Saturday, July 11th, at the home of Osage Native and Osage Nation
employee, William St. John, a naming ceremony was held. The planning
of the event took just over six months as Buffalo clan relatives visited
back and forth via social media, making the final arrangements. Dana
Sellers was a key driving force behind the event.
(photo courtesty of
William St. John)
Williams father, the late Pierce St. John, had permission
to perform the naming ceremony along with John Henry Mashunkashey
and Loren Pahsetopah. Pierce gave his young son William, an Osage
name whose meaning was Buffalo in the Shadows.
In an old suitcase belonging to the late Pierce St. John were
scores of papers and among them was a list of names. As William
explained, the names have to have some connection to the buffalo.
Loren Pahsetopah took the list and did some homework
before conducting the ceremony. Pahsetopah had to consider which
names were appropriate for each individual.
Twenty-three people received names and the ages ranged from
small children to young adults. Due to the amount of individuals
participating in the ceremony, Pahsetopah could not spend much time
on explaining why names were chosen or go in depth on the meanings.
William said it had been long overdue that names had been given.
St. John and his family hosted the event, and served biscuits
and gravy that morning.
William resides on his great-grandfather, original Osage Allottee
Pierce St. Johns allotment. Earlier this year he finalized
the plans his great-grandparents had by expanding the small cemetery
designated for Native American military veterans to a full acre
with new fencing and gates. Many in attendance at the naming ceremony
were unaware of the expansion and a tour of the cemetery was an
added bonus to the mornings occasion.