Landmarks’ Andrew Weil Honored By Osage Nation
Distinguished guests and members of the Sugarloaf Mound taskforce were in attendance to welcome the Osage and observe the blessing ceremony. The Osage delegation consisted primarily of Chief Gray and his family, Historic Preservation Officer Dr. Andrea Hunter, Tribal Elder Charles Redcorn, NAGPRA Coordinator June Carpenter and GIS Coordinator Ethan Klump, as well as additional staff and family members. Following the blessing of the mound, Chief Gray requested that Congressman Carnahan, Kathy Waltz, and Andrew Weil step forward and receive the traditional Osage gift of blankets to thank them for their assistance in reuniting the Osage with a sacred site in their ancestral lands. Landmarks Association has been involved in the effort to preserve Sugarloaf since the property came up for sale in the fall of 2008. Sugarloaf Mound represents the earliest man-made structure in the city of St. Louis and likely dates to between 900 A.D. and 1200 A.D. Like many of the mounds that used to exist in the city, Sugarloaf was a landmark in the truest sense of the word. It served as a reference point for people traveling between St. Louis and Carondelet, marked the boundary between the common fields of the two towns, and served as the southwestern corner for the original 1809 St. Louis town survey. Many Osage consider themselves to be the descendents of mound-building people who occupied the Mississippi Valley during the Mississippian period, which came to a close in the St. Louis area around the 13th century. Mounds are considered sacred to many Native American peoples as vestiges of the lives and beliefs of their ancient ancestors;. Also, the Osage are known to have used the ancient mounds of St. Louis as occasional burial grounds in the historic period. It is hoped that some day the property will become a park and interpretive center that will allow St. Louisans to learn about the prehistoric environment of their city and about the Osage people (past and present) whose territory included St. Louis into the 19th century.
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| || Rep. Carnahan, Chief Gray, Andrew Weil|
| || Osage Elder, Charles Redcorn|