Hominy American Indian Festival Highlights

Photos by Roseanne McKee/Pawhuska People

Article below republished with permission of the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise

By: Roseanne McKee

At the first Hominy American Indian Festival held May 19 at Peh-Tse-Moie Park in the city of Hominy, guests and relatives of Peh-Tse-Moie gathered to remember the man and his generous gift to the city. Although there were storms before and afterwards, no rain fell during the festival.

With help from retired Congressman Mark Simms, a photo of Peh-Tse-Moie was provided, which will be placed in the park.

Osage Congressman John Maker, who is a relative of Peh-Tse-Moie, addressed the festival guests.

“Hominy was a great place to grow up,” and the park was a big part of this, John Maker said.

“When I was a little boy, we’d all come to this park and play and go down exploring in the creek. Sometimes we only had fifty cents but that was enough to go swimming and go to the movies all in one day, so at that time, fifty cents would go a long way,” Maker said.

Scott Lohah, the great-great grandson of Peh-Tse-Moie, also addressed the crowd, and explained that his name means “fire walker” in Osage.

“I want to thank my mother the oldest living descendant of Peh-Tse-Moie, Marilyn Hopper Dailey. She provided all of the information today,” Scott Lohah said. “He died before my mother was born, but her grandmother told her stories.”

Marilyn Hopper Dailey is Peh-Tse-Moie’s great granddaughter. Sarah and John Oberly were her grandparents, Lohah explained.

“He was called Bob Peh-Tse-Moie, or Grandpa Bob. He was on the Tribal Council and his son-in-law was, John Oberly, who was Chief,” Lohah said.

Lohah shared the family names in Osage going back five generations.

“Grandpa Bob Peh-Tse-Moie’s name in Osage was Ah-She-Gah-Re. His wife, our grandmother’s name in Osage, was Gro-To-Me-Tsa-He. Bob’s dad’s Osage name was Ne-Kah-Keh-Pah-Na. Grandpa Bob’s grandfather was Ha-Moie.”

The city of Hominy was named after someone named Ha-Moie, but Lohah and his family were not sure if that referred to his grandfather since several people shared that name.

“There are relatives from the following families still living in the Hominy area: Oberly, Davis, Satepauhoodle, Abbott, Hopper, Dailey and Lohah. Peh-Tse-Moie also has many descendants living in various places all over the country,” Marilyn Hopper Dailey said.

“There’s nothing better in the world than children playing and laughing and having a good time. Grandpa Bob was advised that if he left this property for a park, then the children would play here forever and always have a place to play,” Lohah said.

“Speaking for myself and the descendants of Grandpa Bob Peh-Tse-Moie, we are very proud of what he did for this community,” Lohah said.

Lohah spoke to the audience in Osage: “zhi-kah^ zhi shka-dse sho-sho-weh,” which translates in English to: “the children would always have a place to play.”

Lohah concluded by saying: “Thanks to all and to the kids. You’ll always have a place to play at Peh-Tse-Moie Park!”

After Lohah spoke, Congressman Maker offered a prayer and then 200 free Osage meat pies were handed out to hungry guests. The two caterers were: Ah tha tse Catering, which means “we eat” in Osage and MaryGrace Dailey.

The city of Hominy’s tourism department sponsored the festival, which also featured a style show by the Bartlesville Indian Women’s Club, an intertribal-service club formed in 1937. The club provides scholarships to Native American students. Clothing from the following tribes were worn and explained by the ladies: Lenape (Delaware) regalia and traditional clothing of the: Apache, Navajo, Cheyenne and Cherokee tribes. The ladies also brought traditional items to share such as dolls made from blankets and the double-walled reed basket.

Storyteller, Nagi Whiteowl shared oral history from the Lenape tribe and North American plains flute player, David Inda, serenaded the guests.

Several vendors sold Native American art, hand-made jewelry and other items.

To learn more about the history and culture of Hominy, visit their website at: https://hominytourism.wordpress.com and follow the Hominy Tourism page on Facebook.

Native American Flute Player Serenades at Hominy Gardeners’ Market

By: Roseanne McKee, Hominy Tourism/Economic Development Consultant

Native American Plains flute player David Inda from Bartlesville, serenaded Hominy Gardeners’ Market customers as they shopped on Saturday morning from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. at the corner of Price and Main. Inda took time during quiet moments to share how he came to be a flute player and the history of the flute.

His late friend, Michael Joe “Mickey” Morrison” who worked with him at Phillips Petroleum encouraged him to learn the flute and play.

“About 15 years ago I had some life changes that caused me to turn to the flute as an outlet and it just kind of blossomed,” David Inda explained. Inda, would play outside in downtown Bartlesville during his work breaks.

Over time, his friend Mike Elkins gave him several flutes as gifts.

Inda said, “The flute took me places I’d have never thought about. I thought I was healing myself, but I realized it touched so many people. At times I thought of stopping, but my friend said, ‘that’s a gift you don’t walk away from without consequences.’”

One day he played at the Washington Park Mall in Bartlesville; a man from Woolaroc heard him and asked him to play at the Mountain Man Camp there, which he did.

He has also played at Doenges Stadium entrance for the baseball series held there, at Bartlesville Indian Women’s Club functions, at the Pawnee Bill Wild West Show events and at Prairie Song in Dewey.

“The flute speaks volumes without me saying a word. It crosses all the barriers between people. Flute music soothes. It’s not about the money. It’s about blessing people,” he said.

One irony is that according to Inda, he doesn’t read music, so each time he plays the melody is unique and he claims to be partially tone deaf.

“Because I play from the heart, it’s hard for me to promise to play something again,” he said.

Nonetheless, when he plays the flute, magic happens.

“You breathe into the flute whatever Creator gives you – part of the story of your life, the story of the flute-maker’s life and part of the story of the flute itself – the materials it’s made of combines and whatever comes out is mean to bless people. It’s not me. I’m just the vessel that Creator uses,” Inda said.

The Native American Plains flute is unique because it is a two-chamber instrument – a lot like a recorded – made to hand and arm measurements. One of the flutes he also plays is the river cane flute.

“There is a membrane inside and there’s a hole on either side. It acts like a fibble on a flute and causes it to vibrate,” Inda explained.

“Historically, the flute was played by young men to win young women’s hearts,” Inda said. “The young men would stand by the creek where the women gathered water and play. Playing the flute was something to do. They’d sit outside the lodge and play. Women would come outside and talk, begin to get to know the men and plans to marry would result.”

In the early twentieth century, the Native American Plains flute and the ceremonies at which it was played were frowned upon by white society and white boarding schools, Ida said.

“The culture was lost,” Ida said. “The resurgence of the Native American Plains flute happened right here in Oklahoma. In the 1960’s three men began bringing the flute back: Doc Tate Nevaquava, Tom Mauchahty-Ware and Woodrow Haney.

“Flute player Carlos Nakai is quoted as saying that when he started those three were the only ones playing. Doc Tate would trade flute playing for art. He has a son who still plays,” Inda said.

While not sure of his geneology, Inda has been accepted in Native American circles. He played at the Copan Pow Wow and at the Delaware, or Lenape, Pow Wows.

His playing has a spiritual component. As he plays, Inda watches a hawk circle or a butterfly move and this influences his music.

“All of that ends up in the music some way,” he said.

“Each flute has a different story to tell and a difference voice. Like each of us, we have our own voice and our own story. If we use our voice and stories right, we bless Creator.”

Visit the Hominy Tourism Facebook page for future dates when David Inda will be playing at the Hominy Gardeners’ Market on Saturday mornings in June and July. To sell uncut produce or honey at the market, call Roseanne McKee at 918-287-8784 or e-mail her at hominytourism@outlook.com.