Canku Ota Logo
Canku Ota
Canku Ota Logo
(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
pictograph divider
Participants On The
Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Walk Retrace Ancestors Footsteps
by Benny Polacca - Osage News
credits: all photos by Benny Polacca - Osage News
This year, the Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center took over 80 people to the Oklahoma/ Kansas border for the annual Cultural Walk, which is a tribute to those Osages who made the long journey into present-day Oklahoma in the late 1800s.
2015 Cultural Walk participants arrive at their campsite on Oct. 16 for an overnight camping trip at the Oklahoma/ Kansas border.

The Cultural Walk, now in its sixth year, is an overnight camping trip and invites Osages and their families to take a three-mile hike from the present-day state border, south into Oklahoma where the Mullendore Ranch sits near the northern edge of Osage County. The 2015 Cultural Walk started Oct. 16 with the attendees gathering at the Cultural Center in Pawhuska. Participants were bussed to the border where they would hike to the campsite and set up tents for their stay.

Cultural Center Director Vann Bighorse said the trip is intended to give Osages a glimpse and an opportunity to visit the trail and area where their ancestors traveled when they relocated into Oklahoma from Kansas. In 1871, the Osages' move into Oklahoma took place and a simple "1871" stone marker sits at the border where the path is located.

The Cultural Walk group, of all ages, set up camp and enjoyed visiting and several women helped cook the evening meal of chicken and dumplings, steam fried meat and frybread. Bighorse and other Cultural Center staff coordinated the trip. Attendees included Osage Nation Congressman Otto Hamilton and his family and Assistant Principal Chief Raymond Red Corn who came for Saturday's activities and helped people set up their tents and prepare lunch.

Timber Sampson White and her two daughters attended the trip, which she enjoyed. "I will be attending next year and will bring more family so that they might have the same enjoyment. As for being an Osage on the walk, I felt closer to everyone that was there and thought back on how the Osages back in the day leaned on each other to make it though too," she said.

Hamilton said he and wife Geneva Horsechief-Hamilton considered taking their children on the walk for years and made this year's a priority. "My family and I enjoy camping, so the camping part was fun for us. We really looked forward to camping with other Osages and retracing the steps of our ancestors who made the initial walk. We enjoyed ourselves the whole weekend, the fellowship, putting up camp, the food and visiting with everyone. Vann Bighorse, Harrison Hudgins (of the Cultural Center) and Paula Stabler (who coordinated the meal cooking efforts) really did a good job and kept everything going. We look forward to attending next year."

Mary Bighorse, also a participant, also spoke of her walk experience on Facebook stating: "This is an experience you as an Osage will feel why it's important to be there. Our people were made to leave their homes and settle somewhere we never been before. So many couldn't make it now we share stories of our Grandmas telling us our people crying all the way staying together, the sorrow they had makes me tear up thinking about it. We come to the Cultural Walk because we honor them. They made it for us."

The following day, the group set out on a three-mile hike through the prairie to the Mullendore Ranch. At the ranch, Kathleen Mecom Fogerty, daughter of Katsy Mullendore who sits on the ON Foundation Board, greeted the participants. Fogerty received a Pendleton blanket from Bighorse as an expression of gratitude for helping make the annual Cultural Walk possible. The Mullendore family provided the attendees a catered barbecue lunch at the house and the group departed afterward.

The Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center provides year-round activities, including classes, in addition to the annual Cultural Walk. For more information on the center, visit its website at:

See more Osage News photos of the 2015 Cultural Walk on its Flickr page at:

pictograph divider
Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us
Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us
pictograph divider
  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000 - 2015 of Vicki Williams Barry and Paul Barry.
Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo
The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
Copyright © 1999 - 2015 of Paul C. Barry.
All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!