Quapaw Funeral Customs

The following was told to Bill Supernaw, Jr. by his mother, Mary Maude Supernaw (Grandma Supernaw) around 1960.*

Grandma Supernaw started the custom of having dinners after Indian funerals. Her father was buried about noon (1918). So she just fed everybody there. So that’s how it began. Frances GoodEagle was at the funeral and dinner. He liked Grandma’s father very much. The next year he told Grandma that her father was such a good man they should have another dinner. So they gave one (1919). Then Grandma gave one the third year (1920) on the funeral anniversary. So now the Quapaw give three dinners. One on the funeral day and one each anniversary for two (2) years.

*Bill also wrote: The Delawares had the custom first. They gave the dinners after peyote meetings. So when one member died they gave a dinner after the funeral. John Wilson, Delaware and Caddo

Transcribed by Risë Supernaw Proctor
Year 1980

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Bill Supernaw, Sr. Funeral Arrangements 1958

The following was told to Bill Supernaw, Jr. by his mother Mary Maude Supernaw regarding Bill Supernaw, Sr.’s funeral arrangements in 1958.

Otis Russel to be invited to dinner.

Harry RedEagle, Sr. to speak at dinner and Irvin (Wilson) to speak at grave side (Tobacco ceremony) and alternate Bill Shawnee.

Bill to get gourd and Harry to keep (Eagle fan of TallChief’s) but loan it for peyote meetings. *

Sit up family: Jim Quapaw, Anna McKibben and Elmer Quapaw.

Harry RedEagle, Sidney Griffin, Bob Whitebird, Irvin Wilson

Funeral at Community Bld. Burial at Osage Gardens (Skiatook, Ok)

*When Harry RedEagle passed, the family returned fan to Grandma Supernaw. She then asked Bob Whitebird to put in Quapaw Tribal museum.

Signed by Maude Supernaw (1958)

See Original Documents in .pdf