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Through research, we believe this part of the Missouri Ozarks to be originally inhabited by the Osage, a tribe of the Native American Indian.

Although caves were used occasionally, most Osage Indians lived in settled villages of round earthen lodges: wood covered with earth.  When the Osage tribe went on hunting trips, they used buffalo-hide tipis (or teepees) as temporary shelter.

Source: http://www.native-languages.org/houses.htm  
Osage men were hunters and protectors. The women were farmers, and also did most of the child care and cooking. Both genders took part in storytelling, artwork, music, and traditional medicine.

In English, the word "Osage" is pronounced "oh-sage," but in their own native language, it is pronounced similar to "wah-zah-zhay." Pigeon Creek is Thitta Kaxa, pronounced "Theet-tah Kaxa." And, cave is pronounced Monshontse, similar to "moan-shone-tsay."

http://www.bigorrin.org/osage_kids.htm








    Cave near Pigeon Creek
Of the Osage, “They were the finest men I have seen” and “the most gigantic men I have ever seen.”                   
                President Thomas Jefferson 1804 



"The Osage are so tall and robust as almost to warrant the application of the term gigantic: few of them appear to be under six feet, and many are above it. Their shoulders and visages are broad, which tend to strengthen the idea of their being giants." —                
                                               John Bradbury