Feb 042014


Chief Bacon Rind Photogravure, 1925

In his classic book, Wah’kon-tah: The Osage and the White Man’s Road, John Joseph Mathews describes Wah Tze Moh In (Star that Travels), as a ‘tall (and handsome) aristocrat’ of the Osage tribe, and a gifted orator “who adjusted himself to the conditions that the white man had brought upon his people.”

He still wore the leggings, shirt and blanket, and was seldom seen without the gorget made from the fresh water mussel, which was the symbol of the sun at noon, the god of day.”

His handsome face has been moulded in bronze and his picture painted by great artists. His face appears on programs, on brochures and as letterheads. His name, an unimaginative interpretation, is known everywhere, and is invariably associated with the word, Osage.

This image of Wah Tze Moh In clearly illustrates Mathews’ description.  The photograph was taken during one of three photo expeditions sponsored by department store magnate, Lewis Rodman Wanamaker. Wanamaker was a man of many interests, supporting the arts, education, golf and athletics, and Native American scholarship. Between 1908 and 1913 he funded expeditions with photographer Joseph K. Dixon, to document “The Vanishing Race” – the American Indians.

This is a third edition photogravure,  dated 1925.

Every week we post an unpublished image that relates to the Osage River, its ecology, history and development. None of these have been used in Damming the Osage, but they relate to the themes of the book. A brief caption identifies the location and our thoughts on its significance and meaning. Feel free to use these images for personal use if you credit “Collection of Leland and Crystal Payton.”  For commercial use, email us for details and a modest fee for a higher resolution image. We have thousands of historic photographs and brochures as well as our own contemporary photos.

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  One Response to “Wah Tze Moh In (Star that Travels), Chief of the Osage – a.k.a. Bacon Rind”

  1. hi my name is leigha musick and i am wah tze moh’s great great granddaughter and i am wanting to know more of my grandfather

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