Take your historic-heritage imagination and visit the Osage Native American historic site near Walker, Mo. Visitors will find the site on State Highway C near Nevada.
Wear comfortable shoes as the walking trail and outdoor exhibits make a wide circle of the preserved settlement. This village was once home to nearly three thousand Little Osage and Big Osage Native Americans from about 1700 to 1775.
Historic accounts relate that at the end of the Ice Age this area was inhabited by Paleo Indians.
The Hopewell tribe was here during the Woodland Period to about 500 B.C. The Mississippian Period extended from about 900 to 1700 A.D. The Historic Period began about 1700 when settlers and explorers entered the region.
Although a few other migratory tribes, including the Missouria, occupied the area — the Osage Indians were first recorded in 1673. The Osage were the dominate tribe in what was to become Missouri.
Most of them were six to seven feet in height. They were farmers and hunters who migrated from the Ohio Valley (now Kentucky).
In 1719 a village of Osage Indians was found on a hill near the Osage River. The location is now preserved as Osage Village State Historic Site. The Big Osage tribe remained at the site between 1715 and 1775. The Osage nation is of unknown documented heritage.
The United States grew as it took control of the Louisiana Purchase territory.
In 1808 and 1825, the Osage signed treaties with the Americans, giving up all of present-day Missouri and parts of Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma. In 1872, they traded their remaining Kansas lands for the present reservation in Oklahoma.
In 1941, an archeologist from the University of Missouri, confirmed the village site of the Osage Indians.
Through archeology excavations, it has been learned that the "houses were rectangular; 30 feet to 50 feet long and about 15 feet to 20 feet wide, with doorways that faced east. Pottery, weapons and tools that were discovered provide information about the daily lives of the villagers."
The park asks visitors to imagine horses grazing, men and women working, and children playing.
Skins drying on the ground or on frames, and meat and food drying on racks would have been everywhere.
The hustle and bustle common during the Osage's residence here at this historic state site was quite different from the peaceful setting guests see today.
In 1971, the site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The park is open from sunrise to sunset all year. The Park Office can be reached at (417) 682-2279 for more information.
To learn more about the Osage Nation visit their website at www.osagetribe.com which includes a variety of helpful links.
The Camden County Museum has extensive exhibits featuring the history of the Osage Indians.
Page 2 of 2 - Kitt Kitterman, rock and mineral specialist, explains that "holding ancient history in the palm of your hand that was vital to the survival of early people is unexplainable. Beveling of the blade is easily viewed as a thing of beauty."