Chiefs Coats, Brides: The Development of Osage Bridal Attire

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

The Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center is working with the Sam Noble Museum, University of Oklahoma to explore the history of Osage bridal attire and its incorporation into the Paying for the Drum ceremonies of the Elonshka Dances. An exhibit and presentation will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 2 at the Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center, 1449 W. Main Street in Pawhuska.

The event will begin with a slide show of historic Osage Wedding attire followed by audience discussion of Osage oral tradition on the subject. The discussion will include the gifts of military coats to Osage Chiefs and their use in traditional Osage weddings. They will also examine the construction of wedding coats by Osage and non-Osage artisans.

A number of historic and contemporary Osage wedding coats and hats will be on display during the event, a rare occasion to view and experience this regalia. Also on the agenda is a discussion of modern interpretations of Osage bridal attire and its construction.

The Cultural Center will provide light refreshments and invites people to bring photos, wedding coats, hats and stories to share.

The event is part of the efforts of the Sam Noble Museum, University of Oklahoma to develop an exhibition and publication on Osage weddings. The group will also explore the incorporation of “brides” in the paying for the drum ceremonies of the Elonshka dances. The participation of the Osage community is critical to this on-going effort and organizers of the event hope community members will continue to contribute to the planning and realization of the exhibition at every step in its development.

For more information, visit the project website at www.osageweddings.com.