Dialect: Osage
Language: Dhegihan
Family Mississippi Valley Siouan 
Stock: Siouan Proper
Phylum: Siouan
Macro-Culture: Great Plains
Speakers      5 speakers (1991 M. Krauss)
      The Osage were a sedentary hunter/farmer except for summer buffalo hunts which took them great distances.  They separated from other Dhegihan peoples in their former territories on the Wabasha and Ohio Rivers.  They first migrated up the Mississippi River before ultimately settling in Arkansas and Missouri. ranging into Oklahoma and Kansas.
      The Osage were constantly at war with most of their neighbors, though they remained allied with the Kaw.  They moved often as a result of those conflicts and from White pressure.  They took large population losses during the 19th century.  They fought to protect their territories from immigrant tribes leaving the east as a result of the Removal Act, but were ultimately overwhelmed.  They lost considerable territory to the Cherokee.
Aboriginal Locations (Subdivisions)
Variable (see links)
Present Locations
OK  Osage Tribe, Pahuska
Year History
1500 Had separated from the Quapaw and Kansa as part of the Omaha group removing from the area of the Ohio and Wabash Rivers and traveled up the Mississippi to Missouri, the Omaha/Ponce soon migrated north
1673 Mentioned by Marquette map as being located on the Missouri River, called "Ouchage"
1686 Arkansas Post established
1687 Visited by Douray, had 17 villages
1693 Began trading with French traders
1719 Great Osage visited by Du Tisne 
1795 Many Osage followed trader Jean Pierre Chouteau to present Oklahoma; Chickasaw attacked Arkansas Post
1798 Received some Missouri tribe refugees from war with Sac and Fox
1802 Many moved west to Kansas on the Arkansas River
1804 Visited by Lewis and Clark
1808 Ceded all Arkansas lands by treaty
1818 Cherokee campaign against Osage ended with Osage ceding some of their Oklahoma lands to Cherokee
1821 Union Protestant mission established among tribe; 800 Osage attacked Ft. Smith; 30-100 Osage massacred by 300 Cherokee, Creek, Delaware, and Shawnee
1823 Delaware killed seven lodges of Osage; Comanche killed 20-25 Osage warriors
1824 Fort Towsend established on Red River to protect Whites from Osage and Cherokee
1825 Further land concessions by treaty
1826 Tribe killed 18 Pawnee
1827 Fort Leavenworth established to stop Delaware-Osage war
1829 Virtually destroyed Missouri tribe; San Houston established store in northeast Oklahoma, allied with Cherokee, Osage, and Creek
1830 Killed 80-90 Pawnee in battle on upper Arkansas River
1839 Further concessions by treaty; possible smallpox epidemic
1855 Smallpox epidemic
1861 1st Osage Battalion fought for south in Civil War under Cherokee Brigadier General Stand Wadie
1865 Further concessions by treaty
1870 Reservation established by act of Congress
1898 Oil discovered on reservation
Year Total Population AR MO OK Source
1700 8,000 2,000 6,000 NAHDB calculation
1780 6,200 Mooney estimate
1800 5,200 1,200 4,000 NAHDB calculation
1804 4,800 Lewis and Clark
1806 4,535 Pike report
Grand Osage              1.909
Little Osage                   926
Arkansas                    1,700
1822 5,200 Morse estimate
1829 5,000 Porter estimate
1843 4,102 US Indian Office
1877 3,001 US Indian Office
1884 1,537 US Indian Office
1886 1,582 US Indian Office
1900 1,900 1,900 NAHDB calculation 
1906 1,994 US Indian Office
1910 1,373 Census
1923 2,099 US Indian Office
1930 2,344 Census
1937 3,649 US Indian Office
1973 3,350 BIA
1981 5,612 BIA
1989 8,147 BIA estimate
2000 18,000 18,000 NAHDB calculation
Other speakers of the same language:
Osage Sites:
1st Osage Battalion
Black Dog
Building the Osage Bow
Conner, Bill, Osage Indian
Fort Smith:  Gateway to Indian Territory
Great Osage / GSA Treaty
Guarding Fort Osage
Historic Fort Osage
La Flesche, Francis
Lucas' Osage Bill Becomes Law
Firebird from Oklahoma
Northern California Osage Association
Osage:  A Historical Sketch
Osage (Wazhazhe)
Osage Art
Osage Art
Osage Authors
Osage Indian
Osage Indian Baptist Church
Osage Indian Murder FBI Files
Osage Indians
Osage Indians, Lewis and Clark
Osage Indian Tribe
Osage Indian Tribe
Osage Indian Tribe History
Osage Language
Osage Language
Osage Language
Osage Linguistic Lineage
Osage:  Lewis and Clark
Osage Nation
Osage Nation
Osage Nation
Osage Nation, Indian Territory
Osage Nation , Unofficial Website
Osage Native Tagged for US Ag Secretary
Osage Treaty
Pawhuska, Oklahoma
Pratt, Steven
Quintero, Carolyn, Preserving Osage Language

Last updated 06/01/05  Copyright 2005 by Four Directions Press