of an Osage woman holding a baby, a girl and wolf are now
standing as part of the Osage Trail Legacy statue project
in Cuba, Mo. (Courtesy Photo John Williams)
Osage Nation officials traveled to Cuba, Mo. to witness the second
phase unveiling of the 35-foot steel Osage Trail statue that located
off Interstate 44 to commemorate the Osage history in the region.
On Jan. 27, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear, Special
Advisor Johnny Williams Sr., and Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center Director
Addie Hudgins joined Cuba city and civic officials for a commemorative
ceremony to witness the second sculpture erection of an Osage woman
carrying a baby in a traditional cradleboard.
The Osage Trail Legacy statue is located at the Cuba Visitor's
Center off I-44 at Highway 19 and is described as a sculpture that
celebrates the history and legacy of the Osage Nation, according
to the project website.
"We are so pleased to see this beautiful, bronze statue to stand
as a testimony to the rich history this area has that is tied to
the Osage people," Standing Bear said in a statement. "I know this
monument will teach both Native Americans about their storied past
as well as educate the general public about the roots of this Nation.
We want to thank everyone in the Cuba community who helped make
this statue and this educational effort possible."
The Osage Trail Legacy $500,000 statue project launched in 2015
thanks to local Cuba fundraising efforts. The sculpture depicts
an Osage family moving westward on the Osage trail, according to
the project website. Statue pieces of an Osage girl and a wolf were
erected in August 2016 and the final phase featuring a leading Osage
warrior will be installed this fall.
According to a news release, the Osage Trail began as the natural
route that buffalo and other migratory herd animals took each year,
followed closely behind by the Osage and other Native American tribes
that hunted these herds for survival. Long after the Osage Trail
was established, the route also was used as the template for the
path for first the historic Route 66 and later Interstate 44.
"The Osage Trail has helped shape how people traveled for hundreds
of years from buffalo hunters to modern-day travelers," Chief
Standing Bear said. "The influence of the Osage Nation is being
recognized today with this statue, and we are proud of both our
impact on history and our ability to erect a reminder of that today."
Also in a statement, Cuba Mayor Ray Mortimeyer said: "We couldn't
be more pleased with the beautiful, and historically significant,
statue the Osage Nation has erected in Cuba. We look forward to
this being the first in a long line of civic and cultural additions
to Cuba and those areas that are located on the Osage Trail."
For more information on the project, visit www.osagetraillegacy.com
or follow its Facebook page "Osage