Osage People

Our guest on this installment of ST is David Grann, a bestselling author and staff writer at The New Yorker Magazine whose new book, just out, is getting rave reviews. That  book is an unsettling and in-depth work of nonfiction, "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI." As was noted of this book by a critic writing for Time: "Nearly 100 years ago, the Osage tribe of Oklahoma were thought to be the wealthiest people per capita in the world, thanks to their oil-rich reservation, kindly sold back to them by the federal government that had snatched it away.

The Osage ballet, "Wahzhazhe," had its premiere last summer here in Oklahoma; it was first conceived of about four years ago, and was originally inspired by a suite of music by Lou Brock, an Osage composer. This contemporary ballet brings together certain special qualities of Osage history and culture: a reverence for classical ballet (which was, of course, the legacy of two famous Osage ballerinas, Maria and Marjorie Tallchief) and a deep respect also for the richness of Osage traditional music, dance, and textile arts.