Osage Women and Empire: Gender and Power

Tai S. Edwards
Missouri Valley Sundays
Osage Women and Empire
Sunday, March 6, 2022
3:00 pm
Online Event
Event Videos
Before the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers in 1804 and a young St. Louis couple, Francois and Berenice Chouteau, established a trading post in what would become of the Town of Kansas, the region was the domain of the Osage. The vast Osage Nation stretched from the Missouri River south into what is now Arkansas, and west into Oklahoma and Kansas.  

Most histories claim that Osage power in the 18th century arose from the prowess of Osage men at hunting and war. But in a discussion of her book Osage Women and Empire, historian Tai S. Edwards argues that Osage cosmology defined men and women as necessary pairs. In their society, hunting and war, like everything else, involved both sexes. By studying gender roles, the rise and fall of the Osage empire can be better understood.  

Edwards is an associate professor of history and director of the Kansas Studies Institute at Johnson County Community College. Her research focuses on North American colonization, U.S. imperialism, and Indigenous peoples.  

This presentation is co-presented by the Kansas City Athenaeum in celebration of Women’s History Month.