hopes to have it ready for a June release
filming for the docudrama Playground of the Native Son has
wrapped and producer Celia Xavier hopes to have the documentary
finished by June of 2013.
"We should have it finished in six months," Xavier said at
the Osage Nation Foundation Christmas Celebration Dec. 15, where
cast and crew were invited. Director of the docudrama, Michael Nash,
heard Xavier's comment and said jokingly, "Eight months."
Xavier said that when the film is finished she plans on having
a showing in Pawhuska for Osages and area Natives. Xavier also wrote
the Osage Tribal Murders documentary about the Osage Reign of Terror.
Nash directed the 2010 documentary Climate Refugees, a film
investigating mass migrations caused by the changing climate, according
to the IMDb.com Web site.
According to the documentary Web site, the docudrama is based
on the 1920s all-Native Hominy Indians professional football team
and their 28-game winning streak. The 1925 Hominy Indians professional
football team represented 14 different tribes from 1925-1936.
The brainchild of Ira Hamilton, Osage, the Hominy Indians was
a group of young Native athletes from all over Indian Country. Mostly
made up of players that played for the Haskell Institute, now known
as Haskell Indian Nation's University in Lawrence, Kans., the team's
home base was in Hominy. Many Osages played on the team, which was
formed in 1923.
The Indians shot to fame after never being beaten--or tied
with--even though they had played in football games all over the
country, especially the East Coast, according to an article by Arthur
Shoemaker in 1992. The National Football Champions that year, the
New York Giants, traveled to Pawhuska the day after Christmas to
play the famous Indians, three weeks after winning their national
title against the New York Rangers. After a grueling game in front
of reportedly 2,000 fans, and being down at the half, the Hominy
Indians beat the Giants 13-6.
Urban legends still abound on the Osage reservation about the
Hominy Indians team. Eyewitness accounts passed from one Osage to
another that said player John Levi could dropkick the football,
which was round and heavier than today's football, from the 50-yard
line through the goal posts back and forth and pass the ball 100
yards. Another player, Johnnie "Pepper" Martin, went on to play
baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals, and it's rumored that Jim
Thorpe, voted one of the best athletes in American history, played
on the team for a couple of years.
The documentary film project was initially called Blood
Battle in July of 2012 when it was awarded a $25,000 Osage Nation
Foundation arts matching grant before being renamed Playground
of the Native Son.
To make donations for the film, contact the Osage Nation Foundation
at (817) 421-5620. For mail in donations: Please make checks payable
to "Osage Nation Foundation." Donation for the HIF Documentary,
P.O. Box 92777, Southlake, TX 76092.
The Osage Nation Foundation is a non-profit organization that
exists to promote the continued development of the Osage Reservation
and the communities influenced by the Osage Nation. All contributions
are tax deductible.
Hominy Indians Memorial
The Nation has talked about a memorial or monument for the Hominy
Indians professional football team since 2009.
At a 2009 opening for a Hominy Indians exhibit at the Wah Zha
Zhi Cultural Center, many descendants of the football team attended.
Ira Hamilton's descendants brought their families, as well as George
Kipp's descendants. Kipp was a full-blooded Blackfeet Indian from
The late Virginia Maker, mother to Osage Congressman John Maker
and daughter of Hominy Indians player Arlen "Buck" Harding, said
that her mother and father met while he was on the team and her
mother always looked forward to watching her father play. She said
that they had her father's Indians uniform for a long time but have
since lost it. Maker was excited by the news of a possible Hominy
Indians memorial at the time. She said that she would love to see
a memorial built to the team, but she wanted it to be built in Hominy.
Vann Bighorse, director of the Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center
said the cultural center is working on a historical marker to be
placed in the Hominy Indian Village that tells the history of the
team. Plans are still in the works and he plans to present his plan
to the Third Osage Nation Congress for funding and approval. He
hopes to be finished with the historical marker in 2013.
To see more photos from the set of Playground of the Native
Son, visit the Osage News Flickr page at www.flickr.com/photos/osagenews/.