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Osage Nation receive standing ovation at the Oscars for 'Wahzhazhe' performance that was banned until 1978

America's indigenous people were prohibited from practicing and expressing their religious ceremonies until 1978.

Osage Nation receive standing ovation at the Oscars for 'Wahzhazhe' performance that was banned until 1978
Cover Image Source - Getty Images I Photo by Emma McIntyre

If you watched the Oscars, you might have come across a star-studded show that saw the likes of Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., and Emma Stone pick up awards. Audiences also witnessed a powerful performance on stage, reported ABC7 New York. Taking the stage for the first time, the Osage singers and dancers performed the "Wahzhazhe" ceremony. The term  "Wahzhazhe" means "A song for my people." This six-minute track was part of the film “Killers of the Flower Moon" and left a lasting impact in the tear-jerking climax of the movie.

Image Source  - Getty Images I Photo by Emma McIntyre
Image Source - Getty Images I Photo by Emma McIntyre

This performance by the Osage tribe was met with huge cheers and was applauded by the audience. What's fascinating is Native Americans in the U.S. weren't allowed to perform religious ceremonies before the introduction of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act in 1978. Therefore, this performance means a great deal to the Osage community.


It was particularly a proud moment for the Osage Nation as Scott George represented the clan for the Best Original Song nomination for "Wahzhazhe" (Song for My People) alongside tracks by stars like Billie Eilish and Mark Ronson. The Osage were also represented by Lily Gladstone who was nominated for the Best Actress award for her role in "Killers of the Flower Moon," later won by Emma Stone for her performance in "Poor Things." 

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For the Osage, their latest appearance on the big stage has got them praise and support from the community. An X user named Raven (@quoth_the_rave) took to the platform and posted a small clip of the Wahzhazhe ceremony with a caption that read, "It’s a good day to be Indigenous. Wahzhazhe by the Osage Singers".





This brief clip garnered lots of attention from the Osage community and X users did not hesitate to express their love and appreciation for the sacred ritual performed at the 96th Academy Awards. One user named Greg Horn (@GregHorn27) appreciated the performance and lauded the power of the Indigenous community. The tweet read :



The Oscars presented a great opportunity for the Osage to showcase their culture, tradition, and values to the world which has known very little about its existence. In recent years, the Osage were represented in several Hollywood movies. Still, their latest representation came in Martin Scorcese's "Killer of the Flower Moon" which saw the real-life story of  Mollie Burkhart, an Osage woman married to a white man, Ernest Burkhart, and the suspicious murders of Osage Nation members who became rich overnight after discovering oil in their tribal lands.

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