The Mark of Honor
The first Ancient Cedar Pole of the Omaha Tribe is called Waxthe'xe, a gift of Thunder, who was the God of War. "Wa" indicates power of life, and "xthexe", which means "mottled as by shadows". The word also had the idea of bringing prominence to be seen by all the people. Xthexe' was the name of the "Mark of Honor" put on a girl by her father, or near of kin. The male won, through certain acts, entrance into the Hon'hewachi, an honored society, and so secured him the right to have this mark tattooed on a daughter of his choosing. This would signify that she was unique from therest. Certain songs were sung, and instructions were given, during the tattooing ceremony. The Marks of Honor were of cosmic symbols. The tattooing itself was very painful.The major responsibility of the woman carrying the mark was to be a servant to the people, especially the children. The young woman was very committed to her duties of helping during a community crisis, taking in orphaned children, cooking for the needy, giving material items for those without, and assisting the ill. The young woman was highly respected within the tribe. Her dedication to the people was considered sacred.Whereas the staff of the Mark of Honor do not bear the Xthexe' tattoo, they are, however, no less committed to the children of the community. They have chosen this work because they believe that youth are sacred, and they are the hope and strength of the future. Therefore, irregardless of their circumstances, all kids need to be nurtured, cared for, and assisted with learning how to prepare for their future. The Mark of Honor Youth Lodge originally opened in 1993, with funds from the U.S. Department of Interior, B.I.A. funds, and with a lot of work and dedication from the Omaha Tribe. It closed temporarily at the end of 1999, and was reopened with a renewed vision on October 1, 2002. Mark of Honor closed its Macy, Nebraska campus location on May 26, 2013. Reopening at the Lincoln Indian Center in Lincoln, Nebraka 2013.