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American History
Osage Highlanders - The Osage Wedding of Mac and Metzahe

The following is based on a true story

Metzahe, first daughter, waited at the edge of the stream which flowed into the bigger river. Her tribe's encampment was close but she had slipped away from her teepee. She did so at the risk of causing the death of the "Duena" - an elderly female guardian who was appointed to watch over the young maidens of the tribe.

Guardians accepted the position of Duena knowing they would have to give up their life if one girl slipped away under their watch. This ancient Osage tradition was a way of preserving social order in tribal communities and it had the added benefit of preserving a young women's purity before marriage.

 As Metzahe looked out across the stream she could see the bright reflection of the moon playing like a child in the quiet waters. There was a sudden feeling of awareness of the approach of her lover, Mac, a young Scotsman whom she had fallen in love with. He, too, had slipped away from his people's place to meet her here. When she looked around toward the woods she say the foliage break apart and he stepped out into the light of the moon. His lithe strong stride could have been that of one of her people and he covered the distance to her in a moment it seemed.

"Mac, Mac, this is so dangerous. If they miss me, old one will give up her life."

"I know, Metzahe, but tomorrow this is the last time. Be here at the same time and we will leave here together. I have everything arranged for our marriage in another state."

True to his word, Mac met Metzahe the next night, and together they fled the area. Because Metzahe simply disappeared into the night, there was no blame attached to the Guardian: It could have been a kidnapping, or animals could have killed the girl. Meanwhile, the couple married in a civil ceremony and they stayed in a hotel in the largest city at the time, Kansas City.

They were lovers and they were young, learning to know each other and to be certain their lives were meant to be shared no matter that Mac was a Scot and Metzahe was a Native, granddaughter of a mighty chief. Within the time frame of three months the girl was to learn she had conceived their first child.

"The time has come for us to return home," Mac told his wife, "Now that you are with child your people will have to accept our marriage." "No, Mac, it will not be that easy. They will try to kill you." "I will not be killed," Mac said emphatically.

As soon as they returned the war against Mac began, and it was at that time he began to carry the pistol with him at all times. The prairie nights were black without a moon at times and this was a protection too. They were constantly on the move so they were never more than one night in the same place. Fortunately, some people came to their aid and hid the couple away from the men of Metzahe's family who wanted to kill Mac.

But they could not hide forever, and they were eventually discovered. One night, as the Native men came upon their resting place they called out to Mac. "Come on out, white man, it is time for you to meet your God."

Mac picked up the little pistol he kept with him even as he slept and he waited. The oldest and biggest of Metzahe's brothers was coming toward him. The young Scot knew they would beat him to death if given the opportunity. In a flash, they were on Mac: As one large man grasped him in a bear hug, Mac brought the cold steel of the pistol up against the larger man's head.

"Enough. Enough,"
the man was not willing to die.

Something about the standing up against the men showed them Mac was willing to fight for the right to keep his Native wife and they left him alone.

Now that a small bridge had been built, the women of the tribe were having communication with Metzahe.

"You know it is very necessary you be married in the ways of our people,"
they told her.

"We are married, by his ways," said Metzahe.

"No, you are not married," they told her."Not until you are joined in our ceremony."

With Metzahe's and Mac's agreement the wedding was planned and brought about. The wedding dress she wore was the customary coat of the United States officer which was given to the respected chiefs as a gift.

These coats were of no interest to the men, but somehow, the women liked them and they were used as a wedding coat and it reflected to those around that this was, indeed, the daughter of the chief, and in Metzahe's case, the granddaughter of one of the mightiest chiefs. The chief who was respected for his valor, and his intelligence in protecting and governing his own people with love and kindness.

Mac wore a full regalia of Metzahe's tribe. His beaded garters on his leg below his knee was that of the Faw-Faw design. The broadcloth leggings he wore under the fully beaded britchlot. The ribbon shirt he wore was out of the finest silk. There were the finger woven belts worn as a drop down the side of his leg from his waist. He wore no brooch because he was Scot, not Osage, and had no name given to him.

The bridesmaids wore the traditional wool blanket which was folded in such a way as to keep their right arm free. This was so they could cook or work without the blanket hampering any of their activity. There had already been a mixing of blood between the Scot and the natives and these bridesmaids were beautiful in their inheritance from each race.

The finalizing of the vows was to have the inner forearm of the bride and groom slit with a sharp knife. They then placed their arms one upon each other so the blood could flow from one to the other. The wide stripe of a finger woven chevron patterned belt was draped over their arms as the native blood flowed from Metzahe's veins to that of Mac's blue blood of Scotland causing him to become, as one known to be of her native tribe.

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