees in 1906. The audience will be able to ask questions about the “Osage Allotment”, comparisons of the two, difficulties or problems that may have been encountered, following Dr. Bailey’s presentation. Dr. Garrick Bailey is a social anthropologist with primary interests in globalization, ethnic identity, ethnic conflict, socio-cultural adaption, economic change, material culture, art, and ethnohistory. He has a B.A. in History from the University of Oklahoma in 1963; an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Oregon in 1968; and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Oregon in 1970. Dr. Bailey’s main research has been in Contemporary Indians of the United States and Canada, the historic tribes of the Prairie/Plains and the Southwest, with special interest on the Osage and Navajo. His professional affiliations include the American Anthropological Association, the American Ethnological Society, and the American Society for Ethnohistory.

Following Dr. Bailey’s presentation: 1906 Steak Dinner and Auction — Location: Wakon Iron Hall, Pawhuska Indian Village. Enjoy a delicious steak (cooked to your temperature preference) and all of the fixings meal, because The Osage know a good time means excellent food and a full belly. The Osage Tribal Museum wants you to really take pleasure in your meal and the social time that will follow. Then you can give it your best effort to be the winning bidder in a (“going once…going twice…”) lively auction and performance by Mr. Jim Taylor, an Osage member who the Osage Tribal Museum often asks to do the museum’s Christmas auctions. You may view the items to be auctioned at the Osage Tribal Museum. There are more than 20 pieces that will be “on the block”. Your bid will not only get you a unique item, but the money will be donated to special fund-raising fund. More specifically, the September 28th activities will be the kickoff event to benefit the creation of a life-sized statue, by Osage sculptor John Free, of Chief James Bigheart, a brilliant and strong Osage leader. This work of art is being sponsored by the Osage Tribal Museum, Library & Archives, the oldest tribally-owned museum in the United States, located at 819 Grandview, in Pawhuska, Okla.

For more information you may contact the museum at 918-287-5441 or otm@osagetribe.org.