Osage - Settlements



The Osage were divided into five bands; the Upland Forest, the Big Hills, the Thorny Thickets, the Hearts-Stays, and the Little Osage. Each of these bands occupied a permanent Village located in the bottomlands near their fields. Each village was arranged symmetrically with a main east-west path that separated it into a northern and a southern half. In the very middle of the village, on opposite sides of the path, were the houses of the two village chiefs. Warfare and removal during the early nineteenth century led to fragmentation of the Villages, until at one time there were seventeen. Each village, however, remained identified with one of the bands. After the move to Oklahoma in 1871, the five band-village Communities were reestablished. Osage dwellings were originally rectangular wigwam-type structures covered with mats, hides, and/or bark. Today three bands exist, the Thorny-Thickets at Pawhuska, the Big Hills at Gray Horse, and the Upland Forest at Hominy. The Hearts-Stays and the Little Osage were absorbed by the Thorny Thickets. Each band has a 160-acre village with a dance arbor and community building. All Families live in American-style houses, some in the band village but most in nearby towns or on rural farms and ranches.

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