[Photograph of Native American and Osage Chief Bacon Rind, i.e, Wah-she-hah or “Star-That-Travels”.]
“Osages. richest Indians in the world, all of them have an oil well”
Snapshot photograph of Native American Bacon Rind (c.1860–1932), Osage tribal leader and keeper of traditional customs and costume.
The photo depicts Bacon Rind in native dress and wearing the traditional otter-skin cap he always wore. He appears to be accompanied by two other Native Americans in non-native attire.
A caption on the back of the photo references the oil and natural gas wealth of the Oklahoma-based tribe; in full:
Osages. richest Indians in the world, all of them have an oil well. The one with his Indian Dress is Chief Bacon Rind.
Bacon Rind—also known as Wah-she-hah, “Star-That-Travels”—was born in Kansas. In the 1870s, during the Osage removal from Kansas, he moved to the Osage Nation, Indian Territory located in what is today Osage County, Oklahoma.
He led several tribal leadership positions and in 1912 was elected principal chief. He was deposed from that office the following year by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior over a 1906 bribery incident. Despite this, Bacon Rind continued to be recognized by some tribal members as their leader.
“Bacon Rind was politically progressive and favored the allotment of the Osage Reservation and the development of its oil and natural gas resources. He remained a traditionalist in customs, however, and always wore native dress and an otter-skin cap. Bacon Rind was a gifted speaker of the Osage language. He spent the last quarter-century of his life representing the Osage on annual visits to Washington, D.C. It has been claimed that Bacon Rind was the most photographed of all American Indian leaders.”¹
The plight of the Osage Indians has been written in recent times, see David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (2017).
Description: [Photograph of Native American and Osage Chief Bacon Rind, i.e, Wah-she-hah or “Star-That-Travels”.]
[Np, c.1920s–1930s]. Sepia-tone photograph. 5 x 3½ inches. Ink manuscript caption on verso. Lower corners slightly bumped; trimmed at bottom edge; very good.
Note. 1. Bacon Rind | The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture accessed online.