The Project Gutenberg EBook of Calendar history of the Kiowa Indians.
(1898 N 17 / 1895-1896 (pages 129-444), by James Mooney

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Title: Calendar history of the Kiowa Indians. (1898 N 17 / 1895-1896 (pages 129-444))

Author: James Mooney

Release Date: August 2, 2014 [EBook #46479]

Language: English

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Seventeenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1895-96, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1898, pages 129—444

130 131


Introduction 141
Age of aboriginal American records 141
Aboriginal American calendars 141
The Walam Olum of the Delawares 142
The Dakota calendars 142
Other tribal records 142
The Kiowa calendars 143
The Annual calendars of Dohásän, Poläñ´yi-katón, Set-t'an, and Anko 143
The Anko monthly calendar 145
Comparative importance of events recorded 145
Method of fixing dates 146
Scope of the memoir 147
Acknowledgments 147
Sketch of the Kiowa tribe 148
Tribal synonymy 148
Tribal sign 150
Linguistic affinity 150
Tribal names 152
Genesis and migration 152
Early alliance with the Crows 155
The associated Kiowa Apache 156
The historical period 156
Possession of the Black Hills 156
The extinct K'úato 157
Intercourse with the Arikara, Mandan, and Hidatsa 158
Recollections of other northern tribes 160
Acquirement of horses 160
Intercourse and war with the Comanche 161
Peace with the Comanche 162
Confederation of the two tribes 164
Neutral attitude of New Mexicans 165
Relations_with_other_southern_tribes 165
First_official_American_notices_1805_1807 165
Explanation of "Aliatan" and "Tetau" 167
Unsuccessful overtures of the_Dakota 167
Smallpox epidemic of 1816 168
The Kiowa in 1820 168
The Osage massacre and the dragoon expedition, 1833—34 168
The treaty of 1837 169
Catlin's observations in 1834 171
Traders among the Kiowa 171
First visit to Fort Gibson 172
Smallpox epidemic of 1839—40—Peace with the Cheyenne and Arapaho 172
Texan Santa Fé expedition 172
Cholera epidemic of 1849 173
Fort Atkinson treaty in 1853 173
Depredations in Mexico—Mexican captives 173
Defeat of allied tribes by Sauk and Fox, 1854 174132
Hostile drift of the Kiowa 175
Defiant speech of Dohásän 175
Smallpox epidemic of 1861—62 176
Indian war on the plains, 1864 176
Vaccination among the plains tribes—Set-t'aiñte 177
The little Arkansas treaty in 1865 178
Death of Dohásän 180
Kiowa raids continued 181
The treaty of Medicine Lodge, 1867, and its results 181
Renewed hostilities 186
Battle of the Washita—Removal to the reservation 187
Further insolence of the Kiowa—Raids into Texas 188
Intertribal peace council, 1872 190
Joint delegation to Washington, 1872 190
Thomas C. Battey, first teacher among the Kiowa, 1872 193
Report of Captain Alvord 193
Release of Set-t'aiñte and Big-tree, 1873 195
Haworth's administration, 1873—78 197
First school established by Battey 198
The outbreak of 1874—75 199
Causes of the dissension 199
The Comanche medicine-man 201
Apache and Arapaho friendliness 202
Further defiance 202
Battle of Adobe Walls 203
Friendlies collected at Fort Sill 203
Fight at Anadarko, the Wichita agency 204
Set-t'aiñte 206
Progress of the campaign 210
Surrender of the Cheyenne 212
Prisoners sent to Florida 213
The Germaine family 213
Surrender of the Comanche 214
Proposition to deport hostile tribes 214
Kicking-bird 216
Changed conditions 218
Epidemics of measles and fever in 1877—First houses built 218
Agency removed to Anadarko—The last of the buffalo 218
Threatened outbreak instigated by Dátekâñ 219
Epidemic of 1882—Beginning of church work 219
Leasing of grass lands 219
Pá-iñgya, the medicine man and prophet 220
Indian court established 220
Intertribal council of 1888 221
Death of Sun-boy—The last sun dance 221
Ghost dance inaugurated—Äpiatañ's journey in 1890 221
Enlistment of Indians as soldiers 223
Measles epidemic of 1892—Grass lands leased 223
Commission for allotment of lands—Protest against decision 224
Present condition—Agents in charge of confederate tribes 225
Summary of principal events 226
Sociology of the Kiowa 227
Absence of the clan system 227
Local divisions 227133
Subtribes 227
The camp circle 228
Military organization—Yä`´pähe warriors 229
Heraldic system 230
Name system 231
Marriage 231
Tribal government 233
Character 233
Population 235
Religion of the Kiowa 237
Scope of their belief 237
The sun 237
Objects of religious veneration 238
Tribal medicines of other Indians 242
The sun dance 242
The Nadíisha-dena or Kiowa Apache 245
Tribal synonymy 245
Tribal sign 246
Origin and history 246
First official American notice 251
Treaties 251
Delegation to Washington, 1872—Friendly disposition 251
Progress toward civilization—Death of Pacer, 1875 252
Recent history and present condition 252
Population 253
The annual calendars, 1833—1892 254
1832—33. Money captured from American traders 254
1833. Massacre by the Osage and capture of the taíme—Pedestrian war parties—Beheading 257
1833—34. Meteoric display 260
1834. Dragoon expedition—First official intercourse—Trade established 261
1834—35. Bull-tail killed by Mexicans 269
1835. Cat-tail rush sun dance—Capture of Bóiñ-edal and Cynthia Parker 270
1835—36. Big-face or Wolf-hair killed in Mexico 270
1836. Wolf creek sun dance—Kiñep visit Crows—Battle with Cheyenne 271
1836—37. K`iñähíate killed in Mexico 271
1837. Cheyenne massacred on upper Red river 271
1837—38. Head-dragging winter 272
1838. Kiowa and allies defeat Cheyenne and Arapaho 273
1838—39. Battle with the Arapaho 273
1839. Peninsula sun dance 274
1839—40. Smallpox ravages the plains tribes 274
1840. Red-bluff sun dance—Peace with Cheyenne and Arapaho 275
1840—41. Hide-quiver war expedition—Expeditions against Mexico 276
1841. Pawnee massacred on the South Canadian 276
1841—42. Encounter with Texan Santa Fé expedition—´dalhabä´k`ia killed 277
1842. Repeated sun dance 279
1842—43. Crow-neck died 280
1843. Nest-building sun dance—Encounter with Texans 280
1843—44. Woman stabbed—Raid into Mexico—Trading post on South Canadian 280
1844. Dakota sun dance—Dakota visit Kiowa 281
1844—45. Great expedition against Mexico—Ä´tahá-ik`i killed 282134
1845. Stone necklace sun dance 283
1845—46. Bent establishes trading post on South Canadian.—Allison's post on the Arkansas 283
1846. Págunhéñte initiated—The Ka´itséñk`ia 283
1846—47. Mustache-shooting winter—Fight with the Pawnee 285
1847. Fight with the Santa Fé traders; Red-sleeve killed 286
1847—48. Camp on upper South Canadian 287
1848. Kâ´itséñko initiated 287
1848—49. Antelope drive on the Arkansas; the ceremonies 287
1849. Cholera on the plains—Treaty negotiations postponed 289
1849—50. Fight with the Pawnee—The scalp dance 290
1850. Chinaberry sun dance on Beaver creek 292
1850—51. Tañgíapa killed in Mexico 292
1851. Dusty sun dance—Treachery of the Pawnee 293
1851—52. Woman elopes and is frozen—"Stealing" a woman 294
1852. Allied tribes defeated by Pawnee—Iron-shirt killed 294
1852—53. Race horse stolen by Pawnee boy 295
1853. Showery sun dance—Taíme sacrilege 295
1853—54. Raid into Mexico, Päñgyägíate killed 296
1854. Medicine-lodge creek sun dance—Confederated tribes defeated by Sauk and Fox 297
1854—55. Gyaí`koaóñte killed by the Älähó 299
1855. Sitting summer; horses worn out 300
1855—56. Big-head kills an Älähó—Raid into Mexico 300
1856. Prickly-pear sun dance 301
1856—57. Tipis seized by the Cheyenne 301
1857. Forked-stick-sprouting sun dance—Expeditions against El Paso and the Sauk—Story of the ä´poto 301
1857—58. Horses stolen by the Pawnee 305
1858. Timber-circle sun dance 305
1858—59. Gúi-k`áte killed by Mexicans—Expedition against the Ute 306
1859. Cedar-bluff sun dance 306
1859—60. Gíaká-ite abandoned to die 307
1860. Attacked by troops with Indian allies—Increasing hostility 308
1860—61. Crazy bluff winter—Revenge upon Caddo—Raid into Texas—The zótă´ or driveway 309
1861. Horse sacrificed at sun dance—Sacrilege against taíme—The lost war party 310
1861—62. Smallpox—Effect of gold discovery in Colorado 311
1862. Sun dance after the smallpox 311
1862—63. Expedition against Texas—The echo in the tree tops—The Gua-dagya or travel song 312
1863. Sun dance on No-arm's river 313
1863—64. Death of Big-head and Kills-with-a-gun—Anko calendar begins 313
1864. Ragweed sun dance—Kiowa stampede horses from Fort Larned; general war upon the plains 313
1864—65. Muddy travel winter—Kiowa repel Kit Carson 314
1865. Peninsula sun dance 317
1865—66. Death of Dohásän and Tä´nkóñkya—Smith's trading party 318
1866. German-silver sun dance—Whitacre the trader—Trade in silver with Mexicans 318
1866—67. Attack on Texas emigrants; Ä´pämâdalte killed—Andres Martinez captured 319
1867. Horses stolen by the Navaho—Kâitséñko initiated 319
1867—68. Medicine Lodge treaty—Expedition against the Navaho 320135
1868. Sun dance on Medicine-lodge creek—Disastrous expedition against the Ute—The taíme captured 322
1868—69. Tän-gúădal killed; his medicine lance—Burial expedition 325
1869. War-bonnet sun dance—Expedition against the Ute 326
1869—70. Bugle stampede—The Cheyenne on the warpath 326
1870. Plant-growing sun dance 327
1870—71. Set-äñ´gya brings home his son's bones—Drunken fight—Negroes killed in Texas—Death of Ansó`te 328
1871. Koñpä´te killed—Arrest of Set-t'aiñte and other chiefs—Tragic death of Setäñgya—The Kâitséñko death song—Set-äñgya and Set-t'aiñte 328
1871—72 (1872—73). Peace with the Pawnee; removal to Indian Territory 333
1872. Bíako shot by whites in Kansas 335
1872—73. Visit of the Pueblos—Dohásän's tipi burned—Kiowa heraldic system 336
1873. Sun dance on Sweetwater creek—Guibadái's wife stolen 336
1873—74. Set-t'aiñte released—Lone-wolf's son killed 337
1874. Sun dance on North fork—Set-t´aiñte gives his medicine lance to Ä´`to-t'aiñ 338
1874—75. Fight at Anadarko—Gi-edal killed—Prisoners sent to Florida 339
1875. Sun dance at Love-making spring—Escorted by troops 339
1875—76. Sheep and goats issued to Indians—Stock losses by outbreak 339
1876. Sun dance on North fork—Sun-boy's horses stolen—Dóhéñ´te dies 340
1876—77. A`gábaí killed by her husband—Enlistment of scouts 340
1877. Sun dance on Salt fork of Red river—Ravages of measles 341
1877—78. Buffalo hunt—Fever epidemic—Houses built for chiefs 342
1878. Repeated sun dance—Buffalo hunt under soldier escort 343
1878—79. Hunting party attacked by Texans; Ä´`to-t'aiñ killed 343
1879. Horse-eating sun dance—Last of the buffalo—Boy shot 344
1879—80. "Eye-triumph winter"—Expedition against the Navaho—The talking owl 345
1880. No sun dance—Päbóte dies—Dead names tabooed 346
1880—81. Zoñtam's (?) house built—Last visit by the Pueblos 346
1881. Hot or hemorrhage sun dance—Instances of malformation 347
1881—82. The dó-á contest—The dó-á game—Dátekâñ's medicine tipi 347
1882. No sun dance because no buffalo—Stumbling-bear's daughter dies—Dátekâñ, the prophet 349
1882—83. Bót-édalte dies—Talk of grass leases 350
1883. Nez Percés visit Kiowa—The Nez Percé war—Taimete succeeds to the taíme 351
1883—84. House built by Gákiñăte—Children taken to Chilocco—Visited by Sioux 352
1884. No sun dance—Kiowa haul freight 352
1884—85. House building—Woman stolen 353
1885. Little Peninsula sun dance—First grass money 353
1885—86. T'ébodal's camp burned 354
1886. No sun dance—Anko a policeman—Grass payment 354
1886—87. Suicide of Peyi 354
1887. Buffalo bought for sun dance—Grass payment—Name changes 355
1887—88. Cattle received for grass leases 355
1888. Permission for sun dance refused—Excitement caused by the prophet Pá-iñgya 356
1888—89. Sun-boy dies—Anko splits rails 357
1889. No sun dance—Grass payment 358
1889—90. Grass payment—The Íâm dance 358136
1890. Last attempt at sun dance; stopped by troops 358
1890—91. Ghost dance inaugurated; Ä´piatañ's mission—Schoolboys frozen 359
1891. P´ódaläñte killed—The Cheyenne visit the Kiowa 361
1891—92. P´ódaläñte killed—Enlistment of Indian soldiers 362
1892. Terrible ravages of measles—Large grass payment—Delegation to Washington—Appropriation for house building 362
Kiowa chronology 365
Terms employed 365
The seasons 366
Kiowa moons or months 367
Moons or months of other tribes 369
The Anko monthly calendar: August, 1889-July, 1892 373
T´águñótal P´a Sän (August, 1889); no event 373
T´águñótal P´a; no event 373
Gákiñăt´o P´a; woman whipped 373
Ä`gâ´nti; no event 373
Tépgañ P´a; wagon stalled 373
Gañhíña P´a (January? 1890); annuity issue 374
Ka`gúăt P´a Sän; mares foal 374
Ka`guăt P´a; split rails 374
Aideñ P´a; horses lost 374
Pai Ä`gâ´nti; visit Cheyenne 374
Pai Tépgañ P´a; visit Cheyenne again—first ghost dance 374
Pai Gañhíña P´a (July, 1890); sun dance stopped—grass payments 375
T´águñótal P´a Sän; no event 375
T´águñótal P´a; Äpiatañ goes to the messiah 375
Gákiñăt´o P´a; Sitting-bull comes 375
Ä`gâ´nti; no event 375
Tépgañ P´a; boys frozen 376
Gañhíña P´a (January? 1891); annuity issue 376
Ka`gúăt P´a Sän (February, 1891); Ä´piatañ returns 376
Ka`gúăt P´a; wire issue 376
Aídeñ P´a; no event 376
Pai Ägâ´nti (June, 1891); Caddo and Wichita agreement 376
Pai Tépgañ P´a (July, 1891); Fourth of July races 376
Pai Gañhíña P´a; Setk`opte's wife stolen 377
T´águñótal P´a Sän; the Pueblo dance 377
T´águñótal P´a; P´odalä´ñte killed 377
Gákiñat´o P´a; made medicine—cut wood 377
A`gâ´nti (November, 1892); lunar eclipse 377
Tépgañ P´a; no event 378
Gañhíña P´a (January? 1892); annuity issue 378
Ka`gúăt P´a Sän; wire issue 378
Ka`gúăt P´a: move camp—late frost 378
Aídeñ P´a (April, 1892); emigrant to Cheyenne country 378
Pai Ä`gâ´nti: Íatäkía dies—grass payment 378
Pai Tépgañ P´a; measles epidemic—grass payment 379
Pai Gañhíña P´a (July, 1892); Fourth of July races 379
T´águñótal P´a Sän (August, 1892); visit of Cheyenne and Arapaho 379
Military and trading posts, missions, etc 381
The Kiowa language 389
Characteristics 389
Kiowa-English glossary 391
English-Kiowa glossary 430
Authorities cited 440137


Plate LVII. Range of the Kiowa and neighboring tribes (map) 141
LVIII. Gui-pägo or Lone-wolf, principal chief, 1866—1874 189
LIX. Tseñ-t'aiñte or White-horse 190
LX. Gui-k`áte or Sleeping-wolf (Wolf-lying-down) and wife 192
LXI. Quanah Parker, principal chief of the Comanche 202
LXII. Inside of Set-t'aiñte's shield 208
LXIII. Outside of Set-t'aiñte's shield 210
LXIV. Set-ĭmkía or Stumbling-bear (Pushing-bear) 219
LXV. Paí-tälyí or Sun-boy 221
LXLXVI. Andres Martinez ("Än´dali") 236
LXVII. The Porcupine in the tree, and flight of the Sun-woman 238
LXVIII. Peyote plant and button 241
LXIX. The taíme 242
LXX. Arapaho sun-dance lodge, 1893 244
LXXI. Pacer (Peso), former head-chief of the Kiowa Apache 245
LXXII. Daha, a Kiowa Apache subchief 246
LXXIII. Kiowa migration route 249
LXXIV. Goñk`oñ or Apache John, a Kiowa Apache subchief 251
LXXV. The Sét-t'an annual calendar 254
LXXVI. Bóhon-kóñkya, "Quay-ham-kay," Gunpäñdâmä, and "Kotsatoah" (after Catlin) 268
LXXVII. Sand mosaic of the Hopi Antelope priests 296
LXXVIII. Lawrie Tatum, with group of rescued captives 331
LXXIX. The Do-gíägyä-guat or tipi of battle pictures 337
LXXX. The Anko calendar 373
LXXXI. Anko 374
Figure 43. Zépko-eétte or Big-bow 151
44. Dohásän or Little-bluff, principal chief, 1833—1866 175
45. Set-t'aiñte (Satanta) or White-bear 178
46. Set-ängya (Satank) or Sitting-bear 189
47. Tseñ-t'aiñte or White-horse 191
48. Ä´do-eétte or Big-tree 192
49. "Ka-ati-wertz-ama-na—A brave man, not afraid of any Indian" 195
50. T'ené-angópte or Kicking-bird 196
51. Gui-pägo or Lone-wolf, present head-chief of the Kiowa 200
52. Ä´piatañ or Wooden-lance 222
53. H. L. Scott, Captain, Seventh, cavalry, U. S. A. 224
54. A group of Kiowa 225
55. The Kiowa camp circle 229
56. Mäñyí-tén or Woman-heart, a typical Kiowa 232
57. Gaápiatáñ (alias Haitsĭki) or Feathered-lance, a typical Kiowa 234
58. Gray-eagle, a Kiowa Apache subchief 247
59. Tsáyădítl-ti or White-man, present head-chief of the Kiowa Apache 249
60. Dävéko, "The-same-one," a Kiowa Apache subchief and medicine-man 250
61. Sét-t'án or Little-bear 254
62. Winter 1832—33—Money captured 255
63. Summer 1833—They cut off their heads 258
64. Winter 1833—34—The stars fell 261138
65. The star shower of 1833 (from the Dakota calendars) 261
66. Summer 1834—Return of Gunpä´ñdamä´ 261
67. Meeting of the dragoons and the Comanche (after Catlin) 264
68. Kĭ´tskûkătû´k, the Wichita village on North fork in 1834 267
69. Winter 1834—35—Bull-tail killed 269
70. Summer 1835—Cat-tail rush sun dance 269
71. Winter 1835—36—Big-face killed 270
72. Summer 1836—Wolf-river sun dance 271
73. Winter 1836—37—Ki´ñähíate killed 271
74. Summer 1837—Cheyenne massacred 271
75. Battle pictures (from the Dakota calendars) 272
76. Winter 1837—38—Head dragged 273
77. Summer 1838—Attacked by Cheyenne 273
78. Winter 1838—39—Battle with Arapaho 274
79. Summer 1839—Peninsula sun dance 274
80. Winter 1839—40—Smallpox 274
81. Smallpox (from the Dakota calendars) 275
82. Summer 1840—Red-bluff sun dance 275
83. Winter 1840—41—Hide-quiver war expedition 276
84. Summer 1841—Pawnee fight 276
85. Winter 1841—42—´dalhabä´k`ía killed 277
86. Summer 1842—Repeated sun dance 279
87. Winter 1842—43—Crow-neck died 280
88. Summer 1843—Nest-building sun dance 280
89. Winter 1843—44—Woman stabbed 281
90. Summer 1844—Dakota sun dance 281
91. Winter 1844—45—Ä´tahá-ik`í killed 282
92. Giving the war pipe (from the Dakota calendars) 282
93. Summer 1845—Stone-necklace sun dance 283
94. Winter 1845—46—Wrinkled-neck's trading post 283
95. Summer 1846—Hornless-bull initiated 284
96. Dog-soldier initiated (?) (from the Dakota calendars) 285
97. Winter 1846—47—Mustache shooting 286
98. Summer 1847—Red-sleeve killed 286
99. Winter 1847—48—Winter camp 287
100. Summer 1848—Initiation sun dance 287
101. Winter 1848—49—Antelope drive 287
102. Antelope drives (from the Dakota calendars) 288
103. Summer 1849—Cholera sun dance 289
104. Cholera (from the Dakota calendars) 290
105. Winter 1849—50—Dance over slain Pawnee 292
106. Summer 1850—Chinaberry sun dance 292
107. Winter 1850—51—Buck-deer killed 293
108. Summer 1851—Dusty sun dance; flag stolen 293
109. Winter 1851—52—Woman frozen 294
110. Summer 1852—Iron-shirt killed 294
111. Winter 1852—53—Gúădal-tséyu stolen 295
112. Summer 1853—Showery sun dance 295
113. Rain symbols (Chinese, Hopi, and Ojibwa) 296
114. Winter 1853—54—Pä´ñgyägíate killed 296
115. Summer 1854—Black-horse killed 297
116. Winter 1854—55—Gyai`koaóñte killed 299
117. Summer 1855—Sitting summer 300
118. Winter 1855—56—Big-head kills an Ä´lähó 300
119. Summer 1856—-Prickly-pear sun dance 301
120. Winter 1856—57—Tipis left 301139
121. Summer 1857—Forked-stick-sprouting sun dance 302
122. Winter 1857—58—Horses stolen 305
123. Summer 1858—Timber-circle sun dance 306
124. Winter 1858—59—Gúi-k`ate killed 306
125. Summer 1859—Cedar-bluff sun dance 306
126. Winter 1859—60—Gíaká-ite died 307
127. Summer 1860—Bird-appearing killed 308
128. Winter 1860—61—Crazy-bluff winter 309
129. Summer 1861—Pinto left tied 310
130. Winter 1861—62—Smallpox 311
131. Summer 1862—Sun dance after smallpox 311
132. Winter 1862—63—Treetop winter 312
133. Summer 1863—No-arm's-river sun dance 313
134. Winter 1863—64—Big-head dies; Hâ´ñzephó`da dies 313
135. Summer 1864—Ragweed sun dance; soldier fight 314
136. Winter 1864—65—Ute fight 315
137. Summer 1865—Peninsula sun dance 317
138. Winter 1865—66—Tän-kóñkya died; Dohásän died 318
139. Summer 1866—German-silver sun dance 319
140. Winter 1866—67—Äpämâ´dalte killed 319
141. Summer 1867—Black-ear stolen; the Kâ´itséñko 320
142. Winter 1867—68—Medicine Lodge treaty; Navaho killed 320
143. Summer 1868—Ute fight 322
144. Winter 1868—69—Tängúadal killed 325
145. Summer 1869—War-bonnet sun dance 326
146. Winter 1869—70—Bugle scare 326
147. Summer 1870—Plant-growing sun dance; dusty sun dance 327
148. Winter 1870—71—Set-ängya's bones brought home; drunken fight; negroes killed 327
149. Summer 1871—Set-t'aiñte arrested; Kóñpäte killed 328
150. Set-taíñte in prison 330
151. Winter 1871—72 (1872—73)—Pawnee visit; camp on Long-tree creek 333
152. Summer 1872—Viejo shot 335
153. Winter 1872—73—Pueblo visit; battle tipi burned 336
154. Summer 1873—Pa-kóñkya's horses killed 337
155. Winter 1873—74—Set-t'aiñte returns; Lone-wolf's son killed 337
156. Summer 1874—The medicine lance; Bluff-end sun dance 338
157. Winter 1874—75—Gi-edal killed; Kiowa imprisoned 339
158. Summer 1875—Love-making spring sun dance 339
159. Winter 1875—76—Sheep and goats issued 339
160. Summer 1876—Horse-stealing sun dance 340
161. Winter 1876—77—A'gábaí killed; scouts enlisted 341
162. Summer 1877—Measles sun dance 341
163. Winter 1877—78—Camp at Signal mountain; hunt on Pecan creek 342
164. Summer 1878—Repeated sun dance 343
165. Winter 1878—79—Ä'to-t´áiñ killed 343
166. Summer 1879—Horse-eating sun dance; boy shot 344
167. Winter 1879—80—Eye-triumph winter 345
168. Summer 1880—No dance; Päbóte died 346
169. Winter 1880—81—House built; Pueblo visit 347
170. Summer 1881—Hemorrhage or hot sun dance 347
171. Winter 1831—82—Dó-á game; medicine tipi 348
172. Summer 1882—Buffalo medicine; Pä´tso`gáte died 349
173. Winter, 1882—83—Bot-édalte dies; grass leases; camp on Pecan creek 350140
174. Summer 1883—Nez Percé sun dance 351
175. Winter 1883—84—House built; children taken; Sioux dances 352
176. Summer 1884—No sun dance; hauled freight 352
177. Winter 1884—85—Winter camp; Tón-ak`a's elopement 353
178. Summer 1885—Little Peninsula sun dance; grass payment 353
179. Winter 1885—86—Camp burned 354
180. Summer 1886—No sun dance; policemen; grass payment 354
181. Winter 1886—87—Peyi commits suicide 354
182. Summer 1887—No sun dance (?); grass payment 355
183. Winter 1887—88—Cattle payment 355
184. Summer 1888—Sun dance (?); Pá-iñgya's prophecy 356
185. Winter 1888—89—Winter camp; Sun-boy died; split rails 358
186. Summer 1889—No sun dance; grass payment 358
187. Winter 1889—90—Winter camp; grass payment; Íâm dance 358
188. Summer 1890—Unfinished sun dance 359
189. Winter 1890—91—Sitting-bull comes; Ä´piatañ; boys frozen 359
190. Summer 1891—P'ódalä´ñte killed; visit Cheyenne 361
191. Winter 1891—92—Soldiers enlisted; P'ódalä´ñte killed 362
192. Summer 1892—Measles; grass payment 362
193. T'águñótal P'a Sän 373
194. T'águñótal P'a 373
195. Gakíñat'o P'a—Woman-whipped 373
196. Ä`gâ´nti 373
197. Tépgañ P'a—Wagon stalled 373
198. Gañhíña P'a—Annuity issue 374
199. Ka`gúăt P'a Sän—Mares foal 374
200. Ka`gúăt P'a—Split rails 374
201. Aideñ P'a—Horses lost 374
202. Pai Ä`gâ´nti—Visit Cheyenne 374
203. Pai Tépgañ P'a—Ghost dance 374
204. Pai Gañhíña P'a—Sun dance stopped; grass payment 375
205. T'aguñótal P'a Sän 375
206. T'aguñótal P'a—Ä´piatañ 375
207. Gákiñăt´o P'a—Sitting-bull 375
208. Ä`gâ´nti 375
209. Tépgañ P'a—Schoolboys frozen 376
210. Gañhíña P'a—Annuity issue 376
211. Ka`gúăt P'a Sän—Ä´piatañ returns 376
212. Ka`gúăt P'a—Wire issue 376
213. Aideñ P'a 376
214. Pai Ä`gâ´nti—Treaty sale 376
215. Pai Tépgañ P'a—Races 377
216. Pai Gañhíña P'a—Woman stolen 377
217. T'aguñótal P'a Sän—Pueblo dance 377
218. T'aguñótal P'a—P'odalä´ñte killed 377
219. Gákíñat'o P'a—Made medicine; cut wood 377
220. Ä`gâ´nti—Lunar eclipse 378
221. Tépgañ P'a 378
222. Gañhíña P'a—Annuity issue 378
223. Ka`gúăt P'a Sän—Wire issue 378
224. Ka`gúăt P'a—Move camp 378
225. Áideñ P'a—Immigrants arrive 378
226. Pai Ä`gâ´nti—Íatäkía dies; grass payment 378
227. Pai Tépgañ P'a—Measles; grass payment 379
228. Pai Gañhíña P'a—Fourth of July races 379
229. T'águñótal P'a Sän—Cheyenne dance 379





By James Mooney



The desire to preserve to future ages the memory of past achievements is a universal human instinct, as witness the clay tablets of old Chaldea, the hieroglyphs of the obelisks, our countless thousands of manuscripts and printed volumes, and the gossiping old story-teller of the village or the backwoods cabin. The reliability of the record depends chiefly on the truthfulness of the recorder and the adequacy of the method employed. In Asia, the cradle of civilization, authentic history goes back thousands of years; in Europe the record begins much later, while in America the aboriginal narrative, which may be considered as fairly authentic, is all comprised within a thousand years.


The peculiar and elaborate systems by means of which the more cultivated ancient nations of the south recorded their histories are too well known to students to need more than a passing notice here. It was known that our own tribes had various ways of depicting their mythology, their totems, or isolated facts in the life of the individual or nation, but it is only within a few years that it was even suspected that they could have anything like continuous historical records, even in embryo.

The fact is now established, however, that pictographic records covering periods of from sixty to perhaps two hundred years or more do, or did, exist among several tribes, and it is entirely probable that every leading mother tribe had such a record of its origin and wanderings, the pictured narrative being compiled by the priests and preserved with sacred care through all the shifting vicissitudes of savage life until lost or destroyed in the ruin that overwhelmed the native governments at the coming of the white man. Several such histories are now known, and as the aboriginal field is still but partially explored, others may yet come to light. 142


East of the Mississippi the most important and best known record is the Walam Olum or "red score" of the Delawares, originally discovered in 1820, and published by Dr D.G. Brinton in 1885. It consists of a series of pictographs designed to fix in memory the verses of a genesis and migration chant which begins with the mythic period and comes down to the advent of the whites about the year 1610. It appears to be genuine and ancient, although the written chant as we find it contains modern forms, having of course been reduced to writing within a comparatively recent period.

It is said that the Cherokee seventy years ago had a similar long tribal tradition which was recited by the priests on ceremonial occasions. If so, it was probably recorded in pictographs, but tradition and record alike are now lost.


West of the Mississippi the first extended Indian calendar history discovered was the "Lone-dog winter count," found among the Dakota by Colonel Garrick Mallery, and first published by him in 1877. This history of the Dakota was painted on a buffalo robe by Lone-dog, of the Yanktonai tribe of that confederacy, and extends over a period of seventy-one years, beginning in 1800. Subsequent investigation by Colonel Mallery brought to light several other calendars in the same tribe, some being substantially a copy of the first, others going back, respectively, to 1786, 1775, and the mythic period.

In all these Dakota calendars there is only a single picture for each year, with nothing to mark the division of summer and winter. As they call a year a "winter," and as our year begins in the middle of winter, it is consequently impossible, without some tally date from our own records, to know in which of two consecutive years any event occurred, i.e., whether before or after New Year. In this respect the Kiowa calendars here published are much superior to those of the Dakota.


Clark, in his book on Indian sign-language, mentions incidentally that the Apache have similar picture histories, but gives no more definite information as concerns that tribe. He goes on to say that the Santee Sioux claim to have formerly kept a record of events by tying knots in a string, after the manner of the Peruvian quipu. By the peculiar method of tying and by means of certain marks they indicated battles and other important events, and even less remarkable occurrences, such as births, etc. He states that he saw among them a slender pole about 6 feet in length, the surface of which was completely covered with small notches, and the old Indian who had it assured him that it had been handed down from father to son for many generations, 143 and that these notches represented the history of his tribe for more than a thousand years, going back, indeed, to the time when they lived near the ocean (Clark, 1).1 In this case the markings must have been suggestive rather than definite in their interpretation, and were probably used in connection with a migration chant similar to that of the Walam Olurn.



So far as known to the author, the Dakota calendars and the Kiowa calendars here reproduced are the only ones yet discovered among the prairie tribes. Dodge, writing in 1882, felt so confident that the Dakota calendar of Mallery was the only one ever produced by our Indians that he says, "I have therefore come to the conclusion that it is unique, that there is no other such calendar among Indians.... I now present it as a curiosity, the solitary effort to form a calendar ever made by the plains Indians" (Dodge, 1). Those obtained by the author among the Kiowa are three in number, viz: the Sett'an yearly calendar, beginning with 1833 and covering a period of sixty years; the Anko yearly calendar, beginning with 1864 and covering a period of twenty-nine years; and the Anko monthly calendar, covering a period of thirty-seven months. All these were obtained in 1892, and are brought up to that date. The discovery of the Anko calendars was an indirect result of having obtained the Sett'an calendar.

A fourth Kiowa calendar was obtained in the same year by Captain H. L. Scott, Seventh cavalry, while stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, on the Kiowa reservation, and was by him generously placed at the disposal of the author, together with all his notes bearing on the subject. This calendar was procured from Dohásän, "Little-bluff," nephew of the celebrated Dohásän who was head chief of the Kiowa tribe for more than thirty years. The nephew, who died in 1893 at an advanced age, told Captain Scott that the calendar had been kept in his family from his youth up, having originally been painted on hides, which were renewed from time to time as they wore out from age and handling. The calendar delivered by him to Scott is drawn with colored pencils on heavy manila paper, as is also the Sett'an calendar obtained by the author. In both, the pictographs are arranged in a continuous spiral, beginning in the lower right-hand corner and ending near the center, the rows of pictographs being separated from each other by a continuous spiral. In both, the winter is designated by means of an upright black bar, to indicate that vegetation was then dead, while summer is represented by means of the figure of the medicine lodge, the central object of the annual summer religious ceremony. 144 The leading event of the season is indicated by means of a pictograph above or beside the winter mark or medicine lodge. In a few instances, in the earlier years, when the medicine dance was omitted, the event recorded for the summer is placed between the consecutive winter marks, without anything to show the season, but toward the end, when the medicine dance had been practically discontinued, the summer is indicated by the figure of a tree in foliage.

The general plan of the Anko calendar is the same, excepting that the winter pictographs are below the winter marks, with which they are connected by lines, the winter marks forming a single row across the page, with the center pole of the medicine lodge, the summer pictographs above and the winter pictographs below. This calendar was originally drawn with a black pencil in a small notebook, and afterward, by direction of the author, redrawn in colored inks on buckskin. A comparison of the three justifies the assertion that the Kiowa have a recognized system of calendar pictography. In artistic execution the Sett'an calendar ranks first.

Still another calendar, thought to have dated farther back than any of those now under consideration, was kept by an old man of the Kiowa Apache named Polä´ñyi-katón, "Rabbit-shoulder," and is supposed to have been buried with him at his death, a few years ago.

From the evidence it is probable that the first calendar within the present knowledge of the Kiowa was kept by the old chief Doha´sän, whose hereditary tipi occupied the first place in the camp circle of the tribe, and in whose family certain priestly functions in connection with the medicine dance descended in regular succession. After his death in 1866 it was continued and brought down to date by his nephew and namesake, whose last revision is now in possession of Captain Scott.

The Sett'an calendar is an inspiration, but not a copy, from the Dohásän calendar, of which it is almost an exact duplicate, but with the addition of one or two pictographs, together with greater skill and detail in execution. Sett'an stated that he had been fourteen years drawing it; i. e., that he had begun work on it fourteen years before, noting the events of the first six years from the statements of older men, and the rest from his own recollection. He knew of the Dohásän calendar, although he claimed never to have seen it, but from internal evidence and from the man's general reputation for untruthfulness it is probable that he had seen it sufficiently often to be able to reproduce it from memory.

This will be understood when it is explained that it is customary for the owners of such Indian heirlooms to bring them out at frequent intervals during the long nights in the winter camp, to be exhibited and discussed in the circle of warriors about the tipi fire. The signal for such a gathering takes the form of an invitation to the others to "come and smoke," shouted in a loud voice through the camp by the leader of the assemblage while standing in front of his tipi, or even without 145 passing outside, his voice easily being heard through the thin walls and the smoke-hole of the lodge. At these gatherings the pipe is filled and passed around, and each man in turn recites some mythic or historic tradition, or some noted deed on the warpath, which is then discussed by the circle. Thus the history of the tribe is formulated and handed down.

Sett'an, "Little-bear," who is a cousin of the old war-chief, in whose family the author makes his home when with the tribe, voluntarily brought in and presented the calendar without demanding any payment in return, saying that he had kept it for a long time, but that he was now old and the young men were forgetting their history, and he wanted it taken to Washington and preserved there with the other things collected from the tribe, that the white people might always remember what the Kiowa had done.


The original monthly calendar of Anko (abbreviated from Ankopaá-iñgyadéte, "In-the middle-of-many-tracks") was drawn in black pencil in a continuous spiral, covering two pages of the notebook in which his yearly calendar was recorded, and was redrawn by him in colored inks, under the inspection of the author, on the same buckskin on which the other was reproduced. It begins in the lower left-hand corner. Each moon or month is represented by a crescent, above which is a pictograph to indicate the event, or the name of the moon, and sometimes also straight tally marks to show on what day of the month the event occurred or the picture was drawn. So far this is the only monthly calendar discovered among North American tribes, but since the original was obtained, Anko has made another copy for his own use and continued it up to date. His young wife being far advanced in consumption, he spends most of his time at home with her, which accounts in a measure for his studious habit. On the later calendar he has noted with anxious care every hemorrhage or other serious incident in her illness and every occasion when he has had ceremonial prayers made for her recovery.


An examination of the calendars affords a good idea of the comparative importance attached by the Indian and by the white man to the same event. From the white man's point of view many of the things recorded in these aboriginal histories would seem to be of the most trivial consequence, while many events which we regard as marking eras in the history of the plains tribes are entirely omitted. Thus there is nothing recorded of the Custer campaign of 1868, which resulted in the battle of the Washita and compelled the southern tribes for the first time to go on a reservation, while the outbreak of 1874, which terminated in their final subjugation, is barely noticed. On the other 146 hand, we find noted such incidents as the stealing of a horse or the elopement of a woman. The records resemble rather the personal reminiscences of a garrulous old man than the history of a nation. They are the history of a people limited in their range of ideas and interests, such materials as make up the chronicles of the highland clans of Scotland or the annals of a medieval barony.

It must be remembered, however, that an Indian tribe is simply a large family, all the members being interrelated; this is particularly true of the Kiowa, who number only about 1,100. An event which concerns one becomes a matter of gossip and general knowledge in all the camps and is thus exalted into a subject of tribal importance. Moreover, an event, if it be of common note in the tribe, may be recorded rather for its value as a tally date than for its intrinsic importance.

On this point Mallery says, speaking of the Lone-dog calendar, that it "was not intended to be a continuous history, or even to record the most important event of each year, but to exhibit some one of special peculiarity.... It would indeed have been impossible to have graphically distinguished the many battles, treaties, horse stealings, big hunts, etc, so most of them were omitted and other events of greater individuality and better adapted for portrayal were taken for the year count, the criterion being not that they were of historic moment, but that they were of general notoriety, or perhaps of special interest to the recorders" (Mallery, 1).

A brief interpretation of the calendars here described was obtained from the original owners in 1892. To this was added, in the winter of 1894—95, all that could be procured from T'ébodal, Gaápiatañ, ´dalpepte, Set-ĭmkía, and other prominent old men of the tribe, together with Captain Scott's notes and the statements of pioneer frontiersmen, and all available printed sources of information, including the annual reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for more than sixty years. The Dohásän calendar is still in possession of Captain Scott. The Sett'an and Anko calendars are now deposited in the Bureau of American Ethnology.


A few examples will show how the Kiowa keep track of their tribal and family affairs by means of these calendars. Sett'an was born in "cut-throat summer" (1833), and his earliest recollection is of the "head-dragging winter" (1837—38). Set-ĭmkía, better known as Stumbling-bear, was about a year old in "cut-throat summer" (1833). He was married in "dusty medicine dance" summer (1851). His daughter Virginia was born in the summer of "No-arm's river medicine dance" (1863), and her husband was born a little earlier, in "tree-top winter" (1862—63). Gruñsádalte, commonly known as Cat, was born in the "winter that Buffalo-tail was killed" (1835—36); his son Angópte 147 was born in "muddy traveling winter" (1864—65), and his younger son Másép was born in "bugle scare winter" (1869—70). Paul Setk'opte first saw light among the Cheyenne the winter after the "showery medicine dance" (1853), and joined the Kiowa in the autumn after the "smallpox medicine dance" (1862).


As the Kiowa and associated Apache are two typical and extremely interesting plains tribes, about which little is known and almost nothing has been printed, the introductory tribal sketch has been made more extended than would otherwise have been the case. As they ranged within the historic period from Canada to central Mexico and from Arkansas to the borders of California, they came in contact with nearly all the tribes on this side of the Columbia river region and were visitors in peace or war at most of the military and trading posts within the same limits. For this reason whatever seemed to have important bearing on the Indian subject has been incorporated in the maps with the purpose that the work might serve as a substantial basis for any future historical study of the plains tribes.


Acknowledgments are due to Captain H. L. Scott, Seventh cavalry, U. S. A., Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for much valuable material and friendly assistance; to ex-agent Lawrie Tatum, Springdale, Iowa, for photographs and manuscript information; to Thomas C. Battey, Mosk, Ohio, former Kiowa teacher, and to Mrs Elizabeth Haworth, Olathe, Kansas, widow of former agent J. M. Haworth, for photographs; to Caroline M. Brooke, Washington Grove, Maryland, for assistance in correspondence; to Philip Walker, esquire, Washington, D. C., for translations; to De Lancey W. Gill and assistants of the division of illustrations in the United States Geological Survey; to Andres Martinez and Father Isidore Ricklin, of Anadarko, Oklahoma, for efficient aid in many directions; to Timothy Peet, Anadarko, Oklahoma, to L. A. Whatley, Huntsville, Texas, and to my Kiowa assistants, Setk'opte, Setĭmkía, ´dalpepte, Tébodal, Gaápiatañ, Sett'an, Anko, and others. 148




To make the sign for "Kiowa" in the sign language of the plains tribes, the right hand is held close to the right cheek, with back down, fingers touching and slightly curved, and the hand moved in a rotary motion from the wrist. According to the Kiowa this sign had its origin in an old custom of their warriors, who formerly cut the hair from the right side of the head, on a line with the base of the ear, in order better to display the ear pendants, while allowing it to grow to full length on the left side, so as to be braided and wrapped with otter skin after the common fashion of the southern plains tribes. This was in addition to the ordinary small scalplock hanging down behind. This style of wearing the hair, although now nearly obsolete from long association with tribes of different habit, is still occasionally seen. It is shown in the picture of the chief Big-bow, taken in 1870 (figure 43).

Dodge thus correctly explains the sign: "Kiowa—The open palm, held bowl-shaped, to right of and beside the face, is passed round and round in a circle. Supposed to indicate the peculiarity of these Indians in cutting the hair of the right side of the head" (Dodge, 2).

The sign has no connection with the idea of "rattle-brain," "crazy head," "crazy knife," "drinking water," or "prairie people rising up," as has been variously stated; neither is the sign ever properly made on the left side. Such misconceptions have arisen from the careless making of the sign by persons ignorant of its true meaning. The Cheyenne claim that it refers to a former Kiowa custom of painting a stripe across the upper lip and cheeks. This is probably only an attempt to explain the name Witapätu, q.v., without any basis in fact, for, had such a custom existed, it would have been indicated by drawing the finger across the face. Moreover, in a series of forty figures painted for the author by Kiowa Indians to illustrate their ancient styles of war paint, not one is thus depicted.


Photo by Soule, about 1870.

Fig. 43—Zépko-eétte or Big-bow.

The Gâ´igwŭ´ or Kiowa, although originating in the far north, have been known for the last sixty years as one of the principal and most 151 predatory tribes of the southern plains. Their linguistic affinity is still uncertain, the language apparently having no connection with that of any other tribe. This uncertainty, however, is due largely to the paucity of the linguistic material thus far collected from them, and to the fact that philologists have made the comparison with the languages of the southern tribes, with whom the Kiowa were found most closely associated, rather than with that of tribes nearer the Canadian border, whence they have drifted to the south. Another thing which serves to 152 render comparison difficult is the fact that the Kiowa have the custom of dropping from the language any word which suggests the name of a person recently deceased, and substituting for the tabooed word another which will convey the same idea. The old word may be restored after a term of years, but it frequently happens that the new one keeps its place and the original word is entirely forgotten. The change is a new combination of existing roots, or a new use of an existing word, rather than the deliberate invention of a new word, although in some instances words seem to be borrowed for this purpose from existing languages. The same custom exists to a limited degree among the Comanche, who may have adopted it in consequence of their association with the Kiowa, and perhaps among other tribes. With the Kiowa it is carried to such an extent that old men sometimes remember as many as three names which have been used in chronologic succession for the same object. Further linguistic investigation may result in establishing their affinity with the Athapascan, northern Shoshonean, or Salishan tribes.


Kiowa, the name by which the tribe is commonly known to the whites, is from the softened Comanche form of the name by which they call themselves, Gâ´igwŭ´ (see the glossary). It is claimed by one or two old men that Gâ´igwŭ´ was not originally their proper name, but a foreign name adopted by the tribe, and untranslatable in their own language. However that may be, it is now, in its root form, Gâi, synonymous with Kiowa, whether applied to the individual, language, territory, or utensils of the tribe. It is also the name of one of their recognized tribal divisions. Ancient names used to designate themselves are Kwú'dă´ and afterward Tépdă´, both names signifying "coming out," perhaps in allusion to their mystic origin. These two names are known now only to their oldest men. They sometimes refer to themselves as Kómpabíăntă, or people of the "large tipi flaps," although, so far as observation goes, their tipis are not peculiar in this respect. Their name for Indians in general is Gíăguádaltágâ, "people of the red flesh." Among other tribes they are called by various names, the best known being the Dakota or Cheyenne form Witapähätu, of doubtful translation. The tribal sign, a quick motion of the hand past the right cheek, they explain as referring to a former custom of cutting the hair on that side on a level with the ear.


According to Kiowa mythology, which has close parallels among other tribes, their first ancestors emerged from a hollow cottonwood log at the bidding of a supernatural progenitor. They came out one at a 153 time as he tapped upon the log until it came to the turn of a pregnant woman, who stuck fast in the hole and thus blocked the way for those behind her so that they were unable to follow, which accounts for the small number of the Kiowa tribe. The same being gave them the sun, made the division of day and night, exterminated a number of malevolent monsters, and rendered the most ferocious animals harmless; he also taught them their simple hunting arts and finally left them to take his place among the stars. Other wonderful things were done for them by a supernatural boy hero, whose father was the son of the Sun and whose mother was an earthly woman. This boy afterward transformed himself into two, and finally gave himself to the Kiowa in eucharistic form as a tribal "medicine," which they still retain. Unlike the neighboring Cheyenne and Arapaho, who yet remember that they once lived east of the Missouri and cultivated corn, the Kiowa have no tradition of ever having been an agricultural people or anything but a tribe of hunters.

Leaving the mythic or genesis period, the earliest historic tradition of the Kiowa locates them in or beyond the mountains at the extreme sources of the Yellowstone and the Missouri, in what is now western Montana. They describe it as a region of great cold and deep snows, and say that they had the Flatheads (´daltoñ-ká-igihä´go, "compressed head people") near them, and that on the other side of the mountains was a large stream flowing westward, evidently an upper branch of the Columbia. These mountains they still call Gá´i K'op, "Kiowa mountains." Here, they say, while on a hunting expedition on one occasion, a dispute occurred between two rival chiefs over the possession of the udder of a female antelope, a delicacy particularly prized by Indians. The dispute grew into an angry quarrel, with the result that the chief who failed to secure the coveted portion left the party and withdrew with his band toward the northwest, while the rest of the tribe moved to the southeast, crossed the Yellowstone (Tsósá P'a, "pipe (?) stone river"), and continued onward until they met the Crows (Gaă-k'íägo, "crow people"), with whom they had hitherto been unacquainted. By permission of the Crows they took up their residence east of that tribe, with which they made their first alliance. Up to this time they had no horses, but used only dogs and the travois. For a while they continued to visit the mountains, but finally drifted out into the plains, where they first procured horses and became acquainted with the Arapaho and Cheyenne, and later with the Dakota.

Keim, writing in 1870, says that the Kiowa "claim that their primitive country was in the far north," from which they were driven out by wars, moving by the aid of dogs and dog sledges. "From the north they reached a river, now the south fork of the Platte. Their residence upon this river is within the recollection of the old men of the tribe. Not satisfied with the Platte country, they moved on across the Republican and Smoky Hill rivers until they reached the Arkansas. Thence 154 they moved upon the headwaters of the Cimarron. Here they permanently located their council fire, and after much fighting secured control of all the country south of Arkansas river and north of the Wichita mountains and headwaters of Red river" (Keim, 1).

There can be no doubt as to the correctness of the main points of this tradition, which is corroborated by the testimony of the northern Arapaho and other tribes of that region. While to the ordinary reader the result of the quarrel may seem out of all due proportion to the cause, it will not appear so to anyone familiar with Indian life and thought. The savage is intellectually a child, and from the point of view of civilized man his history is shaped by trivial things, as will be sufficiently apparent from a study of the calendars. It is said that a war between the Delaware and Shawano originated in a dispute between two children concerning a grasshopper. The Crows themselves, according to their own story, separated from their kinsmen the Hidatsa or Minitari on the Missouri for a reason precisely like that of the Kiowa tradition—a quarrel between two chiefs over the proper division of a buffalo (Matthews, 1; Clark, 2.) A similar story is related to account for the origin of one of the bands of the Dakota. Among wandering hunters disputes in regard to the possession or division of game have always been the most potent causes of separations and tribal wars.

In regard to the dissatisfied band that went to the north, the Kiowa have a fixed belief that their lost kindred, whom they call Azä´tañhop ("those who went away dissatisfied on account of the udder"), are still in existence beyond the mountains somewhere to the north or northwest of their old home, where they still speak the old Kiowa language. They assert as positively that they have no relatives in any other quarter, east, west, or south. Several stories are current in the tribe in support of this belief. One woman, now about 80 years of age, when a child was taken by her father with others on a visit to their old friends, the Crows, and says that while there they met a white trader from the north, who addressed them in the Kiowa tongue, which he said he learned from a tribe living farther north, which spoke the Kiowa language. Again, they say that when the Nez Percés (´dalkatóigo, "people with hair cut round across the forehead"), who had been brought down as prisoners to Indian Territory, visited them in 1883, they told the Kiowa that they knew a people who lived in the "white mountains" west of the old home of the Nez Percés in Idaho, and who spoke a language similar to Kiowa. Whatever weight we may attach to these stories, they at least offer a suggestion concerning the direction in which the linguistic affinity of the Kiowa is to be sought.

Bearing on the subject of the early habitat of the tribe, it may further be stated that, while making a collection among the Kiowa a few years ago, the author obtained from them a small cradle which is essentially different from any now in use among the Kiowa or any 155 other of the well-known prairie tribes, in that the buckskin covering is attached directly to a solid board back, which is elaborately carved and painted in the style characteristic of the tribes of the Columbia and the northwest coast. On asking the old woman who made it, where she had obtained the idea, she replied that it was the kind the Kiowa used to make a very long time ago. On showing it afterward to Dr Washington Matthews, the distinguished ethnologist and anatomist, he expressed the opinion that such a cradle would produce a flattened skull. It is now in the National Museum at Washington.


The leading facts in the traditional history of the Kiowa are those of their early residence at the extreme head of the Missouri and their subsequent removal to the east and alliance with the Crows. It is impossible to assign any definite date to this early migration from the mountain country, but it was probably about or before 1700. It was subsequent to the separation of the Crows from the Hidatsa, an event which probably took place before the end of the seventeenth century (Matthews, 2; Clark, 3), and it must have been long before the discovery of the Black Hills by the Dakota, which, according to a calendar of that people, occurred in 1775 (Mallery, 2). The present tai-me or sun-dance "medicine" of the Kiowa was obtained from the Crows while the two tribes were neighbors in the north, at a date probably very near 1765. It is probable that scarcity of game or severity of climate had much to do with their original removal from the head of the Missouri, but it is worthy of note that in all their wanderings the Kiowa have never, for any long period, entirely abandoned the mountains. After making friends with the Crows, they established themselves in the Black Hills until driven out by the invading Dakota and Cheyenne, and now for seventy years or more they have had their main headquarters in the Wichita mountains.

The northern Arapaho, now living on a reservation in Wyoming, have distinct recollection of this former northern residence of the Kiowa, with whom in the old times they were on terms of intimate friendship. While visiting them in 1892 they informed the author that when they first knew the Kiowa that tribe lived about the Three forks of the Missouri, near where are now Gallatin and Virginia City, Montana. This information, obtained from old men without the use of leading questions, and with the aid of good maps, tallies exactly with the earliest tradition of the Kiowa tribe. They say further that the Kiowa moved down from the mountains and eastward along the Yellowstone in company with the Crows, and then turned southeastward to about the present neighborhood of Fort Robinson, Nebraska, where they parted with the Crows and continued southward. "Plenty-poles," then nearly ninety years of age, first met the Kiowa when he was a 156 small boy on the head of the North Platte, west of the present town of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The friendship between the Kiowa and the Crows was close and intimate, in spite of occasional quarrels, and continued after the Kiowa had entirely removed from the north and established themselves on the Arkansas. They made common cause against the invading Dakota and Cheyenne from the east, by whom they were finally dispossessed. As already stated, the Kiowa obtained their present tai-me or sun-dance medicine from the Crows, and the sacred arrow lance of Tängúadal's family came originally from the same source. For a long time after removing from the north it was a frequent occurrence for Kiowa fathers to make visits to the Crows and leave with that tribe their young children for two or three years in order that they might learn the Crow language and thus help to preserve the old friendship. There are still several old people among the Kiowa who have a considerable Crow vocabulary acquired in this way. Conversely, the northern Arapaho state that the Crows refer to the Kiowa as their relatives, and that some of them speak a little of the language acquired during similar visits to the south.


Incorporated with the Kiowa, and forming a component part of their tribal circle, is a small tribe of Athapascan stock, commonly known as Apache or Kiowa Apache, but calling themselves Nadiisha Dena. They are not a detached band of the Apache tribe proper of Arizona, as has commonly been supposed, but came down with the Kiowa from the north, and neither tribe has any tradition of a time when they were not associated. They will be spoken of at length later on. This ancient Athapascan alliance is another link in the chain connecting the Kiowa with the far north.



We come now to more definite historic ground. Situated east of the Crows, the Kiowa took possession of the Black Hills (Sádalkáñi K`op, "stomach-rind, i. e., 'manifold,' mountains"), and having by this time procured some horses, began to make raids on the Spanish frontiers to the south, while they established a friendly trade and intercourse with the Arikara and Mandan on the Missouri. They are mentioned under the name of Cargua (for Caigua) in a Spanish document of 1732, and again as Caigua in 1735. In 1748 the Spanish historian Villaseñor mentions the "Cayguas," in connection with Comanche, Apache, Navaho, and Ute, as among the hostile tribes of New Mexico (see the synonymy). It will be remembered that the greater portion of what is 157 now Colorado was included with New Mexico under Spanish domination. If, as seems possible, they are identical with the Manrhoat or Manrhout of La Salle, allies of the Gattacka (Kiowa Apache), our knowledge of the tribe would go back to 1682. They continued to occupy the Black Hills until about the close of the last century, when they were driven out by the Dakota advancing from the east, and by the Cheyenne who crossed the Missouri from the northeast. The same pressure drove their old allies, the Crows, farther westward.

The northern Cheyenne informed Grinnell that on first coming into their present country they had found the region between the Yellowstone and Cheyenne rivers, including the Black Hills, in possession of the Kiowa and Comanche (?), whom they drove out and forced to the south. When the author was among the Dakota some years ago, they informed him that they had first known the Kiowa in the Black Hills, and had driven them out from that region. This is admitted by the Kiowa, who continued at war with the Dakota and Cheyenne until about 1840, when a permanent peace was made. It does not appear that the Arapaho had anything to do with this expulsion of the Kiowa, with whom they seem generally to have been on friendly terms, although at a later period we find them at war with the Kiowa, being probably drawn into hostilities through their connection with the Cheyenne. As is well known to ethnologists, the Dakota are comparatively recent immigrants from east of the Missouri. They first reached the Black Hills in 1775, as already stated, so that the final expulsion of the Kiowa must have occurred between that date and 1805, when Lewis and Clark found the Cheyenne in possession of the same region, the Cheyenne being then at war with the Dakota. Curiously enough, there is no note of this war on any of the several Dakota calendars covering this period, described and illustrated by Mallery, although we find a reference to the killing of a Kiowa in the winter of 1814—15.


The Kiowa have a better memory, and one of their old hero stories relates to the slaughter of an entire band of Kiowa by the Dakota. The ill-fated band was called the K'úato, a name signifying "pulling up, or pulling out" from the ground or from a hole, being indicated in the sign language by the motion of "pulling up" with one or both hands. According to the story the Kiowa, apparently nearly the whole tribe together, were attacked by an overwhelming body of the Dakota. Finding resistance hopeless, they fled, but the chief of the K'úato urged his people not to run, "because if they did their relatives in the other world would not receive them." Inspired to desperate courage by his words, the K'úato faced the enemy and were all killed where they stood, excepting one woman who had fled with the others. According to Te'bodal, who was born about 1817 and is now the oldest man in the tribe, this massacre took place when his grandfather was a young man, 158 perhaps about 1770. Te'bodal himself remembered having seen the single woman survivor. It is said that the K'úato spoke a peculiar dialect of the Kiowa language, although recognized as a part of the tribe, and were noted for doing foolish and ridiculous things, a statement borne out by the story of their extermination.


Next to the Crows, the Kiowa have most to say of their friendship in these old days with the Arikara (Ree), Mandan, and Hidatsa or Minitari on Missouri river. For many years these three confederated tribes, now reduced to about 1,100 souls in all, have occupied jointly a single village on the northeastern bank of Missouri river, in the vicinity of old Fort Berthold, about opposite Knife river, in North Dakota. In 1805 the three tribes, with a small subtribe, now extinct, occupied eight villages, with a total population of nearly 6,000 souls. The Arikara were then considerably farther down the river, while the others were nearly in their present position. From the fact that Grand river, South Dakota, is known to the Dakota as Arikara river it is probable that the Arikara formerly had their residence there for a long period. In habits and home life the three tribes are almost identical, being sedentary agriculturists, living in substantial earth-covered log houses; but in language they are quite distinct. The Arikara or Ree are a branch, of the Pawnee and speak a dialect of that language; the Hidatsa, Grosventres, or Minitari were formerly a part of the Crows and speak a dialect of that language; while the language of the Mandan is distinct from either of the others, although remotely cognate with the Hidatsa. They are mentioned prominently by every traveler in that region during the last century, the best description of them being given by Matthews in his work on the Hidatsa.

The definite recollection which the Kiowa have of these tribes shows that they must have been very intimate with them in former times, especially with the Arikara, whom they call K'át'á, "biters," designating them in the sign language by a twisting motion of the closed right band, with thumb extended, in front of the month, the allusion being to gnawing corn from a cob. In the north the sign is sometimes made with both hands, the right working against the left, the allusion then being to shelling corn. The Arikara are preeminently distinguished among the northern tribes as the corn-planting Indians, and are usually designated in pictographs by the figure of a man with an ear of corn. It is probable that they taught agriculture to the Mandan and Hidatsa. The Kiowa further identify the K'át'á as being called Paläni by the Dakota and as speaking a language like that of the Pawnee. Stumbling-bear claims to have met and talked with some of them on a former visit to Washington. They have more to say of the Arikara than of the others, probably because then, as now, they were the largest of the three tribes, and also, as the Kiowa themselves say, because the Arikara 159 lived nearest, being probably located then, as at a later period, on Ree or Grand river, in South Dakota, which is called by their name in the various Indian languages. They describe the three tribes as living on the Missouri (Tsosâ P'a) river, in earth-covered grass houses (really log houses, filled in between the logs with grass and covered with earth), and cultivating corn and tobacco, which they traded to the Kiowa. One of the principal divisions of the Kiowa tribe, and the one to which the great Dohásän and several other prominent chiefs belonged, is the K`at'a or Arikara band, so called, the Kiowa state, on account of their special intimacy with the Arikara in the old times, and not because of Arikara descent. The name of the band must have originated, of course, subsequently to the first acquaintance of the two tribes.

The Mandan they call Dóhón, "the last tipi," assigning as a reason for the name that they lived farthest toward the east. The Mandan, unlike the other tribes, did in fact have one of their villages on the farther (eastern) bank of the Missouri. They also sometimes call them Dowákohón, an older form of Dohon, and Sabă´, "stingy," perhaps from some trade dispute. In the sign language the Kiowa designate them by indicating tattoo marks, stating that the women, and sometimes the men, tattooed the arms, breast, and around the lips. This agrees exactly with Clark, who says that the proper sign for Mandan is intended to indicate tattooing on the chin and lower part of the face. He states also, on the authority of an old plainsman, that fifty years ago the Mandan women had a small spot tattooed on the forehead, together with a line on the chin, while of the men the chiefs alone were tattooed, this being done on one side, or one-half of the breast, or on one arm and breast (Clark, 4). It may be that the small tattooed circle on the foreheads of many Kiowa women is an imitation from their Mandan sisters. Matthews says that he has seen a few old men of the Hidatsa with parallel bands tattooed on the chest, throat, and arms, but not on any other part of the body, or on any young or middle-age persons in the tribe (Matthews, 3).

The Hidatsa or Minitari are known to the Kiowa as Henóñko, a name which they can not translate. In this word the terminal ko is the tribal suffix, while Henóñ is the root, possibly a derivative from Herantsa, another form of Hidatsa, the Kiowa having no r in their language. To designate them in the sign language, they make a gesture as if dipping up water with the hand, referring to their common name of Minitari, "water crossers," or "water people." This sign is probably now obsolete in the north, as it is not noted by either Clark or Mallery. They say that the Henoñko called the Kiowa Datûmpáta. The Kiowa describe the three tribes as about the same in regard to house-building methods and the cultivation of corn and Indian tobacco. They have also a distinct recollection of the peculiar "bull boats," tub-shaped and covered with rawhide, used by the Mandan and their allies. They ascribe these boats more particularly to the Mandan, from whom perhaps the Arikara obtained them after moving up to the same neighborhood. 160


The old men who have most knowledge of this northern residence and alliance with the Crows and Arikara say, after the Indian style of chronology, that it was in the time when their grandfathers were young men, and when they still had but few horses and commonly used dogs as pack animals in traveling. One of the mythic legends of the tribe accounts for the origin of the Black Hills (Sádalkañi K`op, "manifold mountains"), and another deals with the noted Bear Lodge or Devil's Tower (Tsó-aí, "tree rock," i. e., monument rock), near Sun Dance, Wyoming, which they claim is within their old country. Beyond the Yellowstone (Tsósâ P'a) they say lived the Blackfeet (Tóñkóñko, "blackleg people") and the Arapaho Gros Ventres (Botk`iägo, "belly people"). They knew also the Shoshoni (Sondóta, "grass houses"), who, they say, formerly lived in houses of interwoven rushes or grass; the Flatheads, the northern Arapaho, and of course the Dakota. It is somewhat remarkable that they knew also the small tribe of Sarsi, living on the Canadian side of the line at the source of the North Saskatchewan, whom they describe accurately as a tribe living with the Blackfeet and speaking a language resembling that of the Apache. They call them Pák`iägo, which they render "stupid people," indicating the tribe in the sign language by a sweeping motion of the right hand across the thigh, perhaps from a confusion with paki, thigh. It is possible that the name is not really of Kiowa origin, but is derived from Päki or Päkiani, the Shoshoni name for the Blackfeet themselves. The Kiowa call the Brulé Dakota Pakí-gudălkantă, "red-burnt thigh" people, with the same gesture sign as for the Sarsi. Several prominent men of the Kiowa tribe, among whom may be mentioned Gaápiatañ and Pá-tádal, are of Sarsi descent. The maternal grandmother of the noted chief Setäñgya, killed at Fort Sill in 1871, was a Sarsi woman who married a Kiowa man during an interchange of friendly visits between the two tribes. By reason of this Athapascan blood, those of Sarsi descent, including Gaápiatañ, who is Setäñgya's nephew, consider themselves in a measure related to the Kiowa Apache.

From the beginning the Kiowa say that they were usually on friendly terms with the Crows, Arapaho, Arikara, Mandan, and Hidatsa, and, so far as they can recollect, with the Shoshoni and Flatheads, the friendship being interrupted, however, by occasional quarrels more or less serious. They were frequently at war with the Cheyenne, and always, from their first acquaintance, with the Dakota, Pawnee, and Ute. Their relations with the southern tribes will be noted hereafter.


Although the Kiowa had no horses until they came down from the mountains and settled near the Crows, it is probable that they obtained some very soon afterward, probably from their friends the Crows. 161 La Salle, in 1682, states that the Gattacka (Kiowa Apache) and Manrhoat (Kiowa?) had then plenty of horses, which he says they had probably stolen from New Mexico (Margry, 1).

The notice in Villaseñor would indicate that they were able to mount some of their warriors as early as 1748, as it is hardly probable that they would have been able to attract attention by their inroads so far south as the Spanish settlements if their warriors had been obliged to travel entirely on foot. With some tribes, however, notably the Pawnee, it was a frequent practice for the warriors to go out on foot, returning, if successful, mounted on the horses taken from their enemies. Horses must also have been taken by the Kiowa from the Comanche, who lived south of them in the territory adjoining the Spanish possessions, and with whom the Kiowa were then at war. In the beginning of the present century we find the Kiowa mentioned as possessing large herds of horses, which they traded with the Arikara and Mandan for European goods.

Horace Jones, interpreter at Fort Sill, states that at a council held at Fort Cobb in 1868, Ten-bears, an old Comanche chief, scorned the Kiowa for their constant raids into Mexico and Texas in spite of their promises to the government to cease such practices, saying to the assembled Kiowa, "When we first knew you, you had nothing but dogs and sleds. Now you have plenty of horses, and where did you get them if they were not stolen from Mexico?" This must be interpreted, however, from a point of comparison of the Comanche, who have long been noted for the number of their ponies. It was certainly a case of the pot calling the kettle black, as the principal business of both tribes for generations, until confined to a reservation, was that of raiding their southern neighbors in order to obtain horses and captives. It is unnecessary to dilate on the revolution made in the life of the Indian by the possession of the horse. Without it he was a half-starved skulker in the timber, creeping up on foot toward the unwary deer or building a brush corral with infinite labor to surround a herd of antelope, and seldom venturing more than a few days' journey from home. With the horse he was transformed into the daring buffalo hunter, able to procure in a single day enough food to supply his family for a year, leaving him free then to sweep the plains with his war parties along a range of a thousand miles.


While the Kiowa still occupied the Black Hills their nearest neighbors toward the south were the Comanche, whose language and traditions show them to be a comparatively recent offshoot from the Shoshoni of Wyoming, and whose war parties formerly ranged from Platte river to central Mexico. In 1724 Bourgmont describes them, under the name of Padouca, as located between the headwaters of Platte and Kansas rivers. Like the other prairie tribes, they drifted steadily southward, 162 and about the middle of last century were established chiefly about the upper Arkansas and its principal tributaries. Long before this time, however, the Pénätĕka division had separated from the main body and gone down into Texas. Pádouca, the name used by Bourgmont, is one form of the name by which the Comanche are known to the Osage, Dakota, and related tribes, and is probably derived from Pénätĕka.

As the Kiowa pressed southward before the advancing Dakota and Cheyenne, they encountered the Comanche, resulting in a warfare continuing many years, in the course of which the Comanche were gradually driven south of the Arkansas. The war was finally terminated and a lasting peace and alliance effected between the two tribes through the good offices of the Spaniards of New Mexico.


Now the Kiowa tradition becomes clear and detailed. According to the story which the old men had from their fathers, who were contemporary with the events, the Kiowa advanced along the base of the mountains and pushed the Comanche from the northern head streams of the Arkansas. When both sides were about worn out with fighting, it happened that a small party of Kiowa on a friendly visit to a Spanish settlement southwestward from that river—perhaps Las Vegas or possibly Santa Fé—stopped to rest at a house, which they particularly state was not a fort or trading post. The house was a large one with several rooms, and by a curious coincidence a party of Comanche had arrived shortly before and were then talking in the next room, all unaware of the near presence of their enemies. Hearing the voices and recognizing the language, the Kiowa at once prepared for battle, and another bloody encounter was about to be added to the long list, when their Mexican host, friendly to both sides, interposed and represented to the Kiowa that now was their opportunity to establish a lasting peace with their foes, offering his own services as mediator. After some debate the Kiowa accepted his proposition, and the kindly Mexican, going into the next room, informed the astonished Comanche that a party of their hated enemies was outside waiting to talk of peace. Being assured that no treachery was intended, they came out and the leaders of the two parties saluted each other. The Kiowa leader, whose name was Guik`áte, "Wolf-lying-down," and who was next in authority to the principal chief of the tribe, assuming to speak for his people, then expressed their desire for peace. To this the Comanche leader, Päréiyä, "Afraid-of-water" (Toñpeto in the Kiowa language), replied that as this was a matter of grave importance, it would have to be considered by the whole tribe, and invited the Kiowa to go back with them to the Comanche country in order that the business might there be fully discussed. The Kiowa hesitated, not yet being quite willing to trust themselves in the lion's den, when Guik`áte, anxious to spare further bloodshed, said, "I am a chief. I am not afraid to die. 163 I will go." A Comanche captive among the Kiowa volunteered to go with him. Turning then to his followers, he said to them, "Go home and tell our tribe that I am gone to make peace with the Comanche. Return for me to this place when the leaves are yellow. If you do not find me here, know that I am dead and avenge my death." He then dismissed them, and the Kiowa started homeward, while he, with the captive and one or two Mexicans accompanied the Comanche to their camps on Gañta P'a, the Double-mountain fork of the Brazos, in Texas.

On arriving there with his escort, the Comanche were at first disposed to regard him as an enemy and made a show of preparing to revenge upon him the losses they had suffered at the hands of his people, but finding that he was a brave man not to be easily frightened, they changed their purpose and gave him a friendly welcome. He remained with them all summer, being well entertained by them on the hunt and at their social gatherings, and when at last the leaves began to turn, the tipis were taken down, and the whole band, having long ago decided on peace, moved off to meet the Kiowa at the appointed rendezvous. They had not long to wait, for Indians observe the season changes closely, before the whole warrior body of the Kiowa tribe appeared in sight, prepared either to make a treaty of perpetual friendship or to avenge the death of their chief, as the case might be. As they approached, the Comanche chief and Guik`áte rode out to meet them, somewhat to the surprise of the Kiowa, who had hardly hoped ever again to see their kinsman alive. He told the story of his kind treatment at the hands of the Comanche and their earnest desire for peace, and the result was a treaty of friendship and alliance which endures to this day, the two tribes, with the Kiowa-Apache, having ever since occupied a common territory and acted together on all important occasions, notwithstanding radical differences in language, ceremonies, and temperament. The former condition of hostility is clearly shown by the fact that the common name of the Kiowa for their present allies, the Comanche, is Gyái'ko, "Enemies."

This treaty with the Comanche must have been made toward the close of the last century, probably about 1790. As there is no tally date in Kiowa history until we come to "the year when the stars fell," i. e., 1833, a description of the manner in which we arrive at this conclusion may be of interest as a specimen of the ordinary methods of Indian chronology.

Among the oldest men of the tribe are T'ébodal, "One who carries a buffalo's lower leg, "Gaápiatañ, "Feathered lance," (commonly known as Heidsick, from his Comanche name of Haí-tsiki), and ´dalpepte, "Bushy-hair" (Frizzle-head), all being prominent men and noted warriors when in their prime. T'ébodal is the oldest man in the tribe, and as he was "a well grown boy when the stars fell," is consequently now just about 80 years of age, as the Indians consider a boy a young warrior at 17 or 18. Gaápiatañ is a few years younger, and ´dalpepte 164 was "old enough, to ride a horse when the stars fell," so that we may assume him to be now (1896) about 70 years of age. It will be noted that, contrary to general opinion, Indians are not remarkably long-lived.

Graápiatañ's estimate seems to place the event farthest back in point of time. He fixes it by "a very old woman," who died eleven winters ago (1885), and whose father had told her that the treaty with the Comanche was made thirty-three years before she was born. Âdalpepte states that it was made "when his father was a young man." T'ébodal says that it was before he was born, but that his father knew both leaders who negotiated the peace, and that he himself knew the Comanche leader, Päréiyä, as a very old man, who was afterward killed by the Cheyenne at a time when T'ébodal was grown to manhood and had already been to war. According to the Kiowa calendar, the allied tribes made peace with the Cheyenne about 1840, so that the chief who negotiated the treaty for the Comanche must have been killed shortly before that time, the Kiowa leader, Guik`áte, being already dead. Balancing all the statements, we get 1790 as the most probable approximate date. The principal chief of the tribe at the time of the treaty was Políakyă, "Harelip," alias Kágiätsé, "Thick-blanket." He was succeeded by Tsóñbohón, "Feather-cap," who was succeeded by A'dáte, "Island-man," who was deposed in 1833 in favor of Dohásän, who thenceforth ruled the tribe until his death in 1866.


The peace thus made between the two tribes has never been broken, in which fact there may be a sermon for those who regard the Indian as faithless, when we consider how few European alliances have endured as long. The Pénätĕka Comanche, who lived far down in Texas, were not included in this compact and had very little connection even with the northern bands of their own people until brought together under the reservation system. Immediately after the treaty the Kiowa began to move down and make their camps along and south of the Arkansas, which, until that time, had been considered the northern boundary of the Comanche country and the southern limit of the Kiowa range. In the territory which they thenceforth held in common the Kiowa usually made their home camps more to the northwest, about the Arkansas, while the Comanche kept near to the Staked plains and the Texas frontier. Strengthened by their alliance for war and defense, the confederated tribes were now able to make a successful stand behind the Arkansas against further invasion from the north. The raids of the Kiowa on the Mexican settlements, hitherto desultory and ineffective, now became constant and destructive and continued until both tribes were finally subjugated and confined to their reservation after the outbreak of 1874. In these raiding expeditions they frequently made headquarters in the Sierra Madre, whence they descended upon 165 the lower country on each side. Old men are still living in the tribe who have raided as far south as the city of Durango (which they know by this name) and southwest through Sonora and Sinaloa to the Gulf of California. These war parties would sometimes be absent two years. To the west they reached the great Colorado river and tell of killing some Havasupai in their canyon home. In the east they made captives on Matagorda bay, Texas.


According to the Kiowa and Comanche, whose statements are confirmed by abundant testimony from other sources, the inhabitants of New Mexico, from mercenary motives, usually held themselves neutral in this war on their brethren to the south. New Mexican Comancheros and domesticated Pueblo Indians carried on a lucrative trade among these tribes at the same time that Kiowa or Comanche war parties were ravaging the southern provinces or selling horses and mules, taken in these raids, to the inhabitants of Las Vegas and neighboring towns. The lances and tomahawks used by their warriors were of Mexican manufacture, more slender and graceful in design than those supplied to the northern tribes by English and American traders. It was only by such tacit connivance or active aid from the people of New Mexico that these tribes were able to carry on an unceasing warfare of extermination as far south as Tamaulipas and Durango in Mexico.


Subsequent to the treaty with the Comanche, and as a consequence of it, the Kiowa made peace with the Mescalero Apache (Ĕ´sikwita), with whom they had formerly been at enmity, having driven them from the Staked plains into the mountains west of the Pecos. The friendship, however, was somewhat precarious. They were also on friendly terms with the Wichita and their associated tribes, the Waco, Tawákoni, and Kichai. With the Caddo and the cannibal Tonkawa to the east, and with the Navaho and Ute and presumably also the Jicarilla Apache on the west, they were always at war. They usually carried on a friendly trade with the neighboring Pueblos. Their relations with the Apache of Arizona were too casual to be of a definite nature. They were at war with the Osage until 1834. To all these tribes the confederated Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache held but one and the same relation after the alliance of about 1790.


The earliest official account of the Kiowa is given by the explorers Lewis and Clark, who ascended the Missouri in 1804 and wintered among the Mandan, before proceeding onward across the mountains and down to the mouth of the Columbia. They do not appear to have 166 met any of the Kiowa, but heard of them from the tribes living on the river. By that time the Kiowa, whom the explorers erroneously supposed were distinct from the "Wetepahatoes," had been driven out of the Black Hills, which were then in possession of the Cheyenne, while the Dakota held the country to the eastward. The Kiowa were then on the Padouca or North Platte. This agrees with the statements of old men of the Dakota confederacy, who informed the writer that within their early recollection that tribe had lived between the North Platte and the Niobrara, having been expelled from the Black Hills by the Dakota of the preceding generation.

The official report of Captain Lewis describes the Kiowa ("Kiawas" and "Wetepahatoes") as living in 1805 on the North fork of the Platte, and numbering 70 tipis, 200 warriors, and 700 souls, while the Kiowa Apache ("Cataka") lived somewhat farther north, on the headwaters of the two forks of Cheyenne river, and are estimated at 25 tipis, 75 warriors, and 300 souls. While the figures thus given for the Apache are probably nearly correct, those for the Kiowa are much too low, unless we assume that they had been so greatly reduced by the war with the Dakota. The alliances and wars of the two tribes, Kiowa and Apache, were the same, they carrying on a defensive war with the Dakota and being at peace with all the other tribes of the region, particularly with the Arikara, Mandan, and Hidatsa. The account continues:

They are a wandering nation, inhabit an open country, and raise a great number of horses, which they barter to the Ricaras, Mandans, etc, for articles of European manufactory. They are a well-disposed people, and might be readily induced to visit the trading establishments on the Missouri. From the animals their country produces, their trade would no doubt become valuable. These people again barter a considerable proportion of the articles they obtain from the Menetares, Ahwahhaways, Mandans, and Ricaras to the Dotames and Castapanas.... Neither these people ("Kiawas"), the Wetepahatoes, nor the Chyennes have any idea of exclusive right to the soil (Lewis and Clark, 1).

The Dotames and Castapanas (for Castahanas) here mentioned are described as living back of the Kiowa, between the head streams of the North Platte and the Yellowstone, and were probably bands of the Shoshoni. From this it appears that besides being well supplied with horses, with which they carried on a profitable trade at this period with the tribes on the Missouri, the Kiowa also acted as the trading medium between these tribes and others living in the mountains beyond the Kiowa. The officer suggests the mouth of Cheyenne river as the most suitable place to establish a trading post for them. The Crows are described as having then the same wars and friendships as the Kiowa, excepting that they were at war with the Arikara as well as with the Dakota (Lewis and Clark, 2).

The Comanche are described at this period (1805) under the name of the "La Playes" division of "Aliatans" or "Snake Indians," as inhabiting the plains from the headwaters of the Arkansas, and including 167 the sources of Red river, and extending from the mountains eastward indefinitely. They were a wandering people, claiming no particular boundaries, and, although possessing no guns, were brave and warlike. Their country abounded in wild horses, besides great numbers which they raised themselves (Lewis and Clark, 3).

In his volume published a few years later the explorer, Zebulon M. Pike, states that the Kiowa, estimated by him to number 1,000 men, had in 1803 been driven by the Dakota into the mountains on the heads of the Platte and Arkansas and north of the Comanche, where they were then wandering. They owned immense herds of horses, were armed with bows, arrows, and lances, hunted the buffalo, and were at war with the Dakota, Pawnee, and "Tetau" (here meaning the Ute). In another place he mentions both Ute and Kiowa as living in the mountains of northern Mexico—the present Colorado and New Mexico—the former being more civilized from contact with the Spaniards. He speaks also of meeting, in 1807, a party of Kiowa and Comanche returning from a trading expedition to the Mandan (Pike, 1).


As the names Aliatan and Tetau here quoted from Lewis and Clark, with their variants, have been the cause of much confusion in our western tribal nomenclature, some explanation will not be out of place. Although so unlike in appearance, these appellations are really but different forms of the same word. The Ute of the mountain, region at the headwaters of the Platte and the Arkansas, being a powerful and aggressive tribe, were well known to all the Indians of the plains, who usually called them by some form of their proper name, Yútawáts, or, in its root form, Yuta, whence we get Eutaw, Utah, and Ute. Among the Kiowa the name becomes Íătä(-go), while the Siouan tribes seem to have nasalized it so that the early French traders wrote it as Ayutan, Iatan, or Ietan. By prefixing the French article it became L'Iatan, and afterward Aliatan, while by misreading of the manuscript word we get Jatan, Jetan, and finally Tetau. Moreover, as the early traders and explorers knew but little of the mountain tribes, they frequently confounded those of the same generic stock, so that almost any of these forms may mean Shoshoni, Ute, or Comanche, according to the general context of the description.


As an incident of the war in progress during this period between the Kiowa and the Dakota, we find it recorded on a calendar of the latter tribe, under date of 1814—15, that a party of their people visited the Kiowa camp on Horse creek for the purpose of making peace, but their benevolent purpose was defeated by the occurrence of a sudden quarrel between one of their own men and a Kiowa, which ended by the Dakota sinking his tomahawk into the Kiowa's head, thus bringing the peace 168 negotiations to an abrupt close (Mallery, 3). The story, which well illustrates the uncertainty of Indian temper, has a striking parallel in Grinnell's story of "The Peace with the Snakes" (Grinnell, Blackfoot, 1). The Kiowa camp was at the junction of Kiowa creek with Horse creek, which enters the North Platte from the south in Nebraska, just east of the Wyoming line.


In 1816 the smallpox made terrible ravages among all the tribes in the region of the Red and Rio Grande, being probably communicated from the Spanish settlements. The Comanche especially lost heavily (Morse, 1). The Kiowa suffered in proportion, and their old men speak of this as the first epidemic of smallpox within the memory of their tribe. It is probable, however, that they had suffered in the same way some years before, for we know that in 1801 a Pawnee war party, returning from New Mexico, brought the smallpox home with them, with the result that it spread among the tribes from the Missouri to the coast of Texas. The prairie tribes are said to have lost more than half their population at this time, while the Wichita, Caddo, and others in the south suffered almost as severely (Morse, 2; Lewis and Clark, 4).


In the account of his expedition up the Arkansas in 1820, Long speaks of the Kiowa as wandering with the Arapaho and others over the prairies of Arkansas and Red rivers, and having great numbers of horses, which they traded to the Cheyenne and other northern Indians, who were not able to rear them so easily in their colder and more barren country. He describes a great gathering of tribes in 1815 on the South Platte, apparently about the junction of Kiowa creek in Colorado, a region which he mentions as frequented by the Kiowa, when the Cheyenne came down with goods from the traders on the Missouri to meet and trade for horses with the Kiowa, Arapaho, and "Kaskaia or Bad Hearts," and a party of traders from St Louis (James, Long's Ex., 1). This appears to be the first notice of the Kiowa as living on Red river—which, however, may here mean the Canadian—and is evidence that they were at this time on friendly terms with the Arapaho and Cheyenne, with both of which tribes they were soon after at war. We learn also from this notice that the St Louis traders had already begun to come out to trade with them on the Arkansas, although none were regularly established in their territory until some years later. The "Kaskaias" are probably the Kiowa Apache, or possibly the Wichita.


We come now to the period covered by the Kiowa calendars, the first important event of which is the massacre of a large number of the tribe by a war party of Osage in the early spring of 1833. This led 169 indirectly to the expedition of the First dragoons in 1834, by which the Kiowa, Comanche, Wichita, and associated tribes were first brought into official relations with the United States. The massacre and the expedition will be found treated at length in the proper place. When the troops returned to Fort Gibson, in the eastern part of Indian Territory, in August, they were accompanied by a party of one Waco, one Comanche, three Wichita, and fifteen Kiowa chiefs or headmen, of whom the artist Catlin says they were undoubtedly one of the most interesting groups that had ever visited the frontier. Invitations were sent out to the chiefs of all the neighboring tribes to come in to Fort Gibson and meet their visitors from the west. A number responded, and a council lasting several days was held under the auspices of Colonel Dodge of the Dragoons, Indian Agent Major Armstrong, and Indian Commissioner General Stokes, which paved the way for a friendly understanding between the eastern and western tribes, and for both with regard to the United States (Catlin, 1).

A year later, in August, 1835, as a result of the friendly relations thus established, the chiefs of the Comanche and Wichita met the United States commissioners at Camp Holmes, about 5 miles northeast of the present site of Purcell, Indian Territory, and made their first treaty with the government. The principal stipulation was that there should be peace and friendship between the Comanche and Wichita on the one hand, and the United States, Creek, Cherokee, and other immigrant tribes, and the Osage on the other (Treaties).


Owing to a delay in the negotiations, the Kiowa who had attended the meeting became impatient and returned home and consequently were not parties to this treaty, but two years later a full delegation of Kiowa, Apache, and Tawakoni went down to Fort Gibson, where the first treaty between the United States and these tribes was made on May 26, 1837, and was formally ratified the following year. In the document the three tribes are called "the Kioway, Ka-ta-ka, and Ta-wa-karo nations of Indians." The general terms of the treaty are the same as in that previously made with the Comanche and Wichita, namely, peace and friendship, with forgiveness of past injuries, and satisfactory settlement of future disputes that might arise between these western tribes and the Osage, Muscogee (Creek), and citizens of the United States. All the tribes concerned were to have equal hunting rights on the southern prairies as far west as the jurisdiction of the government extended, and citizens of the United States were to have free right of travel to and from Mexico and Texas through the Indian hunting grounds.

There was also a stipulation that if "any of the red people belonging to the nations or tribes of Indians residing south of the Missouri river and west of the states of Missouri and Arkansas, not parties to this 170 treaty," should be found in the country of the Kiowa, they should be kindly treated by them. This was probably intended to refer only to the immigrant tribes removed from the east, as it was hardly to be expected that the Kiowa would act very hospitably toward any stray Dakota or Pawnee who might occasionally visit the Arkansas in search of Kiowa scalps or ponies. There was also a distinct understanding that it was the desire of the government that perfect peace should exist between the Kiowa and their allies and the republics of Mexico and Texas. The usual presents were then distributed and everybody was happy (Treaties).

The peace thus made with the Osage and Creeks was never broken, although in after years relations with the Osage were somewhat strained in consequence of their serving as scouts against the allied southern plains tribes. The promised friendship was also kept with regard to the citizens of the United States until after the annexation of Texas, which the Kiowa and Comanche never ceased to regard as a distinct and hostile government, making a clear distinction between "Americans," i. e., settlers and emigrants from the north or Kansas side, and "Texans," whom they regarded as a different nation and their enemies, in having driven them from their best hunting grounds in violation of treaties and without compensation.

The treaty commissioners on behalf of the government were General Montfort Stokes and A. P. Chouteau, the latter being a member of the noted pioneer trading company. Clermont and Roly McIntosh, head chiefs of the Osage and Creeks, signed, with others, for their respective tribes. Among the witnesses were a number of officers, stationed at Fort Gibson, including, among others, the commanding officer, Colonel Whistler, the noted Captain Bonneville, and Colonel R. L. Dodge, who had led the dragoon expedition. The treaty was signed by ten Kiowa chiefs and principal men, three Apache (whose Kiowa names only are given), and four Tawakoni. Below are given the names of the Kiowa and Apache, as the earliest on record from these tribes, excepting those given by Catlin, together with the proper forms and translations of those which can be identified.


Ta-ka-ta-couche, "Black Bird" (Couche-kóñigya, "black"?). Cha-hon-de-ton, "Flying Squirrel." Ta-ne-congais, "Sea Gull" (?) (T'ené-kóñigyă, "Black Bird"). Bon-congais, "Black Cap" (Bohón-kóñigya, "Black Cap"). To-ho-sa, "Top of the Mountain" (Dohásän, "Little Bluff"). Sen-son-da-cat, "White Bird." Con-a-hen-ka, "Horned Frog" (Séhänk`ia, "Horned Toad Man"?). He-pan-ni-gais, "Night." Ka-him-hi, "Prairie Dog" (Tséñhi ? "Dog"). Pa-con-ta, "My Young Brother."


Hen-ton-te, "Iron Shoe" (Hâñ-doti, "Iron Shoe, or Moccasin"). A-ei-kenda, "One who is Surrendered." Cet-ma-ni-ta, "Walking Bear" (Set-mänte, "Bear Above? or Walking Bear"?). 171

At this time the Kiowa were located on the upper waters of Arkansas, Canadian, and Red rivers, in friendship with the Comanche and Wichita, who occupied much of the same territory, but usually ranged more to the east and south. They continued to occupy the same general region until confined to their present reservation. Their war parties extended their raids far beyond these limits, particularly toward the south.


Catlin, who saw them in 1834, describes them as a much finer race of men than either the Comanche or Wichita, being tall and erect, with an easy graceful gait, long hair reaching often nearly to the ground, with a fine Roman outline of head, of a type common among the northern tribes, but entirely distinct from that usually found in the south (Catlin, 2).


From the statement of Lewis and Clark already noted, it appears that in 1805, while still located on the North Platte, the Kiowa had as yet no communication with traders, but obtained supplies indirectly through the tribes living farther east. From Pike's narrative, however, we learn that James Pursley, "the first American who ever penetrated the immense wilds of Louisiana," spent a trading season with the Kiowa and Comanche in 1802 or 1803, under engagement with a French trader operating from the Mandan country, and remained with them until the next spring, when the Dakota drove them from the plains into the mountains at the heads of the Platte and Arkansas (Pike, 2). From Long's statement, also previously quoted, we learn that in 1815, the Kiowa having drifted farther south in the meantime, traders from St Louis had begun to ascend Arkansas river to trade with the Kiowa, Cheyenne, and other tribes near its headwaters. From other sources it is apparent that before this time they had had dealings also with the Spaniards of New Mexico. The first regular American trading expedition to the Kiowa country was made in 1834 when, on the return of the visiting chiefs from Fort Gibson, a company of eighty trappers and traders went back with them to their homes on the upper Washita and Red rivers (Catlin, 3). In 1835, shortly after the treaty with the Comanche at Camp Holmes, Colonel Auguste Chouteau built on the same site a small stockade fort, where a considerable trade was carried on with the Comanche, Kiowa, Wichita, and associated tribes until his death three years later, when the place was abandoned (Gregg, 1). The exact location of Camp Holmes and Chouteau's fort was at a spring on a small creek, both still bearing the name of Chouteau, on the east or north side of South (main) Canadian river, about 5 miles northeast of where now is the town of Purcell, Indian Territory. It was a favorite Indian camping ground and was the site of a Kichai village about 1850.

Auguste Chouteau, the descendant of one of the early French founders of St Louis, was the pioneer organizer of the Indian trade 172 in the upper Red river country, as were the Bents, also of French origin, on the upper Arkansas. Under the name of Soto, Chouteau is still held in affectionate remembrance by the Kiowa.

Chouteau's fort on the Canadian was considered to be in Comanche territory. Shortly after the treaty with the Kiowa in 1837, he established what they regard as the first trading post within their own country, on the west bank of Cache creek, about 3 miles below the present Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Tomé-te (Thomas?) is the name by which the Kiowa remember the trader in charge, who, however, did not remain long. Another store was established nearly on the same ground by William Madison (Sénpo-zédalbe, "Terrible-beard") in 1869, after the tribes had been assigned to a reservation. In 1844, William Bent began building trading posts on the South Canadian, in the Texas panhandle, near the principal Kiowa trails. They also traded extensively at various points on the Arkansas until their final removal to Indian Territory.


With the treaty of 1837 and the building of the first trading post in their country, the modern history of the Kiowa may be said to have fairly begun. Their first introduction to American civilization was in 1834, when Dohásän and the other chiefs accompanied the troops back to Fort Gibson, and again in 1837 when they went to the same place for the purpose of making the treaty. Soon afterward arrangements were made by Colonel Chouteau to have a delegation of Kiowa, Comanche, and their associated tribes visit Washington and other eastern cities. A party of chiefs visited Fort Gibson for this purpose in the summer of 1839, but Colonel Chouteau having died during the previous winter, and the season being then far advanced, it was deemed best to abandon the trip, and accordingly they were given some presents and returned to their homes (Report, 1).


In the winter of 1839—40 the Kiowa again suffered from the smallpox, which had broken out in the north in the summer of 1837, nearly exterminating the Mandan, and then swept the whole plains to the gulf. In 1840 they made peace with the Arapaho and Cheyenne, with whom they have ever since been on terms of intimate friendship (see the calendar). They had already made peace with the Dakota, so that they were now on good terms with all the tribes of the plains excepting the Pawnee and Tonkawa, who seem always to have been outlawed tribes, without friends or allies.


In 1841 the Texan Santa Fé expedition passed through the country of the Kiowa. Kendall, the historian of that ill-fated undertaking, describes the tribe as occupying the prairies near the headwaters of Colorado, 173 Brazos, Wichita, and Red rivers, and incorrectly supposes that their hunting grounds had never before been visited by white men. He says that they seemed to be a powerful people, hitherto but little known, owing to the fact that their range was south of the line of the Missouri traders and north of that portion of the Comanche country with which the Texans were acquainted. He speaks of their extraordinary horsemanship, and credits them with the feat, ascribed also to other plains tribes, of throwing themselves to one side of their horses while riding parallel with their enemies in such a way as to conceal and protect their bodies while discharging their arrows directly under their horses' necks. They had then but few guns, and these were ineffective in their hands, but were surprisingly expert in the use of shields, bows, and lances (Kendall, 1). The disastrous encounter of the Texans with the tribe is narrated in the proper place.


The next notable event in Kiowa history is the cholera epidemic of 1849. It was brought from the east by California emigrants, and ravaged all the tribes of the plains. The Kiowa remember it as the most terrible experience in their history, far exceeding in fatality the smallpox of nine years before. Hundreds died and many committed suicide in their despair (see the calendar).


For years the Kiowa and their confederates had been carrying on a chronic warfare against Mexico and Texas, although generally friendly toward Americans on the north. For the protection of the advancing settlements and the traffic over the Santa Fé trail, now amounting to over $2,000,000 annually (Report, 2), it was deemed necessary to end this anomalous condition of affairs. Accordingly, on July 27, 1853, a treaty was negotiated by agent Thomas Fitzpatrick, at Fort Atkinson, on the Arkansas, in Kansas, with the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache, by which these tribes agreed to remain at peace with both the United States and Mexico, and conceded the right of the government to establish roads and military posts within their territory. In return for these concessions, they were to receive an annuity of $18,000 for a term of ten years, subject to a further extension of five years (Treaties). It is somewhat remarkable that this treaty is not noted on the calendar, neither does it seem to form a subject of conversation among the older men.


Although for obvious reasons the Indians were opposed to the establishment of roads and military posts in their country, the chief difficulty in the way of a treaty was their unwillingness to cease war on Mexico. The proposition to restore their Mexican captives met a 174 prompt and decided refusal. As the Mexican captive element forms so large a proportion of the blood of these three tribes, the remarks of agent Fitzpatrick in this connection are of interest:

The chief difficulty which occurred in negotiating the present treaty was not, however, presented in the article embracing the foregoing points, but in that which contemplates a cessation of hostilities against the neighboring provinces of Mexico and the restoration of prisoners hereafter captured. For a long time these tribes have been in the habit of replenishing their caballadas of horses from the rich valleys and pasture lands which border upon the Rio Grande. Yearly incursions have been made by them far into the interior of Chihuahua and Durango, and they but seldom return without having acquired much plunder, as well as many captives, from the defenseless inhabitants of that country. The name of the Comanche and Apache has become a byword of terror even in the villages and beneath the city walls of those fertile provinces. The consequences of those expeditions are twofold, for while they serve to sharpen the appetite for pillage and rapine, they also tend to keep up the numbers of the tribe. The large herds driven off produce the former result, and the prisoners captured contribute to the latter. The males thus taken are most commonly adopted into the tribe, and soon become the most expert leaders of war parties and the most accomplished of marauders. The females are chosen as wives and share the duties and pleasures of the lodge. In fact, so intermingled amongst these tribes have the most of the Mexican captives become that it is somewhat difficult to distinguish them. They sit in council with them, hunt with them, go to war with them, and partake of their perils and profits, and but few have any desire to leave them. Upon this account the chiefs of the nations refused positively and distinctly to entertain any proposals or make any treaties having in view giving up those captives now dwelling amongst them. They stated very briefly that they had become a part of the tribe; that they were identified with them in all their modes of life; that they were the husbands of their daughters and the mothers of their children, and they would never consent to a separation, nor could any persuasion or inducement move them to abate this position. All that could be accomplished was to make a provision for the future (Report, 3).

Even this much, seems to have amounted to but little, for in the next year we find the same agent-reporting that "so far as I can learn, they have faithfully complied with the treaty stipulations, save one. It is a difficult matter to make them understand that New Mexico now belongs to the United States. They deny ever having consented not to war on Mexicans. They say that they have no other place to get their horses and mules from" (Report, 4).


In the summer of 1854 the Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Cheyenne, and others of the plains tribes, organized a great expedition for the purpose of exterminating the immigrant tribes in eastern Kansas, whose presence was beginning to be felt in an ominous decrease of the buffalo. Although this was perhaps the largest war party ever raised by the plains Indians south of the Sioux country, being estimated to number 1,500 warriors, they were ingloriously defeated with heavy loss by a party of Sauk and Fox numbering hardly a hundred, the result being due to the fact that the latter were armed with long-range rifles, while their enemies had only bows and arrows. Almost 175 every old man of the Kiowa now alive was in this battle, which is famous among all the tribes of the southern plains (see the calendar).

In the same year, according to Clark, a party of 113 Pawnee was cut off and slaughtered almost to a man by an overwhelming force of Cheyenne and Kiowa (Clark, 19). There is no record of this engagement on the calendars, although several minor encounters with the Pawnee are noted about this time.


Fig. 44—Dohásän or Little-bluff, principal chief, 1833—1866 (after Catlin, 1834).

In the next few years we find little of importance recorded of the Kiowa beyond concurrent statements of both military and civil officials that they were growing constantly more insolent and unmanageable. In 1856 a war party of nearly one hundred arrived at Albuquerque, New Mexico, having passed through the center of the settlements of that territory, on their way to attack the Navaho. They were turned back by the military commander, committing several depredations as they retired (Report, 5). Two years later another large war party, together with some Cheyenne, passed Fort Garland, Colorado, almost on the great divide, in pursuit of the Ute (Report, 6).


On one occasion, during the distribution of the annuity goods on the Arkansas, when fifteen hundred lodges of Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache were encamped along the river, the agent took the opportunity to tell the Kiowa as plainly as possible that if they did not cease their depredations the government would not only withhold their presents but would send troops to punish them. The great chief Dohásän, after listening in respectful silence to the end, sprang to his feet, and, calling the attention of the agent to the hundreds of tipis in the valley below, replied in a characteristic speech: 176

The white chief is a fool. He is a coward. His heart is small—not larger than a pebble stone. His men are not strong—too few to contend against my warriors. They are women. There are three chiefs—the white chief, the Spanish chief, and myself. The Spanish chief and myself are men. We do bad toward each other sometimes, stealing horses and taking scalps, but we do not get mad and act the fool. The white chief is a child, and like a child gets mad quick. When my young men, to keep their women and children from starving, take from the white man passing through our country, killing and driving away our buffalo, a cup of sugar or coffee, the white chief is angry and threatens to send his soldiers. I have looked for them a long time, but they have not come. He is a coward. His heart is a woman's. I have spoken. Tell the great chief what I have said (Report, 7).


In the winter of 1861—62 the smallpox, brought back from New Mexico by a party of Kiowa returning from a trading trip, again ravaged the Kiowa, Comanche, and other tribes of the plains (see the calendar). To prevent a recurrence of the disease, the government soon afterward took measures for vaccinating the western Indians. In the summer of 1863 a delegation of Kiowa visited Washington and gave permission for the establishment of mail stations along the roads through their country in southeastern Colorado (Report, 8).


The chronic raiding still continued. In 1860 the troops had been ordered to chastise the Kiowa and Comanche, but apparently with little effect. Then came the rebellion, involving all the civilized and partly civilized tribes of the south and reacting on the wild tribes of the plains. At the same time the fugitive hostiles from the Sioux war in Minnesota in 1862, who had taken refuge with their western brethren of the same tribe, helped to increase the ferment. There is evidence also that agents of the Confederacy had something to do with this result. In the fall of 1863 it was learned that a combination had been formed by the Dakota, Cheyenne, part of the Arapaho, the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache—all the principal fighting tribes—to inaugurate a general war along the plains in the spring. To meet the emergency, messages were sent out to the different tribes in June, 1864, directing all friendly Indians to repair at once to certain designated military posts, with a warning that all found away from these posts after a certain date would be considered hostile. As it was difficult for troops to distinguish one tribe from another, an order was issued at the same time prohibiting the friendly Indians in eastern Kansas from going out on their usual buffalo hunt upon the plains.

Only a part of the Arapaho, and later some of the Cheyenne, responded and came in. After waiting a sufficient time, Governor Evans of Colorado issued a proclamation in the summer of 1864 designating all Indians remaining out as hostiles, whom all persons were authorized to kill and destroy as enemies of the country, wherever they might be found (Report, 9). In August the agent at Fort Lyon, 177 Colorado, for the Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Cheyenne, and Arapaho, wrote that "the orders are to kill every Indian found in the country, and I am inclined to assist in carrying the orders into effect" (Report, 10).

The official reports covering the summer of 1864 are full of notices of murders and depredations on the plains. The agent of the Overland Mail stated in August that as a consequence the company had been compelled to abandon all its stations for a distance of 400 miles, while every ranch within the same section had been deserted. He reported that the Indians "arrogantly declare that the land belongs exclusively to them; they intend to regain and hold it if they have to destroy every white man, woman, and child to accomplish their purpose. It would seem that the recent enormous emigration across the plains has alarmed many of the tribes and infused into their rude minds the belief that the whites were about to take possession of their country" (Report, 11). The great emigration referred to was in consequence of the rush to the gold mines of Pike's Peak, discovered in 1858.


As usual, the Indians had deferred hostilities until the grass was high enough in the spring to enable their ponies to travel. In April a government physician, who had been sent among these tribes to vaccinate them as a protection from the smallpox which had recently decimated them, as already noted, found them all apparently friendly. From him we have an interesting description of the appearance and home life of the famous chief Set-t'aiñte. He writes from Fort Larned:

I have been two weeks among the Kiowas, about 40 miles up the Arkansas river. I was four days in Satana's [Set-t'aiñte] or White Bear's village, who is, I believe, their principal chief. He is a fine-looking Indian, very energetic, and as sharp as a brier. He and all his people treated, me with much friendship. I ate my meals regularly three times a day with him in his lodge. He puts on a good deal of style, spreads a carpet for his guests to sit on, and has painted fireboards 20 inches wide and 3 feet long, ornamented with bright brass tacks driven all around the edges, which they use for tables. He has a brass French horn, which he blew vigorously when the meals were ready. I slept with Yellow Buffalo, who was one of the chiefs that visited Washington with Major Colley. They have quite a number of cows and calves and a good many oxen and some mules and American horses that they say they stole from Texas. A body of Kiowas and Comanches and some Cheyennes intend to make another raid into Texas in about five or six weeks.

It will be remembered that Texas was at this time in armed rebellion against the general government, a fact which confirmed the Indians in their belief that Texans and Americans were two distinct and hostile nations. With correct prophecy the doctor surmises that a successful result in the contemplated raid will encourage them to try their hand farther north. By this time he had vaccinated nearly all the Indians of the upper Arkansas (Report, 12). Fort Larned, in western Kansas, was then the distributing point for the goods furnished by the government to the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache. 178

Photo by Soule, about 1870.

Fig. 45—Set-t'aiñte (Satanta) or White-bear.


In a few months the grass was up and a change came o'er the spirit of the dream. Hostilities had begun on the plains, and in order that the innocent might not be punished with the guilty, the friendly tribes along the eastern border had been forbidden to go out into the buffalo country. This deprivation of accustomed privileges naturally caused great dissatisfaction among the friendly Indians, who had come to depend on their annual buffalo hunt to eke out their scanty food supply, and they complained bitterly that the government had been feeding and clothing the hostiles, while they themselves had been left to starve. 179 In a strong letter their agent writes that, while he has a desire to shield all Indians from wrong and severe treatment, yet "lead, and plenty of it, is what the Kiowas want and must have before they will behave." He denounces them as murderous thieves, and says that he has had personal experience of their insolence and outrages (Report, 13). The incidents of this war noted on the calendar are the encounter at Fort Larned, in which the Kiowa ran off the horses of the soldiers, and the attack on a Kiowa camp by a detachment of troops and Ute Indians under command of Kit Carson (see the calendar).

From the agent's report it appears that the Indians had begun hostilities in the summer simultaneously on the Platte and the Arkansas, and up to September had killed a number of people and run off several thousand head of horses, mules, and cattle. Communication between the Colorado settlements and the Missouri had been almost entirely cut off, the overland coaches had to be supplied with large escorts, and emigrant trains were compelled to combine for safety. It was thought that all the tribes of the plains were on the warpath together. The Indians were well mounted, knew the whole country perfectly, and so far, in every contest on anything like equal terms, had proven themselves a match for the white soldiers. As nearly the whole available force of the government was then employed in suppressing the rebellion, no additional troops could be sent to the frontier, and Governor Evans of Colorado asked and received permission to raise a force of volunteers against the hostiles. It was the opinion of many persons, including army officers stationed in the country, that the whole trouble might have been averted had the Indians been properly treated by the whites (Report, 14).

In spite of the serious condition of affairs it was evident that the chiefs did not want war. Early in September peace overtures were received from the Cheyenne and Arapaho, who soon after came in and camped as directed near Fort Lyon, Colorado. A month later the agent reported that the Kiowa and Comanche had committed no depredations for a long time and were supposed then to be south of the Arkansas, near the Texas border (Report, 15). Before the trouble began they had been encamped on the Arkansas, near Fort Larned. As the tribes had now expressed their desire for peace, a commission was sent out early in 1865 to meet them for that purpose. The commissioners met the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache on August 15 at the mouth of the Little Arkansas, where now is the town of Wichita, Kansas, and received their promise to cease hostilities and to meet the same commission in October to make a regular treaty of peace. Three days later the Cheyenne and Arapaho entered into a similar agreement at the same place. The Kiowa chiefs signing the agreement were Dohásän as head chief, Gúi-pä´go ("Lone-wolf"), Sét-dayâ´-ite ("Many-bears"), Set-t'aiñte ("White-bear"), Te'né-angópte ("Kicking-bird"), and Set-ĭmkía ("Pushing-bear," commonly known as Stumbling-bear), 180 with Sét-tádal ("Lean-bear") for the Apache, and eight of the Comanche. Credit for this result is due largely to the efforts of agent Leavenworth, who secured a suspension of military operations while he went out to bring in the Indians, a matter of peculiar difficulty in view of their fresh recollection of the massacre of friendly Cheyenne by Colonel Chivington in the autumn of the preceding year (Report, 16).

Pursuant to agreement, commissioners met the five tribes in October, 1865, at the mouth of the Little Arkansas, where treaties were made with the Cheyenne and Arapaho on the 14th, with the Apache on the 17th, and with the Kiowa and Comanche on the 18th. By the treaty with the Apache they were officially detached from the Kiowa and Comanche and attached to the Cheyenne and Arapaho, who agreed to relinquish their reservation in southeastern Colorado for one farther south, in Kansas and Indian Territory. The Kiowa and Comanche agreed to remove south of the Arkansas, the reservation proposed for their future home being a tract in western Texas and Oklahoma, as follows: Commencing on the Canadian river where the eastern line of New Mexico crosses the same; thence running south along said line to the southern boundary of New Mexico; thence in a northeastwardly direction to the headwaters of Big Wichita river; thence down said river to its mouth or its junction with Red river; thence due north to Canadian river; thence up the Canadian to the place of beginning. By this treaty, which was intended, to be only temporary, they gave up all claims in Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico, and were restricted to southwestern Oklahoma and the region of the Staked plain in Texas. Five white captives were surrendered by the Kiowa and Comanche at the same time (Treaty).


In the course of the talk Dohásän, on behalf of his people, made a vigorous protest against being confined to a reservation, claiming that the Kiowa owned from Fort Laramie and the North Platte to Texas and had always owned it, and that he did not want his country cut up and divided with other tribes or given to the white man; his people wanted a large country to roam over; they did not want to stay long in one place, but wanted to move about; the Santa Fé road was open and would not be disturbed, but the rest of their country he wanted let alone. Notwithstanding this protest the treaty was signed. Among others officially present were Kit Carson, William Bent, and Agent Leavenworth, with William Shirley and Jesse Chisholm as interpreters (Report, 17). Dohásän died shortly afterward, early in 1866, and with his death began the rapid decline of the Kiowa tribe. He was succeeded by Gúi-pä´go, "Lone-wolf," adopted father of the present chief of the same name. But the Indian day was drawing to a close. Within a few years the Kiowa were practically prisoners on a reservation, and their chiefs were the creatures of petty factions and mere figureheads in the hands of the government. 181


As a result of these peaceful efforts, there were but few reports of disturbances during the next year, excepting from the incorrigible Kiowa. Notwithstanding all their promises, Set-t'aiñte led a war party into Texas and returned with five captives, a woman and four children, whom he brought into Fort Larned for ransom. The agent sharply reminded him of his promise to cease such acts, and demanded the surrender of the prisoners without compensation, whereon, under pretense of consulting the other chiefs, Set-t'aiñte took them to Fort Dodge, where the commander, compassionating their condition, rescued them for a large sum. In reporting the circumstance, their agent urges that it is high time the Kiowa were made to feel the strong arm of the government as the only means of bringing them to a sense of their duty, as they even went so far as to boast that stealing white women was a more lucrative business than stealing horses (Report, 18).

Other complaints came in during the next year, but full investigation by the military authorities satisfied them that with the exception of this raid by Set-t'aiñte the Kiowa and Comanche were innocent (Report, 19). Accordingly measures were taken to arrange a meeting with these tribes to establish more definite treaty relations, as contemplated in the provisional treaty of 1865. Preliminary to this meeting Agent Labadi, with a small party, went from Santa Fé across to the Texas border, where he met a large portion of the confederated tribes and urged on them the necessity of keeping peace with the government, at the same time demanding the free surrender of all white captives of the United States held by them, concluding by telling them that all of their tribes hereafter found north of the Arkansas would be treated as hostiles. After a conference among themselves, the chiefs agreed to deliver up the captives and end all difficulties, and arranged for a full meeting later, when some absent chiefs should have returned. In regard to the raids into Texas, they distinctly stated that they had been told by the military officers of the government to do all the damage they could to Texas, because Texas was at war with the United States (referring to the recent rebellion), and that until now they were ignorant that peace had been established. Although it is pretty certain that some of them at least had already been told that the rebellion was at an end, yet there can be no doubt that the peculiar relations which from the very beginning had existed between Texas and the general government furnished them a plausible excuse for the depredations (Report, 20).


The result of these negotiations was the treaty of Medicine Lodge on October 21, 1867, by which the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache were officially confederated and agreed to come upon their present reservation 182 (see the calendar). This treaty merits extended notice, inasmuch as it changed the whole status of the Kiowa and their allies from that of independent tribes with free and unrestricted range over the whole plains to that of pensioners dependent on the government, confined to the narrow limits of a reservation and subject to constant military and civilian supervision. For them it marks the beginning of the end. Moreover, on the provisions and promises of this treaty are based all the arguments for and against the late unratified agreement of 1892. It will be necessary first to review the situation.

For a number of years the Indian problem on the plains had been constantly growing more serious. The treatment accorded by Texas to her native and border tribes had resulted in driving them northward to the country of upper Red river and the vicinity of the Santa Fé trail, where they were a constant menace both to the trading caravans and to the frontier settlers of Kansas and Colorado. In addition to the old Santa Fé trail the thousands of emigrants to California and Oregon had established regular roads across the plains, in the north along the North Platte and in the south along the base of the Staked plain, while the discovery of gold in Colorado in 1858 brought a flood of white settlement into the very heart of the Indian country, driving away the buffalo and narrowing the range of the tribes. Encroachments and reprisals were becoming chronic, and it was evident that some arrangement must be made by which the wild tribes could be assigned a territory remote from the line of settlement and travel, where they might roam and hunt undisturbed, without danger of coming into collision with the whites.

The conditions a few years previous are well summed up by the veteran trader William Bent, at that time agent for the Cheyenne and Arapaho, in an official report dated October 5, 1859. In it he says:

The Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes scrupulously maintain peaceful relations with the whites and with other Indian tribes, notwithstanding the many causes of irritation growing out of the occupation of the gold region, and the emigration to it through their hunting grounds, which are no longer reliable as a certain source of food to them. These causes precipitate the necessity of immediate and sufficient negotiations for the safety of the whites, the emigrant roads, and the Indians....

The Kiowa and Comanche Indians have for two years appeared in full numbers and for long periods upon the Arkansas, and now permanently occupy the country between the Canadian and Arkansas rivers. This is in consequence of the hostile front opposed to them in Texas, by which they are forced toward the north, and is likely to continue perpetual.... A smothered passion for revenge agitates these Indians, perpetually fomented by the failure of food, the encircling encroachments of the white population, and the exasperating sense of decay and impending extinction with which they are surrounded....

I estimate the number of whites traversing the plains across the center belt to have exceeded sixty thousand during the present season. The trains of vehicles and cattle are frequent and valuable in proportion. Post lines and private expresses are in constant motion. The explorations of this season have established the existence of the precious metals in absolutely infinite abundance and convenience of position. The concourse of whites is therefore constantly swelling and incapable of control or 183 restraint by the government. This suggests the policy of promptly rescuing the Indians and withdrawing them from contact with the whites, as the element capable of such immediate management as may anticipate and prevent difficulties and massacre. I repeat, then, as the suggestion of my best judgment, that immediate and sufficient steps be taken to assemble and finally dispose of these particular tribes of Indians, viz, the Kiowa and Comanches, the Cheyennes, and the Arapahoes, by reducing them, under treaties and arrangements, to become agricultural and pastoral people, located within specific districts, judiciously selected and liberally endowed, to which they shall be restricted and the white men excluded from among them. These numerous and warlike Indians, pressed upon all around by the Texans, by the settlers of the gold region, by the advancing people of Kansas and from the Platte, are already compressed into a small circle of territory, destitute of food, and itself bisected athwart by a constantly marching line of emigrants. A desperate war of starvation and extinction is therefore imminent and inevitable unless prompt measures shall prevent it (Report, 21).

Despite this warning no steps were taken toward a remedy, and in April, 1864, the irritation resulted in a war with the Cheyenne, speedily involving also the Arapaho, Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache, with several bands of the Dakota. The most memorable incident of this war was the massacre of 120 friendly Cheyenne, encamped under the protection of the United States flag, near Fort Lyon, on Sand creek, Colorado, by Colorado militia under Colonel Chivington, on November 29, 1864. Hostilities ended with treaties made with the five tribes chiefly concerned at the mouth of the Little Arkansas (now Wichita, Kansas), in October, 1865, as already noted. Short as the war had been, it had cost the government over $30,000,000 and an unknown number of lives (Report, 22).

From this time the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache, as tribes, remained quiet, according to the terms of the treaty, but it was otherwise with the more northern Indians, who found themselves subjected to constant aggressions in spite of all agreements. In July, 1866, a war broke out with the Sioux, and in April, 1867, it spread to the Cheyenne and Arapaho. Leading incidents of these campaigns were the massacre of Lieutenant-Colonel Fetterman's whole command at Fort Phil. Kearney, December 21, 1866, and the burning of a large Cheyenne village on the Pawnee fork, by General Hancock, in April, 1867 (Report, 23).

At this stage of affairs Congress appointed a commission to establish peace with the hostile tribes, by first ascertaining their grievances and then making such treaties as would remove the causes of dissatisfaction and afford protection to the frontier settlements, emigrant roads, and railroads by assigning to the tribes reservations where they could remain undisturbed in the future. This commission consisted of N. G. Taylor, president, John B. Sanborn, Samuel F. Tappan, J. B. Henderson, and Generals William S. Harney, Alfred H. Terry, and C. C. Augur. Notwithstanding open war was in progress, they found no difficulty in effecting friendly meetings with the various tribes. In September and October, 1867, the commission held councils with the Sioux and Crows and made treaties with the Cheyenne and Arapaho, 184 and with the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache, these being the treaties under which the latter tribes hold their present or recent reservations and draw their annuities.

In regard to the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache, the commissioners state that from the testimony they were satisfied that these tribes had substantially complied with the terms of their treaty made two years before on the Little Arkansas, the only serious violation being the killing of James Box and the capture of his family in western Texas in August, 1866. This is the Set-t'aiñte raid already noted. As excuse for this, the commissioners state, the Indians urged that they supposed an attack on Texas people would be no violation of a treaty with the United States—that as we ourselves had been at war with the people of Texas, an act of hostility on their part would not be disagreeable to us. In regard to numerous other misdeeds credited to these tribes, they state that the evidence pretty clearly demonstrates that the charges were almost entirely without foundation (Report, 24).

After visiting some of the northern bands, the commissioners went to Fort Larned, Kansas, whence they sent messengers to the Cheyenne and Arapaho, Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache, notifying them of their arrival and purpose. They then proceeded to the general tribal rendezvous on Medicine-lodge creek, about the present site of Medicine Lodge, Barber county, Kansas, where they met the Indians, and the treaties were made (see the calendar).

A treaty was first made with the Kiowa and Comanche on October 21, 1867, and by a supplementary treaty made immediately afterward on the same day, the Apache, at their own request, were formally confederated and incorporated with them instead of with the Cheyenne and Arapaho, with whom they had been united by the treaty of the Little Arkansas two years before. The Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache together signed the treaty of confederation, which was proclaimed August 25, 1868. At the same council meeting was made the similar treaty with the Cheyenne and Arapaho, by which those tribes held their late reservation and became entitled to their current annuities. These treaties superseded all previous agreements (Treaties).

The Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache treaty provides for peace and mutual good will, and stipulates that the Indians shall refrain from further attacks on the whites, and withdraw all opposition to the construction of railroads and other roads and the building of military posts in the western country, then or afterward to be authorized by the government. The usual provision is made for an agency, schools, farmers, doctor, blacksmith, etc. Article 6 provides for the selection of farming tracts within the proposed reservation, to be recorded and held as the individual property of such Indians as may desire to become farmers.

Article 2 sets apart for the use of the three confederated tribes their present reservation, bounded on the east by the ninety-eighth meridian, 185 on the south and west by Red river and its Northfork, and on the north by the Washita from the ninety-eighth meridian up to a point 30 miles by river from Fort Cobb, and thence by a line due west to the North fork. All within these bounds is solemnly "set apart for the undisturbed use and occupation of the tribes herein named, and for such other friendly tribes or individual Indians as from time to time they may be willing, with the consent of the United States, to admit among them; and the United States now solemnly agrees that no persons except those herein authorized so to do, and except such officers, agents, and employés of the government as may be authorized to enter upon [the] Indian reservation in discharge of duties enjoined by law, shall ever be permitted to pass over, settle upon, or reside in the territory described in this article, or in such territory as may be added to this reservation, for the use of said Indians."

By article 10 all obligations incurred by the United States under previous treaties are canceled, and instead the government agrees to deliver at the agency, "on the 15th day of October of each year, for thirty years," the equivalent of a full suit of clothing for each Indian man, woman, and child, for which purpose the agent is to make an annual census of the tribes; "and in addition to the clothing herein named, the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars shall be annually appropriated for a period of thirty years" for the judicious purchase of such articles as may seem proper to the condition and necessities of the Indians. Provision is made for the expenditure of a portion of the clothing fund in other ways for the benefit of the Indians, whenever, within the period of thirty years, it might seem advisable, "but in no event shall the amount of this appropriation be withdrawn or discontinued for the period named." All annuity issues were to be made in the presence of an army officer detailed for the purpose, who should inspect and report on the quantity and quality of the goods and the manner of their delivery.

Provision is also made for establishing a sufficient number of schools to continue for a period of not less than twenty years. The Indians agree to surrender all claims to lands outside the reservation as established in article 2, retaining, however, some temporary hunting privileges south of the Arkansas. Several minor details are specified, and by article 12 it is stipulated that no treaty for the sale of any portion of the reservation thus agreed upon shall have force or validity "unless executed and signed by at least three-fourths of all the adult male Indians occupying the same."

The Kiowa signers were ten in number, of whom only Set-ĭmkía was still alive in 1896. Their names were:

The Apache signers were:

The Comanche signers, of whom only Howia was alive in 1896, were:

In addition to the signatures of the commissioners the treaty bears the names of a number of witnesses, some of them noted in the pioneer history of the southwest, including Thomas Murphy, superintendent of Indian affairs, J. H. Leavenworth, agent for the three tribes, and Philip McCusker, the interpreter, well known in connection with these tribes until his death in 1885.


As no arrangements had yet been made for the removal of the Indians to the south, most of them remained encamped on the Arkansas until June, 1868, when the Cheyenne became involved in difficulty with the military, resulting in their flight southward to the Canadian and Washita. On the return of the unsuccessful war party against the Ute, in which Setdayâ´ite had been killed, as narrated in the calendar for that year (see the calendar), the Kiowa also left the Arkansas and removed to the south, thus anticipating measures by General Sherman to drive all these tribes by military force upon the new reservations assigned them by the late treaty, notwithstanding the fact that neither agency buildings nor agents were yet established on either reservation. In pursuance of this policy, General Sherman, in September, asked to 187 have all issues whatever to any of these tribes withheld until they had concentrated near Fort Cobb on the Washita, and announced that after waiting a sufficient time for them to reach that point he would solicit an order declaring all Indians outside these reservations to be outlaws, "and recommending all people, soldiers, and citizens to proceed against them as such." He also proposed to declare forfeited the hunting privileges outside these boundaries, guaranteed under the treaty. Despite the agent's protest that the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache had done nothing to deserve such treatment, and the statement of the acting commissioner that Fort Cobb was not on the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation at all, military operations were begun in September, with this purpose in view, with the result that all five tribes were again involved in war (Report, 25).

However peaceable the Kiowa and Comanche may have been on the Kansas frontier at this time, they were insolent enough in the south, for, in addition to raids into Texas, the agent for the Wichita and associated tribes, which had recently been removed to the vicinity of Fort Cobb, reports that they had plundered the Wichita of nearly everything, burned the agency, and forced the employees to leave to save their lives (Report, 26).


The command of operations in Indian Territory was given to General George A. Custer, who left Fort Dodge, Kansas, with eleven troops of the Seventh cavalry and twelve troops of Kansas volunteers, and after establishing Camp Supply, started on a winter campaign, intending to strike the Indians when they would be least prepared for defense or flight. The result was the "Battle of the Washita," on November 27, 1868, in which the Cheyenne village under Black-kettle was surprised and totally destroyed, one hundred and three warriors, including Black-kettle himself, being killed, a number of prisoners taken, and nearly a thousand ponies captured and shot, thus practically rendering the survivors helpless. The engagement occurred on the south bank of the Washita, in Oklahoma, just above Sergeant-major creek. Most of the Arapaho, Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache were camped below along the river for a distance of several miles; the whole forming the winter camp of the allied tribes. The Kiowa, who were nearest, prepared to attack, but, being taken at a disadvantage, agreed to go with the troops to Fort Cobb, the proposed agency. Instead of doing this, however, the warriors sent their families with their movables in a contrary direction and attempted to slip away themselves in small parties until Custer seized Lone-wolf, the head chief, and Set-t'aiñte, next in authority, and threatened to hang them both unless the absentees delivered themselves at Fort Cobb within two days. This brought matters to a head, and the whole tribe, excepting a band which fled under Woman-heart (Mäñyí-tén) toward the Staked plain, came in and 188 surrendered at Fort Cobb within the time specified, about the end of December, 1868. The two chiefs were thereupon set at liberty. Most of the Comanche and Apache had already come in immediately after the Washita fight. The Cheyenne and Arapaho fled to the head of Red river, where they were followed by Custer, and were brought in later to their own reservation (Custer, 1; Record, 1). As an effective means of holding these tribes in check for the future, Fort Sill was established in the spring of 1869, nearly in the center of the reservation, with the agency for the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache adjoining.


Although they had been compelled to settle on a reservation, the Kiowa continued their raids into Texas, destroying property, killing white people, and carrying away captives. On one occasion they even attacked the agency at Fort Sill, killed and wounded several men, stampeded the agency cattle and the quartermaster's mules, and defiantly challenged the soldiers to come out and fight. Civil and military officials alike agree that there was not the slightest excuse for these outrages, to which they were encouraged by the Kwáhadi Comanche, who had never yet come in from the Staked plain and who never ceased to ridicule those Indians who had submitted. To put an end to this state of affairs, the Commissioner in 1870 recommended the establishment of a line of posts along the southern boundary of the reservation, and that the Kiowa and Comanche should all be placed under military control until they had learned to behave properly (Report, 27).

Affairs went on from bad to worse. In 1871 a large raiding party killed seven men in Texas, torturing one over a fire, and capturing a number of mules. The leaders had the hardihood to boast of their deed in the presence of the agent and General Sherman, who promptly arrested the three most prominent, Set-t'aiñte, Setängya, and Ä´do-eétte or "Big-tree." Setängya (Satank) resisted and was killed. The other two were sent to Texas for trial and punishment (see the calendar).

In 1872 another Commissioner declared that the point had been reached where forbearance had ceased to be a virtue, and again recommended that the three tribes be turned over to the military for punishment. He states that a wholesome example is absolutely necessary to command obedience, asserting that "so long as four-fifths of these tribes take turns at raiding into Texas, openly and boastfully bringing back scalps and spoils to their reservation, efforts to inspire very high ideas of social and industrial life among the communities of which the raiders form so large a part will presumably result in failure." At the same time their agent reports that, although they had come regularly for their rations during the preceding winter and spring, giving repeated assurance of amity and peace, yet so soon as their horses were in condition in summer the Kiowa had gone on the warpath, taking with them a large number of the Comanche and Apache, and 189 within a few months had stolen hundreds of horses and mules, carried off several captive women and children, and killed over twenty persons in Texas, besides others in New Mexico and elsewhere. By withholding rations for three months, he had compelled them to bring in two captives without ransom, and states that he would continue to withhold supplies from them until the other was surrendered. He declared, finally, that the Kiowa and some bands of the Comanche were beyond control by him (Report, 28). The calendar for this year (q. v.) also takes note of these raids.




Photo by Soule, about 1870.

Fig. 46—Set-ängya (Satank) or Sitting-bear.



In the summer of 1872 the general council of the civilized tribes of Indian Territory sent a commission to the wild tribes in the western part of the territory to urge them to a permanent peace among themselves and with the United States. This Indian commission met the chiefs and headmen of the Caddo, Wichita, and affiliated tribes, the Cheyenne and Arapaho, and the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache, together with their agents, near Fort Cobb, in July and August, and had several talks with them, resulting in a general friendly feeling among the tribes, but without any very substantial outcome in regard to the Kiowa, who demanded the release of Set-t'aiñte and Big-tree as a preliminary to negotiations. They did surrender two white captives, as already stated, but this appears to have been due to the stoppage of rations by the agent rather than to the efforts of the peacemakers. Notwithstanding the rose-colored report of the commission, we learn from the agent that while Kicking-bird, as always, was on the side of peace, White-horse (Tseñ-t'aiñte), the notorious raider, declared that the old chiefs might make peace, but he and the young men would raid when they chose, while Lone-wolf, the head chief, declared that they would not make peace or return their captives until Set-t'aiñte and Big-tree were released and the Kiowa reservation extended from the Rio Grande to the Missouri. He modified his terms, however, when he found that all rations and annuities were to be cut off until the captives were unconditionally released (Report, 29). About the same time the Kiowa invited the Cheyenne to join them in forming a combination of the southwestern tribes to make war on the whites and effect the release of the imprisoned chiefs, but the Cheyenne refused the proposition (Report, 30).

Soon after, in the same year, another commission was sent out from Washington to the same tribes to discuss with them the subject of their own and the government's treaty obligations, and to warn them in plain terms that unless they ceased their raids outside their reservations the military would be directed to begin active operations against them, and that all parties hereafter leaving the reservation to go into Texas would be considered as hostiles to be attacked without inquiry and to be followed into their camps, if necessary, for punishment.


An important object of the commission was to obtain a good representative delegation of the several tribes to visit Washington, with the view of impressing them on the way with the strength of the whites, in order to obtain a better understanding on their arrival. Although the other tribes generally responded promptly and satisfactorily, the Kiowa, as usual, were disposed to be perverse. At last, however, a party, including Lone-wolf, Woman-heart, Red-otter (Ápeñ-gúadal), 191 Dohásän (son of the former great chief), Sun-boy (Paí-tälyí), Stumbling-bear, and others, met the commission on the Washita and consented to send delegates to Washington on the promise that their imprisoned chiefs, Set-t'aiñte and Big-tree, should be allowed to meet them at some point on the way, or that if five delegates were sent, the prisoners should be allowed to accompany them. A delegation had been selected to start for the east in September, when a rumor came of 192 a movement of troops in the vicinity of their remoter camps, with the result that a number of the assembled Indians stampeded, including several of the promised delegates. The Kiowa delegation, as it finally left, consisted of four men—Lone-wolf, the head chief, Sun-boy, Gui-k`ate ("Wolf-lying down," improperly rendered "Sleeping-wolf") and one other. The Apache delegates were Pacer, Daho, and Gray-eagle.




Photo by Soule, about 1870.

Fig. 47—Tseñ-t'aiñte or White-horse.

Photo by Soule, about 1870.

Fig. 48—Ä´do-eétte or Big-tree.

In accordance with the promise, the two imprisoned chiefs were sent on under guard to St Louis, where they were allowed to see and talk with their friends, after which they were returned to the custody of the governor of Texas. The whole delegation, which was the largest and most important that had ever visited Washington, included representatives 193 of all the southern plains tribes, excepting the Cheyenne and the Kwáhadi Comanche of the Staked plain. The latter had never entered into a treaty and refused to be settled on a reservation, although protesting their desire to be at peace. Whatever hopes may have been built on these negotiations, the events of the next two years would seem to prove to have been futile.





In December, 1872, Thomas C. Battey, a Quaker, the first teacher who made any impression on the Kiowa, came among them after a short sojourn with the Caddo, and remained about eight months. Although he accomplished little in the way of education, owing to the restless nomadic habits of the tribe, his influence with Kicking-bird (T'ené-angópte) probably kept that chief and his band from the warpath in the outbreak of 1874. He has left a most interesting and valuable narrative of his experiences among the Kiowa, who still hold him in friendly remembrance as Támĭsi (see Battey).


The report of Captain Alvord, chairman of the commission, in regard to the Kiowa, is a good summary of the situation as concerns them up to date. He says:

The Kiowas, from their present attitude and their conduct during the last two or three years, demand especial consideration. The tribe numbers about 1,200. In 1868 they barely avoided a serious conflict with the United States troops, and, although the larger part of them were brought to within a reasonable distance of their agency, and suitably located in the spring of 1869, they soon returned to their favorite range between the Wichita mountains and the eastern slope of the Staked Plains, whence unrestrained they have most of the time since made frequent and successful expeditions in different directions, chiefly into Texas. To a certain extent they are subdivided into bands, and the chiefs of these have evinced different degrees of friendship, but it would be impossible to deal with them otherwise than as a tribe.

As already stated, their hostilities of the past year were pursuant to their deliberate decision, and it is safe to state that at least one-half of the terrible scenes of blood, fire, and pillage which they have caused have never yet been reported to the Department. The cold-blooded murders of inoffensive persons known to have been committed by them within two years approach a hundred, and they have now in their herds not less than a thousand stolen horses and mules, including over two hundred taken within a few months from the troops and agencies in their vicinity.

Lately they have yielded to a demand made upon them and given up the only white captives known to be among them, and there is no doubt that the present delegation, with the man at its head acknowledged as the principal chief of the tribe, will make every profession of friendship in the future and be anxious to cry quits and begin anew on peace terms. Nevertheless, while I desire to give this people all the credit they deserve, the opinion is very positively expressed that these apparently friendly acts on their part are no guarantees for the future, but simply repetitions of their conduct every autumn, when it is highly important to them to place themselves in position to receive during the winter months the material aid in subsistence and clothing afforded by the government. Gladly will they offer this fall certain terms of peace, but these will be found wholly in their favor—entire forgiveness for all 194 past offenses, the possession of the greater portion of their stolen property, and full restoration to the rights and privileges of the plains Indians in general. But the promises of future good conduct will be utterly worthless, and, these terms granted, there will be every prospect of a renewal of their depredations as soon as the early grass recuperates their stock and they find themselves able to subsist on the prairies.

The present position of the Kiowas may not be exactly one of open hostility, but it is certainly nothing less than the most offensive insubordination. Their agent for the past three years, a sincere member of the Society of Friends, a man who has proved himself eminently fitted for the place, declares this tribe uncontrollable, and states his belief that nothing less than military authority, with perhaps some punishment by troops, will bring them into such subjection as to again render the services of a civil agent of benefit to them.

The Kiowas have no shadow of excuse for their conduct. For three years they have received their annuity goods, of proper quantity and quality; have drawn their rations regularly until their action last spring compelled their agent to refuse them; and in no way have they received any injury from the government troops or agents. The arrest of two of their chiefs under due process of law, with their subsequent trial and conviction in the state of Texas, must not be forgotten; but the government at once interceded and secured a commutation of their sentence, and the Kiowas were informed that the fate of their chiefs depended on the future action of the tribe. This can in no way be considered an excuse for them, uncivilized as they are, and as a pretext it but makes their conduct worse.

It is not only recommended, but strongly urged, that the United States government no longer receive their proffer, but dictate to this tribe its own terms of settlement, making sure guarantees of safety to the lives and property of its citizens in the future.

I recommend that the representatives of the Kiowas now in Washington be told, in the presence of the entire delegation, that the government proposes to dictate its own terms to that tribe, and that they be the following: The entire tribe to encamp before November 30 at some suitable point near Fort Sill (for instance, Crawford's creek), where every movement can be watched by troops. All horses or mules found in their herds, undoubtedly taken from the government and from private parties during the past two years, to be given up within the same time, and the tribe to make good from their other stock any such animals found with other tribes, by them obtained from the Kiowas—and the tribe to surrender to the proper authorities, for trial by United States courts, the three most prominent men of those engaged in the greatest atrocities during the past year. Also, that they be told that the recent conduct of the tribe prevents all present hope of the release of their two prisoner chiefs, and that the liberty of those and the others to be given up will depend entirely upon future good behavior. Also, that no annuity goods whatever be issued to them for the present year, and that hunting parties be allowed to leave camp only when accompanied by a proper detachment of troops.

It is recommended that the necessary arrangements be made at once to have a sufficient body of troops in readiness to enforce compliance with these terms. If such a force is known by the Indians to be prepared to move by the 20th of November, it is believed that the terms will be complied with on time. Otherwise the movement should take place promptly on the 1st day of December, and under a judicious officer the tribe can be reached and compelled to yield with very little probability of an actual conflict. As elsewhere suggested, it would be desirable to have a proper representative of the Indian office accompany the troops.

Should these recommendations be approved, it would be well also to notify them that, having come or been forced into camp as proposed, they will be closely watched, and any movement, great or small, not fully authorized by whoever has them in charge, will subject the movers to immediate attack.

It is deemed especially important that the decision of the department as to the course it will pursue toward the Kiowas be fully explained to them, and to the 195 Apaches and Comanches, before the present delegation returns to the territory, and that all the other tribes be warned that, in case of any resistance on the part of the Kiowas, any Indians found aiding or communicating with them will be summarily dealt with (Report, 31).

Photo by Soule, about 1870.

Fig. 49—"Ka-ati-wertz-ama-na—A brave man, not afraid of any Indian".2


Photo by Soule, about 1870.

Fig. 50—T'ené-angópte or Kicking-bird.

The principal event of 1873 was the release and return to their people of the chiefs Set-t'aiñte and Big-tree, who had been imprisoned in Texas under jurisdiction of the state authorities (see the calendar). 196 On the assurance given to the delegates in Washington that their chiefs would be restored to them in the spring, provided the tribe remained peaceably on the reservation in the meantime, the Kiowa had conducted themselves properly through the winter. With spring, however, came the Modok war, with the killing of General Canby, which created such a distrust of Indians in general that the people of Texas were unwilling to surrender the prisoners, whom they regarded as hostages for the safety of the frontier. Notwithstanding their disappointment, the Kiowa remained quietly at home, patiently waiting until the government 197 should bring influence to bear on the governor of Texas to redeem its promise. The prisoners, accompanied by Governor Davis of Texas and the Indian Commissioner, were at last brought to Fort Sill, where a council was held with the Kiowa in October. At the opening of the council the governor of Texas made a number of hard demands as preliminary to the surrender of the chiefs, although the government had already promised their unconditional release in consideration of the good conduct of the tribe during the last year. Some of these conditions were practically impossible, and for a time it seemed as if the whole purpose of the negotiations would be defeated, Kicking-bird, the leader of the friendly element, declaring that the government had lied and that the white man was no longer his friend, while Lone-wolf threatened war even though it should mean the destruction of their people. It became evident that there would be a desperate encounter if the chiefs were not now set free as promised, and on the earnest representations of the Indian Commissioner the governor finally yielded in his demands, and Set-t'aiñte and Big-tree were released from custody on October 8, 1873, subject, however, to rearrest by the state of Texas whenever it should appear that any of the Kiowa had again been raiding there. Although this condition was in violation of the promises made by the government, the Indians were compelled to be satisfied. An unsuccessful attempt was made by the governor to force the Comanche, by the delivery of hostages, to similar conditions. To show their good will, however, a party of Comanche volunteered to assist a detachment of troops in bringing in any of their young men who might then be raiding in Texas. During their absence on this errand a party of Texans visited the reservation and ran off two hundred horses and mules (Report, 32; Battey, 1).

The Quaker teacher, Battey, who was present during the council, thus describes the release of the chiefs:

Satanta and Big Tree, after embracing the governor, proceeded to embrace the chiefs present, and immediately returned with them to the agent's office, from whence they went to their rude home in their camps. The reunion of these chiefs with their tribe and families was impressive and affecting in the extreme. Joy beamed upon every countenance, and their happiness was exhibited, as might be expected, in the most wild and natural manner.

Reports continued to fill the newspapers of renewed raids into Texas by Set-t'aiñte and Big-tree, when Battey asserts—

To my certain knowledge the latter was at home, sick in his lodge, and the former enjoying, after two years' confinement in prison, the pleasures of the buffalo chase, on territory assigned for the purpose (Battey, 2).


At this time the various agencies were in charge of agents nominated by different religious bodies in accordance with the "peace policy" inaugurated by President Grant. The agent for the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache was J. M. Haworth, nominated by the Society of Friends, 198 of which body his acts show him to have been a consistent member, who held charge for five years, from April, 1873, to April, 1878, including the troublous period of the outbreak and subsequent readjustment. In spite of the many difficulties at the time, he soon gained the confidence of these wild and warlike people, and conceived and successfully inaugurated the first substantial work of civilization among them in the way of schools, farming and stock raising, and the building up of friendly relations with the whites. He is held in grateful memory among the Kiowa, who know him as Sénpo gúadal, "Red-beard." An extract from his first report shows the spirit in which he met them and their quick response:

When I took charge, I told the Indians in council that I had come among them as their friend and desired us to live together as friends. As a proof of my confidence in them, I had the soldiers whom I found on duty removed, and relied upon them to conduct themselves in a peaceable and friendly manner; told them with their help we could make this a peaceable country to live in. I desired them to refrain from raiding or stealing. The chiefs promised me assistance; said if their young men would not listen, but ran off and stole horses, they would bring in to me all they brought back, and I could restore them to their owners. A short time ago I reminded the Comanches of their promise—told them I had heard some of their young men had been in Texas and brought back a number of horses. Within two weeks from the time I spoke to them fifty-two head of horses and mules were delivered to me as having been stolen from Texas since I came in charge as agent. I did not make any threats of stopping rations, or anything of the kind; simply reminded them of their promises and appealed to their better natures, with the very satisfactory result referred to (Report, 33).


Early in 1873 also, another Quaker, Thomas C. Battey, attempted the first school work among the Kiowa, as already noted. Although a conscientious worker, the force of their wandering habits and Indian beliefs was still too strong, and the effort in its direct purpose was a failure. He remained with them some months, however, and the good impression he made had much to do with keeping the larger portion of the tribe from the warpath in the subsequent outbreak. He thus sums up his school experiment:

Having erected a tent and fitted it up, I commenced a school with twenty-two children in attendance, which continued for something over a week, during which time the children manifested their aptitude to learn by the progress they made. The elder people also manifested much interest in it by their frequent visits, their attention to the exercises, and their encouraging words to the children. About this time, much sickness prevailing among the children in the camp, some superstitious Caddoes who happened there attributed the sickness among them to me, telling them I was a bad medicine man and had made some of their children sick when I was with them, two of whom died. This had the effect to entirely break up the school, though I continued my efforts to renew it for nearly two months. Sometimes when I would get a few children collected, they would be driven out by their old men. Sometimes young men would come in, laugh at them, and abuse them until they would leave. After about two months they became more unsettled, moving from place to place almost continually, searching for better grass for their stock, better water, more wood, to get buffalo, etc. As we were seldom but a day or two in a place, I gave up all effort to sustain a school (Battey, 3).




But events were steadily drifting toward war again and the truce was of brief duration, the unrest culminating in the general revolt commonly known as the outbreak of 1874. As this was the last, and will forever remain the last, combination of the southern plains tribes against the power of the white man, resulting in their complete and final subjection, it merits somewhat detailed attention.

In late raids into Texas several of the Comanche had been killed by the hated Tonkawa, a small cannibal tribe, in their capacity of government scouts (see the calendar, 1873—74). The wailing laments of the Comanche women for their dead, and their appeals for vengeance, urged the warriors to go down once more into Texas and exterminate the remnants of the man-eaters who had escaped the massacre of twelve years before. To add to their discontent, a lawless band of hunters organized in Dodge City, Kansas, had, in the spring of 1873, established an adobe fort, known as the "Adobe Walls," on the South Canadian, in the panhandle of Texas, from which headquarters they were making inroads on the guaranteed hunting grounds of the Indians and were slaughtering the buffalo by thousands, in defiance of the government promises that such intrusion would be prevented. It was also charged that they directly incited disorder by selling whisky, arms, and ammunition to the Indians in return for stolen stock. In his official report on the outbreak, General Pope states emphatically that the unlawful intrusion and criminal conduct of the white hunters were the principal cause of the war (War, 1). This is confirmed by the testimony of white men employed at the Cheyenne agency at the time, who stated to the author that just before going out the Cheyenne chiefs rode down and assured them that they need have no fear, as the Indians considered them as friends and would not molest them, but were compelled to fight the buffalo hunters, who were destroying their means of subsistence. "Then they shook hands with us and rode off and began killing people."

Shortly before this the son and nephew of Lone-wolf, the principal chief of the Kiowa, had been killed in Mexico. He went down with a party in the summer of 1874 and buried their bodies, making a solemn vow at the same time to kill a white man in retaliation, and thus communicating to his people the bitterness which he felt himself (see the calendar, 1873—74). Lone-wolf is described by Battey about this time as being several years older than Kicking-bird, not so far seeing, more hasty and rash in his conclusions, as well as more treacherous and cunning, but with less depth of mind. He was the acknowledged leader of the war element in the tribe.

While lawless white men were thus destroying the buffalo, the Indians themselves were suffering for food. The agent for the Cheyenne 200 reports that for nearly four months preceding the outbreak the rations had fallen short, and expresses the opinion that if there had been a full supply he could have held the tribe from the warpath. At the same time they were being systematically robbed of their stock by organized bands of horse thieves. The immediate cause of the outbreak by the Cheyenne in May, 1874, was the stealing by these men of forty-three valuable ponies belonging to the chief, Little-robe. In attempting to recover them Little-robe's son was dangerously wounded, in revenge for which the Cheyenne soon after killed a member of a surveying party in the Kiowa country and at once began open hostilities (Report, 34; Battey, 4). 201

Photo by Bell, 1888.

Fig. 51—Gui-pägo or Lone-wolf, present head-chief of the Kiowa.

Agent Miles thus tersely sums up the provocation:

The lack of power to administer the law—to remove improper characters from this reservation, to break up the various bands of dissolute white men, horse and cattle thieves, known to be operating in our vicinity—is the prime cause that may be assigned for the serious outbreak among the Cheyennes on this reservation. As elsewhere stated, the Cheyennes and Arapahoes were assured by the President, on their recent visit to Washington, that improper white men and buffalo hunters should be kept from their country at all hazards, and they very naturally expected that some effort would be made to keep that promise; but they have looked in vain, and the Cheyennes, being the most restless of the two tribes, grew tired and endeavored to avenge their own wrongs. The result of such a proceeding could have but one ending, and that was to bring them into conflict with the general government (Report, 35).


At this critical juncture a young medicine-man named Ĭ´sätaí arose among the Kwáhadi Comanche—the wildest and most intractable portion of the tribe—with claims of supernatural powers. He asserted his ability to cure all diseases and to restore the dead to life, and said that he had been taken up repeatedly into the home of the Father of the Indians, above the sun and far above the abode of the white man's God, and that there he had been given control of the elements, with power to send rain, wind, thunder, lightning, or drought upon the earth as he pleased. What was most to the purpose, he promised to protect all who should believe in him, as he could produce cartridges in unlimited quantities from his stomach for his friends, and could so influence the guns of the whites, and particularly of the soldiers, that they would not shoot Indians, even though the latter stood in front of the muzzles. It was the old story of the Indian medicine-man that has been familiar from the time of the Shawano prophet to the messiah of the ghost dance.

His words created great excitement among the Comanche, nearly all of whom believed him. Some of his deluded followers asserted that they had themselves seen him ascend into the sky and again descend to earth, and at another time had seen him produce from his stomach nearly a wagon load of cartridges. Finally he commanded the tribe to assemble in May, 1874, at the junction of Elk creek (Donä´i P'a, "Pecan river") with the North fork of Red river, to see the proofs of his mission and to hear his message to the people. So great an impression had his fame produced by this time that even the friendly chiefs attended, as well as the main body of the Cheyenne and a part of the Kiowa. This was a new departure for the Comanche, who, according to all authorities, had never before "made medicine" as a tribe (Report, 36; Battey, 5).

On assembling at the designated spot the Indians were harangued by the medicine-man, who told them that their god commanded them to avenge their murdered kindred. Accordingly a party was made up to go to Texas and kill the Tonkawa, who, as has been stated, were cannibals, for which reason, and for the additional one that they constantly 202 served as scouts against the other Indians, they were regarded with common hatred by all the tribes. Learning of the proposed expedition, Agent Haworth warned the commander of Fort Griffin, near which post the Tonkawa were located, who had them removed to the post for safety. This being reported to the confederate tribes by their spies, they changed their program and decided to go out on the plains and kill the buffalo hunters at Adobe Walls.

Finding that the whole purpose of the gathering was warlike, those who desired to avoid trouble determined to return to the agency, but found that such a move had been anticipated by the hostiles, who declared that they would prevent any return, even if they had to kill the ponies of the friendlies to do it. Notwithstanding, a number of the Comanche, chiefly of the Penätĕka band, made the attempt and succeeded in getting away to the agency. The main body of the tribe, the warlike Kwáhadi, and all the Cheyenne, decided for war (Report, 37). A few of the Kiowa were also among them, but as yet only one chief, Woman-heart, had smoked the war-pipe with the Comanche and Cheyenne, the rest of the tribe being still near the agency (Battey, 6). During all the subsequent troubles the Apache remained quiet and peaceable in the friendly camp at Fort Sill.


During the whole period of the outbreak the Arapaho also remained loyal and friendly, in accordance with their treaty pledges and their general character, although the Cheyenne, with whom they were confederated, were the most determined of the hostiles. As soon as it became manifest that trouble was at hand, the Arapaho came in to the agency of the two tribes at Darlington to warn the agent and his employés, and, as a proof of their friendship, furnished an Indian police force, who stood guard over the agency every night until all danger was past. The sole exception to their uniform friendly conduct was the assassination of an employé named Frank Hollowell (or Holloway), in July, 1874, by two young Arapaho, the principal of whom was afterward convicted of the crime and died in prison. This was the only hostile act committed at the Cheyenne and Arapaho agency during the outbreak (Report, 38).


The hostile Comanche and Kiowa now began to steal stock from around the agency at Fort Sill, and in response to a message sent to their camp by the agent, defiantly replied that they would not return the stock now, but would keep it to make peace with when they came back in the fall. They added that they would not molest the agency further if not interfered with by the soldiers, but if the soldiers came upon them they intended to come in and kill anyone they met (Battey, 7).

One or two trifling encounters occurred in May between the troops and Indians, presumably Comanche and Kiowa, in western Texas, and 203 others more serious in June farther north, in Indian Territory and the adjoining part of Kansas, the Indians concerned being probably chiefly Cheyenne.





In the latter part of June, 1874, the confederated Comanche, Cheyenne, and Kiowa made a combined attack upon the buffalo hunters intrenched in the fort of the Adobe Walls, on South Canadian river, in the Texas panhandle. The engagement began about the 27th, and continued several days, the Indians attacking with desperate courage, urged on by their medicine-man, who had assured them that the bullets of the whites could not hurt them. The hunters, however, had a small field cannon, and with this, protected as they were by the solid walls of adobe, they finally compelled the Indians to withdraw with considerable loss. The medicine-man excused the result on the ground that his medicine was for guns and not for cannon. The combined force was led by Quanah, the present noted head chief of the Comanche, who informed the author that he had seven hundred warriors in the fight, but added sententiously, "No use Indians fight adobe." The result convinced him of the falsity of the claims of medicine-men, against whom he has ever since used his powerful influence in his tribe. Finding their position untenable without military protection, which was refused by the general commanding the department, the buffalo hunters soon afterward abandoned the fort. The location is known among the Kiowa as "The place where Quanah led his confederates" (see Report, 39; War, 2; Record, 2).

On July 3 a small wagon train in charge of Patrick Hennessey and three other men, loaded with supplies from Wichita, Kansas, for the Wichita agency at Anadarko, was attacked by Cheyenne on the trail where now stands the town of Hennessey, Oklahoma. The four white men were killed and scalped, the stores and mules taken, and the wagons burned. Hennessey was tortured by being tied to a wagon wheel and burned upon a pile of grain taken from his own wagon. This last deed was the work of some Osage who came up while the Cheyenne were still there, and who secured the larger share of the plunder. These same Osage were ostensibly friends of the whites, and had completely deceived their agent and missionary into the belief that they were doing all in their power to quiet the hostile tribes. The bodies of three of the men killed were buried by a neighboring ranchman, who had warned them of their danger only a few hours before, and unsuccessfully endeavored to persuade them to turn back. Hennessey's remains were buried two days later by a party under agent Miles (Battey, 8; Report, 40).


By this time the Cheyenne agency at Darlington was closely surrounded by bands of hostiles. Arming a small force of employés, the agent proceeded north to Wichita, Kansas, for assistance, after sending 204 a courier through by night to Colonel Davidson at Fort Sill for temporary aid. That officer promptly sent a troop of cavalry, which, however, was intercepted at the Wichita agency (Anadarko), then threatened by the Kiowa and Comanche. In response to the appeals of Agent Miles, a sufficient force of cavalry and infantry was sent from Fort Leavenworth to protect the Darlington agency. As soon as it had appeared that war was inevitable, Whirlwind, head chief of the tribe, with his band of Cheyenne, had moved into the agency, where he remained steadfastly peaceable. White-shield also ranged himself on the side of peace, and consented to carry a message to the hostile camp, as a result of which Little-robe and a number of others broke away at night and came into the agency, being compelled to abandon their tipis and most of their household goods to effect their escape (Report, 41).

The Kiowa medicine dance, which was held usually in June, had been postponed on account of the absence of Lone-wolf, who had gone to Texas after the bodies of his son and nephew. On his return it was held at a point on the North fork of Red river (see the calendar, 1874), being attended in force by the Comanche and Cheyenne, who made a strong effort to engage the Kiowa in the war. The dance closed on the 3d of July, when a small minority, led by Lone-wolf and Swan, decided for war and joined the hostiles, but the majority, under Kicking-bird, declared for peace and came in to the agency at Fort Sill. Here the friendly Indians of the different tribes belonging to the agency—Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache—were directed to encamp together on Cache creek, where they were enrolled by order of Colonel Davidson, after which none were to be allowed to come in and join the camp of the friendlies without surrendering their arms and obtaining a guarantee from the agent that they were guiltless of hostile acts. Similar orders were carried out in regard to the Indians of the Wichita agency at Anadarko. The enrollment showed four-fifths of the Kiowa among the friendlies, although, as the agent remarks, doubtless some of them did not deserve the name. With some inconsistency, Lone-wolf sent a message declaring his desire for peace and asking permission to come in to the friendly camp; but, as he was considered the leader and one of the most guilty of the hostiles, his request was refused. In the meantime orders had been issued from the War Department, on July 21, authorizing the military to punish the hostiles wherever found, even to pursuing them upon their reservations. General Pope, commanding the department, at once set the troops in motion, and a vigorous campaign began from the north and south of the exposed territory.


Late in August a band of Nokoni Comanche came into the camp of friendly Comanche at the Wichita agency (Anadarko), desiring to remain. Colonel Davidson, commanding at Fort Sill, went over with a 205 detachment of troops to receive their surrender. They agreed to give up their arms, and had already delivered a number of guns and pistols, when a question arose as to the bows and arrows, and a messenger was sent to the commanding officer to decide the matter. While the messenger was gone, the chief, Red-food, gave a whoop—whether as a battle signal or merely to call another chief, is a disputed point—and was immediately fired upon by the guard. Lone-wolf and his Kiowa were on the ground and at once opened fire on the troops. A general fight ensued (August 22), the excitement being intense, as it happened to be ration day and nearly all the Indians of the Wichita agency were present—Caddo, Wichita, Delaware, and Pawnee—as well as a large number of the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache of the other agency. Runners hurried to all the camps with the news that the troops were killing the Indians; but, notwithstanding, the fighting was confined to the Kiowa and Comanche, who attacked the agency, burning the schoolhouse, sacking Shirley's trading store, burning several houses of the friendly Indians, killing at least four citizens, and wounding several soldiers. While some fled to places of safety, others kept up the attack until next day, when, failing in a final attempt to take and burn the agency, they withdrew. According to the statement of the Indians, they lost two men and one woman killed and a few wounded. A part of the Kiowa engaged had been enrolled at Fort Sill among the friendlies, but had gone without permission to the Wichita agency some days before. Some of the Comanche who fled at the time of the fight came in soon after and reported to Colonel Davidson, and, on being assured that no harm was intended them, returned with him to the friendly camp at Fort Sill. In regard to this encounter, the Comanche disclaimed any hostile intention at the start, and the fact that they had voluntarily come in and surrendered their guns would show that it was the result of a panic arising from a misunderstanding (see the calendar; also Report, 42; Battey, 9; Record, 3).

As showing the moral effect of a knowledge of the power of the white man, it is worthy of record that only one of the Kiowa delegates to Washington in 1872 joined the hostiles, that one, Lone-wolf, being avowedly incited to his course by a thirst for vengeance for his son (Report, 43). As a commentary on the treatment frequently accorded "friendlies" during an outbreak, it may also be noted that the enrolled Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache were located two miles from Fort Sill, where Texas horse thieves stole over nineteen hundred of their animals within a year, while they themselves were kept almost at starvation point by the contractor's failure to supply their rations. Notwithstanding these discouragements they continued loyal, and sent as many of their children to school as could be accommodated (Battey, 10).

After the fight at the Wichita agency most of the Kiowa and Comanche concerned fled to the Staked plain, where the hostiles made 206 their chief headquarters. Some others not already enrolled now came in and asked permission to join the friendly camp. Set-t'aiñte, Big-tree, Woman-heart, and Poor-buffalo (Pá-tádal, "Lean-buffalo-bull"), who had been enrolled at the beginning, but had gone without permission to the Washita and fled from there at the time of the fight, came in soon after to the Cheyenne agency at Darlington and surrendered with a large number of their people, saying that they were tired of war, but did not like Fort Sill. As it was believed that they had taken part in hostilities, they were not allowed again to resume their position as friendlies, but were sent back as prisoners of war to Fort Sill, where their arms and horses were taken from them and the men were imprisoned, the chiefs being put in irons. Soon afterward Set-t'aiñte was returned to the Texas penitentiary (Report, 44).


Set-t'aiñte, "White-bear," better known as Satanta, who was thus finally removed from the field of action, is one of the most prominent men in Kiowa history, being noted among the most daring and successful warriors of the tribe, while in authority he held the rank of second chief, standing next after Lone-wolf. He has already been mentioned as a leading chief in 1864. His eloquence and vigor of expression in his native language, a peculiarly forcible one, had gained for him the title of the "Orator of the Plains." Every line of his strongly marked features showed the character of the man—a brave, forceful, untamable savage (figure 45). The persistent efforts of the Kiowa to secure his release prove the estimation in which he was held by his tribe. He came early into prominence and was one of the signers of the treaty of 1867, his name being second on the list. His seizure by General Custer the next year, in order to compel the Kiowa to come into the reservation, and his subsequent release, have been narrated. His arrest in 1871 for being concerned in an attack upon a wagon train in Texas, the commutation of the death sentence, and his release by the state authorities in 1873, have also been noted in the proper place. He was still, however, considered as a hostage for the good conduct of his people, and subject to rearrest whenever they became troublesome. As was almost inevitable, he became involved in the outbreak of the succeeding year, although apparently more by accident than deliberate purpose, and on coming in to Cheyenne agency with others in the fall of 1874 he was again arrested and turned over to the military authorities and by them sent back to the state penitentiary at Huntsville, Texas, to serve out his life sentence (Report, 45). When informed by Horace P. Jones, the government interpreter at Fort Sill, that he was to be returned to prison, he expressed himself bitterly, claiming that he had kept his parole and that there were others far more guilty than he. What affected him most was the entire separation from his people. He was taken back to prison in November, 1874, and four years later, refusing to live longer in confinement, he committed suicide 207 by throwing himself from an upper story of the prison, October 11, 1878 (Whatley letter).

Set-t'aiñte, whose name among the Kiowa is still one to conjure by, first acquired his title of "Orator of the Plains" in connection with the events which led to the treaty of Medicine Lodge, in 1867. He was already sufficiently distinguished among his own people as a leader on the warpath. In May preceding the treaty he visited Fort Larned, and, confronting General Hancock, he denounced agent Leavenworth and complained of the aggressions of the white men in a fiery speech, which is described as a masterly effort, from its opening, when he called the sun to witness that he would "talk straight," to the close, when, looking around over the prairie, he said that it was large and good, and declared that he did not want it stained with blood.

A few months later he escorted General Harney and the commissioners from the post to the spot where the Indians were gathering for the treaty. In spite of stringent orders before starting, the soldiers and camp followers soon began an indiscriminate slaughter of the buffalo along the line of march. As described by a correspondent—

They recklessly shot down the buffalo, simply that they might boast of it. After cutting out their tongues, they left the carcasses where they fell. The reader will readily perceive that when the Indians complain at every council of the decrease of the buffalo, such wanton waste of good meat could not be a pleasing sight to the greatest chief on the American plains. Satanta, never backward in speech, resented in strong terms the shooting of his game on his own ground. Said he, while his eyes flashed and his lips curled with scorn: "Has the white man become a child, that he should recklessly kill and not eat? When the red men slay game, they do so that they may live and not starve." Sound logic! Only persons devoid of sense or honor could have been guilty of such conduct in the enemy's country, especially when the commissioners were endeavoring to conciliate them with presents and reconcile them to the propositions about to be propounded.

The protest had its effect, no more shooting was allowed, and those responsible for the outrage were placed under arrest.

On behalf of the confederate tribes, he made the leading speech in reply to the commissioners. It is thus given by the correspondent of the New York Times:

"You, the commissioners, have come from afar to listen to our grievances. My heart is glad, and I shall hide nothing from you. I understood that you were coming down to see us. I moved away from those disposed for war, and I also came along to see you. The Kiowas and Comanches have not been fighting. We were away down south when we heard, you were coming to see us. The Cheyennes are those who have been fighting with you. They did it in broad daylight so that all could see them. If I had been fighting I would have done it by day and not in the dark. Two years ago I made peace with Generals Harney, Sanborn, and Colonel Leavenworth at the mouth of the Little Arkansas. That peace I have never broken. When the grass was growing in the spring, a large body of soldiers came along on the Santa Fé road. I had not done anything and therefore I was not afraid. All the chiefs of the Kiowas, Comanches, and Arapahos are here today; they have come to listen to good words. We have been waiting here a long time to see you and are getting tired. All the land south of the Arkansas belongs to the Kiowas and Comanches, and I don't want to give away any of it. I love the land and the buffalo 208 and will not part with it. I want you to understand well what I say. Write it on paper. Let the Great Father see it, and let me hear what he has to say. I want you to understand also, that the Kiowas and Comanches don't want to fight, and have not been fighting since we made the treaty. I hear a great deal of good talk from the gentlemen whom the Great Father sends us, but they never do what they say. I don't want any of the medicine lodges [schools and churches] within the country. I want the children raised as I was. When I make peace, it is a long and lasting one—there is no end to it. We thank you for your presents. All the headmen and braves are happy. They will do what you want them, for they know you are doing the best you can. I and they will do our best also. When I look upon you, I know you are all big chiefs. While you are in this country we go to sleep happy and are not afraid. I have heard that you intend to settle us on a reservation near the mountains. I don't want to settle. I love to roam over the prairies. There I feel free and happy, but when we settle down we grow pale and die. I have laid aside my lance, bow, and shield, and yet I feel safe in your presence. I have told you the truth. I have no little lies hid about me, but I don't know how it is with the commissioners. Are they as clear as I am? A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers; but when I go up to the river I see camps of soldiers on its banks. These soldiers cut down my timber; they kill my buffalo; and when I see that, my heart feels like bursting; I feel sorry. I have spoken."

The above is a plain unvarnished statement of facts, such as no Indian on the plains could produce but Satanta. It must be remembered that in cunning or native diplomacy Satanta has no equal. In worth and influence Red Cloud is his rival; but in boldness, daring, and merciless cruelty Satanta is far superior, and yet there are some good points in this dusky chieftain which command admiration. If a white man does him an injury, he never forgives him; but if on the other hand the white man has done him a service, death can alone prevent him from paying the debt. The speech of Satanta caused the commissioners to look rather blank, and when he pictured in his usual graphic manner how he loved his land, his buffalo, and his traditions, there was a world of feeling in his tones, betraying his knowledge of the vast difference between the power of the aggressive pale face and his waning race. A certain dim foreboding of the Indian's fate swept across his mind, and in its passage lit his eyes up with a fierce light, and his voice rose to a pitch of frenzy as he exclaimed: "We don't want to settle—I love to roam over the prairie; there I am free and happy."

His farewell speech, to the commissioners at the conclusion of the treaty is thus noted in the same newspaper:

On this occasion the old chief was accompanied by one hundred of the principal warriors of the Kiowa tribe; and immediately after its close, this tribe, as well as the Comanches, struck camp and left for the Cimarron River in the south. He spoke with a gravity and earnestness that added force to his words. "If," said he, "the treaty bring prosperity to us, we of course will like it the better. If it bring prosperity or adversity, we will not abandon it." He alluded delicately to the fact that the white man often forgot to keep his treaties with the Indian; and then at the close, referring to the treaty just made, he rose to the heights of friendship, offering his heart and his hospitality, and adding: "For your sakes, the green grass shall not be stained with the blood of the whites. Your people shall again be our people, and peace shall be our mutual heritage. Good-bye. You may not see me again. But remember Satanta as the white man's friend." He is spoken of as having a very grave yet musical voice, and at times displays the deepest emotion.

Another who heard him on this occasion says:

The great chief, Satanta, in delivering his address spoke with a dignity and force that could not but be appreciated. He is a great orator and of unbounded influence in the council (Ind. Miscel., xii, 3804—3833).




He is thus described by Keim in 1870:

For several years Satanta has filled the office of head chief. A peculiar dash of manner; a grin equal to all occasions; a remarkable shrewdness exhibited in managing affairs between the different tribes with which his people come in contact, or their intercourse with the national government, have won for him a prestige which he has very well maintained. Satanta, when I first met him, was a man of about fifty years of age. He rose first through prowess on the warpath, and afterward through skill in council and diplomacy. He had an intelligent face, and was large in frame and of muscular development, exhibiting also a tendency to obesity. Lately Satanta has found a threatening rival in Lone-wolf, the war chief of the tribe (Keim, 3).

Three years later we get the following notice from one who saw him with Big-tree, in 1873, while serving his first incarceration in the Texas penitentiary:

In the corridor of the penitentiary I saw a tall, finely-formed man, with bronzed complexion, and long, flowing, brown hair, a man princely in carriage, on whom even the prison garb seemed elegant, and was told that it was Satanta, the chief of the Kiowas, who with his brother chief, Big-tree, is held to account for murder. I was presently introduced to a venerable bigamist who was Satanta's chosen boon companion, on account of his smattering of Spanish, and through this anxious prisoner was presented at court. Satanta had come into the workroom, where he was popularly supposed to labor, but where he never performed a stroke of work, and had seated himself on a pile of oakum, with his hands folded across his massive chest [figure 150]. His fellow prisoner explained to Satanta, in Spanish, that we desired to converse with him, whereupon he rose and suddenly stretching out his hand gave mine a ponderous grasp, saying: "How!" He then responded, always through the aged wife-deceiver, to the few trivial questions I asked, and sat down, motioning to me to be seated with as much dignity and grace as though he were a monarch receiving a foreign ambassador. His face was good; there was a delicate curve of pain at the lips, which contrasted oddly with the strong Indian cast of his other features. Although he is much more than 60 years old, he hardly seemed 40, so erect, elastic, vigorous was he. When asked if he ever expected liberation, and what he would do if it should come, he responded, "Quien sabe?" with the most stoical indifference. Big-tree was briskly at work plaiting a chair seat in another apartment and chewing tobacco vigorously. His face was clear cut and handsome, his coal black hair swept his shoulders, and he only paused to brush it back and give us a swift glance as we entered, then briskly plaited as before (Scribner, 1).

The particular offense for which Set-t'aiñte was first arrested was a raid upon some teamsters on Salt creek, Jack county, Texas. In response to a letter of inquiry, the following concise statement in regard to his prison life and tragic death was obtained from Mr L. A. Whatley, superintendent of Texas penitentiaries, writing from Huntsville, under date of March 3, 1896:

At the July term of the district court of Jack county, in the year 1871, Satanta was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Texas state penitentiary. He was received at the Huntsville prison on the 2d of November, 1871. Upon the recommendation of President U. S. Grant, Governor E. J. Davis, on August 19, 1873, set Satanta at liberty upon parole, i. e., conditioned upon his good behavior. It seems, however, that he violated his parole, for he was arrested and recommitted to the prison at Huntsville by Lieutenant General Sheridan on the 8th of November, 1874. On October 11, 1878, Satanta committed suicide by throwing himself from the 210 second story of the prison hospital, from the effects of which he died within a few hours. He was buried at the prison cemetery, where his grave can be identified to this day. During the period of his incarceration in this prison Satanta behaved well, but was very reticent and stoical.

Such was the end of the man who had said: "When I roam over the prairie I feel free and happy, but when I sit down I grow pale and die."

Set-t'aiñte was distinguished by his war paint, which was red, his face, hair, and the upper part of his body being painted red, his tipi also being painted entirely red, with streamers of the same color at the ends of the poles. He carried a ceremonial "medicine lance," feathered like an arrowshaft, which seems to have been an ancient heirloom from the Crows. He had a grim sort of humor, rather characteristic of his tribe. At a council held at Fort Dodge in the spring of 1867 he was presented by General Hancock with a full suit of general's uniform, and showed his appreciation of the gift by leading an attack on the post shortly afterward arrayed in his new toggery (Custer, 2). This attack was probably in fulfillment of a promise made a few months before, when it is said he sent a message to the commander of the post saying that his stock was getting poor—this was in winter—and he hoped the government animals at the post would be well fed, as he would be over in a short time to get them (Report, 46). He left a son, who inherited his father's name and shield, as well as his bold hawk-like features. This is the young man mentioned by Custer in his "Life on the Plains." He enlisted in the Indian troop at Fort Sill, and on his death in 1894 made a formal will, giving his father's shield to Captain H. L. Scott, of the Seventh cavalry, commander of the troop, in whose possession it now is. The representation here given (plates LXII, LXIII) is made by his permission. A sister of the elder Set-t'aiñte still lives, and, with a friendly, hospitable disposition, seems to combine many of her brother's strong traits of character. Since the death of the younger Set-t'aiñte the name is tabooed, in accordance with tribal custom, and the chief is referred to only under his boy name of Gúatoñ-bain, "Big-ribs."


The campaign against the hostiles was now pressed vigorously. A large force of troops under Colonel (now Major-General) Nelson A. Miles started from Fort Supply toward the southwest to strike the enemy in the direction of the Antelope hills, while a smaller body from New Mexico, under Major W. R. Price, moved down the South Canadian to assist him. On August 30 Miles encountered the Indians in force near the head of the Washita, and after a running fight, lasting several days, drove them out on the Staked plain, with a loss of several killed, besides a considerable portion of their horses and camp outfit. A few days later the supply train in charge of Captain Wyllis Lyman, Fifth infantry, was attacked near the head of the Washita. The men corralled the wagons, and defended themselves for several days until relief arrived from Fort Supply. On September 12 the detachment under 211 Major Price had a severe encounter with a large force of Indians between Sweetwater creek and the Washita, on the eastern boundary of the Panhandle, but finally repulsed them, pursuing them several miles. The assailants were supposed to have been the Kiowa who had recently stampeded from the Wichita agency (see the calendar 1874—75; also Record, 4; War, 3).



On September 26 and 27, 1874, Colonel (afterward General) Ranald S. Mackenzie, Fourth cavalry (Mángomhéñte), "No index-finger," on account of the loss of that finger), whom the Comanche already knew to their sorrow, with a detachment of his regiment, after repelling two attacks, surprised a large body of Cheyenne and their allies in a canyon near Red river, Texas, destroying over a hundred tipis and capturing their entire camp outfit, with over fourteen hundred horses and mules. This was the severest blow the Indians had yet received. On October 9, Colonel George P. Buell, Eleventh infantry, struck and destroyed a large Kiowa camp on the Salt fork of Red river, and eight days later Captain Adna R. Chaffee, Sixth cavalry, surprised and destroyed another camp north of the Washita, the Indians fleeing without attempting a defense (Record, 5).

As a result of these successive losses the Indians became discouraged, and early in October the Comanche sent messengers asking permission to come into the agency. Permission being given, Täbinä´naka, White-wolf, and Red-food, with their people, started in and were met on Elk creek by a detachment from Fort Sill, under Major G. W. Schofield, who received their surrender and brought them in to the fort. Others came in a few days later and surrendered, making in all about four hundred Indians with about two thousand horses. Other Comanche and Kiowa in small parties continued to come in, the men being imprisoned under guard as fast as they arrived. Big-bow was allowed to go back to induce the Kiowa to come in, and was successful, returning in February, 1875, with Lone-wolf, Red-otter (Apeñ-gúădal), Swan (Tsä´dal-t'aiñ), Dohásän, and Poor-buffalo, and their people, who were met on their way in by the interpreter, Philip McCusker, and some friendly Comanche, to whom they surrendered their arms and horses. Poor-buffalo and his band had been enrolled among the friendlies, but had fled at the time of the agency fight. This left only a few of the Kiowa out, and these also came in soon after. In the meantime small bodies of Cheyenne were coming in and surrendering at their agency, but the main body still remained out (Report, 47; Record, 6).

On November 6 a small detachment of the Eighth cavalry under Lieutenant H. J. Farnsworth had a fight with about a hundred of the Cheyenne on McClellan creek, Texas, in which several were killed and wounded on both sides. Two days later Lieutenant Frank D. Baldwin, with some of the Fifth infantry and Sixth cavalry, attacked a camp of Cheyenne near the same place and rescued two little white girls named Germaine, who had been captured more than a year before. The pursuit was continued by another detachment under Captain Charles D. 212 Viele, Tenth cavalry. On November 28 Captain Charles A. Hartwell, Eighth cavalry, again encountered and defeated the Cheyenne on Muster creek, Texas. Several other skirmishes occurred during the month, in each of which the Indians—chiefly Cheyenne—were the losers, and on the 28th of December Captain A. B. Keyes, of the Tenth cavalry, succeeded in capturing, on the North Canadian, an entire band of that tribe, with all their ponies, after having followed them 80 miles. Most of the operations during October and November were by troops from Fort Sill under command of Lieutenant-Colonel John W. Davidson, Tenth cavalry, commanding officer of the post (Record, 7).


The campaign was vigorously prosecuted during the winter and into the spring of 1875. The forces engaged consisted of eight troops of the Sixth cavalry under Majors Charles E. Compton and James Biddle, four troops of the Eighth cavalry under Major Price, and four companies of the Fifth infantry, the whole under the immediate command of Colonel (now Major-General) Nelson A. Miles. During this period the troops were constantly engaged in scouting over the territory involved, keeping the Indians so constantly on the move that they were unable to lay in any stock of provisions. This active work was continued by the troops upon the exposed and barren plains of that region during a winter of unprecedented severity, and as the season advanced, the difficulty of supplying the necessary forage and subsistence increased so that no little hardship and privation resulted, but the troops bore everything with fortitude and without complaint. By extraordinary effort enough supplies reached the troops to enable them to remain in the field until their work was done, and at length, early in March, 1875, the southern Cheyennes, completely broken down, gave up the contest, and under their principal chief, Stone-calf, the whole body of that tribe, with a trifling exception, surrendered themselves as prisoners of war. At the same time they restored the two elder captive Germaine girls. They gave up also their horses, bows and arrows, with some guns, but secretly hid most of their valuable firearms (Record, 8).

The main body of the Cheyenne surrendered to Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas H. Neil, Sixth cavalry, near the agency (Darlington), on March 6, 1875, and were at once disarmed and placed under guard, their ponies being confiscated and sold. Their agent says:

A more wretched and poverty-stricken community than these people presented after they were placed in the prison camp it would be difficult to imagine. Bereft of lodges and the most ordinary cooking apparatus; with no ponies nor other means of transportation for food or water; half starved and with scarcely anything that could be called clothing, they were truly objects of pity; and for the first time the Cheyenne seemed to realize the power of the government and their own inability to cope successfully therewith (Report, 48).

On the 27th of April they were formally transferred from the charge of the military to that of the agent and declared to be again at peace 213 with the government. Throughout this whole period the Arapaho camped near the agency, in spite of short rations and all the other difficulties of their position, had maintained untarnished their treaty obligations.


It had been determined, on the surrender of the hostiles, to select some of the most prominent leaders from each tribe concerned for a term of confinement at some military prison in the east. Accordingly thirty-three of the Cheyenne were selected, with two Arapaho, who, though not concerned in the outbreak, had been guilty in other ways. Among the Cheyenne selected was one woman, who was identified as having participated in the murder of the Germaine family. While ironing the prisoners on April 6, a young warrior named Black-horse, stung by the taunts of the women, kicked over the blacksmith and attempted to escape, but was immediately shot down by the guard. The Cheyenne at once attacked the guard with guns and arrows. A troop of cavalry was quickly ordered up from Fort Reno, 2 miles away, when the Cheyenne fled to the sandhills on the river bank across from the agency, where they had secreted a quantity of firearms and ammunition, and, digging pits in the sand, opened fire on the troops. A severe engagement ensued, the Indians holding their position until dark, several being killed or wounded on each side. During the night they fled, and when daylight came nothing remained of the prison camp but a few worn-out tipis. Most of the Indians soon afterward surrendered; but a band of about sixty, including the murderers of the Germaine family, attempted to escape to the Dakota country, and had made their way to the vicinity of Fort Wallace, Kansas, when they were intercepted by a detachment under Lieutenant A. Henley, Sixth cavalry, who cut off about half of them from the rest. On their refusal to surrender, he attacked them and killed nineteen, captured over one hundred and twenty-five ponies, and burned their camp, with the loss of two soldiers killed. The remainder escaped to the northward. The thirty-five Cheyenne and Arapaho prisoners selected for imprisonment were sent to Fort Marion, near St Augustine, Florida (Record, 9; Report, 49).


The Germaine girls referred to were part of a family of that name who had been attacked by the Cheyenne at their home on Smoky Hill river, Kansas, on September 13, 1874. The father, mother, brother, and one sister were killed, and four other sisters carried off, two of whom were young women. On November 8, 1874, the two little girls, aged five and seven, were rescued by Lieutenant Baldwin, as already noted, in an encounter on the edge of the Panhandle. The two elder sisters were held until the Cheyenne under Stone-calf surrendered, after having been prisoners nearly seven months, during which time they had suffered all the horrors of Indian captivity. General Miles 214 became the guardian of all four, a comfortable home was provided for them at Fort Leavenworth, and Congress authorized the stoppage of an amount sufficient for the support of the children from the annuities of their captors, the southern Cheyenne. A woman identified by them as having taken part in the murder was sent with the other prisoners to Florida (Record, 10; Report, 50).

Atrocities were, however, not confined to one side. In April, 1875, a party of Texans attacked six Comanche, killing four men and a woman, only one man escaping. The dead Indians, including the woman, were beheaded, and the heads carried to the nearest town, where they were said to have been preserved in alcohol (Report, 51).


In response to overtures made through scouts Stilwell and Kilmartin, another party of Comanche, numbering nearly two hundred, partly Kwáhadi, came into Fort Sill in April and surrendered to Colonel (General) R. S. Mackenzie, who had succeeded Colonel Davidson in command of the post, delivering up their arms and over seven hundred horses and mules. Soon afterward Mackenzie sent another message to the Kwáhadi Comanche, Quanah's band, through Dr J. J. Sturm, an experienced frontiersman. He found them near the head of Red river and succeeded in persuading them to return with him to Fort Sill, where they arrived on June 2, 1875, and surrendered their arms and over fifteen hundred head of stock. The band numbered over four hundred, including a few Apache. These were practically the last of the hostiles, and thus the outbreak came to a close about a year after it had begun. Although the Indians had become impoverished by loss of stock and camp equipage, their loss in killed was very small. Only about twenty were captured, the remainder having surrendered voluntarily (Report, 52).

About thirty-five hundred horses and mules had been surrendered by the Kiowa and Comanche when they came in. Of these nearly eight hundred were shot, one hundred were given to the Tonkawa scouts, several hundred more were given to the military scouts or were stolen, some were returned to their owners, and about sixteen hundred were sold for the benefit of the Indians, realizing about $22,000, which Colonel Mackenzie decided to invest in sheep and goats, with the intention of converting them into pastoral tribes like the Navaho (see the calendar, 1875—76). The first horses surrendered had been shot before this economic idea occurred to anyone. In addition to their losses by the surrender, about two thousand horses and mules had been stolen by Texas horse thieves from the friendly Indians camped near the agency (Report, 53).


As a means of rendering the late hostiles forever harmless, and compelling them to give up their nomadic hunting life and settle down to earn their own living, it was proposed to deport several thousands of 215 them, practically about all of the Cheyenne, Comanche, and Kiowa tribes, to a remote district, where they were to be disarmed, dismounted, and compelled to work in return for the supplies to be furnished by the government. Congress having appropriated funds for the purpose, arrangements were made with the Quapaw in April, 1875, by special agent Major C. F. Larrabee for the purchase of a portion of their reservation in the northeastern corner of Indian Territory. Preparations were commenced for their removal, but in consequence of an adverse report made by the commissioner appointed to remove them, the plan was abandoned (Report, 54).

As had been done in the case of the Cheyenne and Arapaho, a number of the Kiowa and Comanche were selected from among the late hostiles and sent about the first of May, 1875, to join their predecessors in military confinement at Fort Marion, Florida. It is somewhat of a coincidence that the exiled Apache of Geronimo's band who were removed from Arizona as prisoners of war in 1886 to the same Fort Marion are now located at Fort Sill, upon the Kiowa reservation, to which, point they were brought, in September, 1894, after a temporary sojourn at Mount Vernon Barracks, Alabama. Nine Comanche and twenty-six Kiowa were selected, making, with the Cheyenne and Arapaho, a total of seventy prisoners sent to Florida. Of the Kiowa the most prominent were Lone-wolf, Swan, Woman-heart, and White-horse, the last named being selected on account of his previous record as a notorious raider, although he had been enrolled with the friendlies during the outbreak (Report, 55). It was of course the intention to select for punishment those who had been most conspicuous or guilty in the outbreak, but the selection being left principally to Kicking-bird, that chief, with a natural desire to shield his friends, picked out only a few of the prominent leaders, making up the quota with Mexican captives and young men of no great reputation. Following is the list of Florida prisoners from the Kiowa tribe, as furnished by the Indians:

  1. Gui-pägo, "Lone-wolf," head chief and adopted father of the present head chief of the same name.
  2. Mäñyí-ten, "Woman-heart," a chief and signer of the Medicine Lodge treaty.
  3. Tseñ-t'áñte, "White-horse," a chief.
  4. T'ené'taide, "Bird-chief," a chief.
  5. Tsädal-t'aiñ, "White-goose," i. e. "Swan," a chief.
  6. Paä´ti, "Buffalo-bull's-entrails," a chief.
  7. Mamä´nte, "Walking-above," alias Dahä´ti, "Medicine-man," a chief and noted medicine man—died in Florida.
  8. Gui-bótte, "Wolf-stomach"—died in Florida.
  9. É'pea, "We-(they)-are-afraid-of-him"—died in Florida.
  10. Gobe, "Wild-horse."
  11. Zon-k'ía, "Tooth-man," alias Kíñasáhe-k'ia, "Green-shield-man"—died in Florida.(?)
  12. Etälyidónmo, "He-(they?)-hunts-for-boys."
  13. Máñ-kopédal, "Flat-nose"—dead.
  14. Set-mänte, "Bear-above," or "Sky-bear"—dead.
  15. T'enépíabi, "Hummingbird"—still living; now a policeman.
  16. Woháte, "Cow" (jargon)—still living. 216
  17. Pä´da-i, "Twin"—still living.
  18. ——— ("Double-vision"—Report, 56).
  19. P´ódal-â´dalte, "Snake-head," alias Zoñtam, "Hole-bite" (Paul Zotom)—still living.
  20. Set-k´opte, "Mountain-bear" (Paul Saitkopeta)—still living.
  21. Belo (i. e., Pedro)—a Carrizo Indian captive from Mexico, still living.
  22. Bíako (Viejo?)—a Mexican captive, still living.
  23. Päli (Valdez?)—a Mexican captive, still living.
  24. Añgáite, "Ankle"—a Mexican captive, still living.
  25. Bóloi—a Mexican captive, still living.
  26. Goho, "Kick"—a Mexican captive, still living.

It is notable, as showing the comparative vitality of the races under new conditions, that of the twenty Indians on the list only five are still alive, and one of these is dying of slow consumption, while all of the six Mexican captives are still in vigorous health. Of the twenty Kiowa and Comanche who signed the treaty of 1867 only two were alive in 1896.

The prisoners while in Florida were merely kept under surveillance and were not subjected to close confinement. Philanthropic white people took an interest in them, especially in the younger ones, and undertook to give them rudimentary instruction in civilization and Christianity. When they were finally released in May, 1878, a number of the young men consented to remain a few years longer in the east to acquire an education, among whom were eight of the Kiowa. Those who were not taken into private families were placed in the Normal Institute at Hampton, Virginia, originally established for the education of negroes. Soon after, fifty other young Indians were assembled at Hampton, which thus became also an Indian school. The success of this experiment led to the establishment of the Indian school at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1879 (Report, 57).

Several of the young Kiowa were received in refined and philanthropic families in the north, with the purpose of educating them to be missionaries among their people on their return. One of these, Paul Zotom (Zoñtam), was regularly ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal church. (Report, 58). He returned in the summer of 1881, but has sadly fallen from grace. Another, Paul Saitkopeta (Setk'opte), after similar careful training in a refined family with the same purpose in view, returned a year later nearly dead from consumption contracted in the east, and although of more manly character than Zotom is now almost helpless for any practical purpose, being a confirmed invalid, and has reverted to many of the Indian customs. Setk'opte is a Kiowa by adoption only, being the son of a Cheyenne chief by a Pawnee captive woman.


The noted chief, T'ené-angópte, "Kicking-bird," who had been so long a leader of the peace element among his people, died suddenly on May 5, 1875. It was suspected at the time, and is still believed by some of the tribe, that he had been poisoned by his enemies of the war party, but although the matter was investigated it could not be proven. 217 Like so many others of the Kiowa, he was of mixed origin, his paternal grandfather having been a Crow captive taken when a boy and adopted into the tribe. Although a young man, he had a commanding influence among his people, and on the failure of the war party under Lone-wolf became recognized as the principal chief of the Kiowa. An untaught savage, he was yet a man of fine native ability and thoroughly versed in the traditions and ceremonials of his people. Recognizing early the inevitable changes consequent upon the advent of the white man, he deliberately abandoned the warpath and addressed himself to the task of preparing his people to meet the new conditions. From that time forward his voice and example were always on the side of peace and civilization. By this course he drew upon himself the hatred of the conservatives and the war party, who denounced him as a coward and a traitor, charges which he met and refuted in characteristic fashion. When the question of peace or war came to a final issue in 1874, his powerful influence held more than two-thirds of the Kiowa from the warpath, and by his exertions afterward he secured the best possible terms for the defeated hostiles. It was by his invitation and assistance that Battey organized the first school in the tribe in 1873. His last counsel to his people was to remain at peace with everybody and to follow the advice of their teachers, and he declared that he was dying "holding on to the white man's hand." At the request of his family, Agent Haworth took charge of his body and gave it Christian burial, this being the first instance of the kind in the history of the tribe (Report, 59; Battey, 11).

His long-continued attachment to the whites at one time so far brought him into disrepute with his tribe that they charged his friendship to cowardice, called him a woman, and refused to listen to his counsels. Finding his influence in the tribe nearly gone, he raised a force, conducted a raid into Texas, and had a severe engagement with the white soldiers, where he led his men with such ability and coolness as to come off victorious and win a testimony of respect from the commander of his enemy's forces. On his return home he again advocated peace with the whites, and has steadily continued to do so from that time to the present. The tribe, thoroughly convinced of his bravery, no longer attribute his desire for peace to cowardice, and listen to his eloquent arguments, in most cases yielding to his counsels; so that he really stands at the head of all those Kiowa who are disposed to live peaceably, as Lone-wolf does at the head of those occupying a less friendly position (Battey, 12).

Another characteristic incident is recorded by Battey. Shortly before the outbreak some trouble occurred between Kicking-bird and the chiefs disposed to hostility, who accused him of having lied about them. A meeting was arranged at the agency to talk it over, and as the Indians were greatly excited some trouble was anticipated. When, the Kiowa began to arrive, each as he entered the office and seated himself strung his bow and placed it where it could be instantly seized for action, put his quiver of arrows in convenient position, also placing three or four arrows across his lap, loosened his revolver, and turned the handle ready for grasping, while many of them trembled with excitement. When the room was nearly filled, Kicking-bird, accompanied 218 only by his brother and another friend, rode up coolly, as if unaware of what might be going on inside. Securing their ponies, they entered the office, Kicking-bird in advance. Looking around the circle, he took in the situation at once, and seating themselves, he and his companions coolly proceeded to place their bows, arrows, and revolvers in the same position for convenient use if necessary. Then addressing the agent, Kicking-bird informed him of the charges against himself (Kicking-bird), and called upon him to keep back nothing that he had told him, but to tell his people his whole talk (Battey, 13).


With the close of the outbreak and the subsequent readjustment of affairs came a great change in the condition of the Kiowa and their confederated tribes. The old chiefs who had so often led them on the warpath were dead or in prison; their horses, which to prairie warriors were almost as essential as the bow or rifle, had been taken from them, together with their weapons; military posts and garrisons had been established in their midst and the chain of white settlements had been drawn closer around them; their old allies, the Cheyenne, had been rendered powerless to help them, and, more than all, their unfailing commissary, the buffalo, had practically disappeared. They felt that they were powerless in the hands of the stronger race, and with a deep sigh of regret for their vanished sovereignty they literally put their hands to the plow and endeavored in their weak fashion to follow the white man's road. The warriors, realizing that their time was too short to learn new ways, were anxious to see their children prepared to meet the changed conditions, and in consequence the schools were soon crowded, some of the chiefs even assisting the teachers in the work of organizing. Henceforth we find them trying to follow the new path with patient resignation, in spite of difficulties and frequent neglect, with only occasional weak ebullitions of the old fighting temper when aroused by some particularly aggravated grievance.


In 1877 an epidemic of measles in the tribe carried off a large number of children. It was followed immediately afterward by an outbreak of fever. In the fall of the same year the government, through agent Haworth, built a number of houses for the prominent chiefs, these being the first Indian houses on the reservation (see the calendar). In accordance with a new plan of employing Indians at agencies, a police force of about thirty natives was organized in 1878. The result in this as in all other cases has been eminently satisfactory (Report, 60).


For years Indians and agents alike had complained of the location of the agency at Fort Sill. In consequence of repeated representations 219 of the matter, it was removed toward the close of 1879 to Anadarko on the Washita and consolidated with the Wichita agency at that point, where it still remains (Report, 61). As a result, the Kiowa, who had previously been together in a single camp on Cache creek below the fort, now began to scatter and take up individual farms along the Washita and on the creeks north of Mount Scott. This year may be taken as the date of the disappearance of the buffalo from the Kiowa country, the Indians during the summer of 1879 being reduced to the necessity of killing and eating their ponies to keep from starving, in consequence of the almost total failure of their annual hunt (see the calendar). Thereafter the appearance of even a single buffalo was a rare event.




In the same year died Lone-wolf, the principal chief and leader of the war element in the late outbreak. Dohásän, Set-ängya, and Set-t'aiñte being already gone, his death may be said to mark the end of the war history of the Kiowa. Shortly after his return from Florida he had conferred his name and succession upon the present bearer of the name, who had been the comrade of his son, killed in Texas, although not related by blood. The succession is now disputed by Ä´piatañ, the nephew of the first Lone-wolf.


In June of 1881 there was considerable excitement caused by threats of an outbreak by the Kiowa on account of dissatisfaction with the rations. Their attitude became so threatening that the more peaceable Wichita and associated tribes became alarmed, and troops were sent from Fort Sill to prevent trouble, which had the effect of quieting the unrest (Report, 62). It is possible that the Kiowa were instigated to this course by Dátekâñ, who soon afterward began preaching the return of the buffalo and the old Indian life (see the calendar, 1882).


In the fall of 1882 the tribe suffered from an epidemic of whooping cough and measles (Report, 63). In 1883 the first church was built at the agency by Reverend J. B. Wicks of the Episcopal church, who had been conducting missionary work among the associated tribes for about two years previously. It was built and supported, however, by the Wichita and affiliated tribes, the Kiowa and Apache as yet taking little interest in such matters (Report, 64). The work was abandoned shortly after and not resumed until 1887, when the Methodists entered the field, followed later by the Presbyterians, Baptists, and Catholics.


For some time various agents had called attention to the fact that the Indians had a large surplus of valuable grass lands, which might be made to yield them a considerable income if leased to cattlemen. 220 The suggestion being approved by the department, an arrangement was made with several large cattle firms. The first money payment to the Indians under this agreement was made in the summer of 1885, but only to the Comanche, as the Kiowa and Apache for a year longer refused to accept the money, believing this to be a scheme to deprive them of their lands. There is no official notice of this at the time, for the reason that the arrangement was at first only a matter of tolerance and mutual agreement between the Indians and cattlemen, without formal official recognition or responsibility for several years afterward.


In the spring of 1887 a prophet named Pá-iñgya, "In-the-middle," revived the doctrine which had been taught five years before by Dátekâñ of the speedy return of the buffalo and the revival of the old Indian life, adding the usual accompaniments of invulnerability for his followers and the destruction of the whites and unbelieving Indians by fire and whirlwind. He claimed also the power to resurrect the dead and to destroy his enemies with a glance as by a lightning stroke. His preaching aroused great excitement among the Kiowa, and nearly the entire tribe was soon enrolled among his adherents, including every prominent chief except Stumbling-bear and Sun-boy. He established headquarters on Elk creek, at the extreme western end of the reservation, to which all his followers repaired. Here, by the friction of a stick upon a block of wood, he kindled a sacred fire, from which the devotees took brands to light and warm their tipis, being commanded to throw away the white man's matches or flint and steel, together with the white man's dress and weapons. As the day appointed for the final cataclysm approached, the Indians took their children from the schools at the agency in order that they might escape the destruction which was soon to overwhelm the intrusive race, and left in a body for the rendezvous on Elk creek. The movement alarmed the whites, who saw that there was trouble brewing, but could get no explanation of the reason. In anticipation of an outbreak, the agent, Captain Hall, summoned the troops to his assistance. With a small escort he visited the prophet's camp, and through the medium of Stumbling-bear invited the chiefs to a conference, with the result that the Kiowa agreed to return to their homes and await developments. As the time came and went without supernatural event, they became satisfied that the prophecy was a delusion, and the excitement died out. Pá-iñgya still lives, and when the messiah revelation spread among the southern tribes a few years later he hailed it as the delayed fulfillment of his own prophecy (see the calendar).


As a practical step toward educating the Indians in civilized forms of self-government and to save the time consumed by the agent and 221 other officials in trivial concerns, an Indian court consisting of three judges was organized upon the reservation in 1888 for the trial of minor offenses and questions, the first judges appointed being Quanah, Lone-wolf, and Tawákoni Jim, head chiefs respectively of the Comanche, Kiowa, and Wichita (Report, 65). This court is still in successful operation.





The questions of railroads through the reservations, intrusions, allotments, and the ultimate opening of Indian Territory to white settlement, had now assumed such proportions that the civilized tribes had become alarmed and had called an intertribal council to debate measures to meet the emergency. The council met at Fort Gibson, in the Cherokee nation, in June, 1888, with representatives of about twenty tribes in attendance. Although recognizing civilization as their ultimate destiny, they were strongly opposed to any change in the tribal holding of their lands, and the sentiment was practically unanimous against allotment or any disturbance of the existing tribal system. The delegates and speakers from the Kiowa and associated tribes were Täbinä´naka and White-wolf for the Comanche, Big-tree for the Kiowa. White-man for the Apache, and Caddo Jake for the Caddo, Wichita, and smaller bands (Report, 66).


In the fall of 1888 died Pai´-tälyi´, "Sun-boy," one of the last of the prominent chiefs of the old days of the buffalo hunt and the warpath (see the calendar). The summer of 1890 is notable for the last sun dance (k`adó) undertaken by the tribe. On this occasion the agent, making objection to the ceremony, which the Indians refused to abandon, ordered out the troops from Fort Sill to prevent it. On their arrival, although the Kiowa were at first disposed to resistance, upon the advice of Stumbling-bear and some other of the cooler heads, they finally dispersed to their homes, leaving the unfinished medicine lodge standing (see the calendar).


In the fall of 1890 Sitting-bull (Hänä´chä-thíak), an Arapaho, came and inaugurated the ghost dance among the Kiowa. As this subject is treated at length in the author's work on "The Ghost-dance Religion," in the Fourteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, it need only be mentioned here. Like all the neighboring tribes except the Comanche, the Kiowa went heart and soul into the new religion, which was in line with the previous prophecies of Dátekâñ and Pá-iñgya. A few months later they sent Ä´piatañ, "Wooden-lance," a prominent young man of the tribe, to find the messiah and investigate and report upon his doctrine. On his return in the following spring he denounced the new teacher as an impostor, whereupon the 222 Kiowa abandoned the dance. Within the last two years, however, they have revived the ghost-dance ceremonies with all the old-time vigor (see the calendar).

Fig. 52—A´piatañ or Wooden-lance.

In the same winter, in January, 1891, three boys ran away from the government school at the agency in consequence of the harshness of a teacher, and a day or two later were found frozen to death in the mountains, having been overtaken by a blizzard while attempting to reach 223 their homes. The affair naturally created intense excitement in the tribe and threats were made against the teacher who was responsible for the occurrence, but the matter finally quieted down without the necessity of calling on the troops (see the calendar).


In March, 1891, the Secretary of War authorized the enlistment of an Indian contingent for each of the cavalry and infantry regiments serving in the west. In pursuance of this plan, a troop was enlisted from among the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache tribes in the fall of 1891 and placed under the command of Lieutenant (now Captain) H. L. Scott, and designated as troop L, of the Seventh cavalry, then stationed at Fort Sill. Of this troop probably two-thirds were Kiowa and Apache. The experiment did not prove satisfactory, and all of the Indian companies have now been disbanded. The Kiowa troop maintained its existence longest, under Captain Scott, who was peculiarly fitted for the position by his intimate and sympathetic acquaintance with Indian habit and belief and his expert knowledge of the sign language. For this reason he has several times been selected by the War Department to investigate threatened troubles among the associated tribes, particularly during the critical period of the ghost dance, and has also been selected by the Indians themselves to represent their interests at Washington (see the calendar; also War, 4).


The year 1892 was signalized by several important events. Early in the spring an epidemic of measles broke out among the children in the Kiowa school. Instead of isolating and nursing the sick, the superintendent in charge sent the infected children home to their camps, thus spreading the disease broadcast, resulting in the death of about two hundred and twenty persons, nearly all children, among the Kiowa and Apache, or fifteen per cent of the entire number. The superintendent was soon afterward removed. This epidemic was the most terrible calamity that has befallen the tribe in many years. Every family lost relatives, and in addition to the large number of deaths thousands of dollars' worth of property, in the form of horses, wagons, blankets, etc, was destroyed at the graves in accordance with the Indian custom (see the calendar).

As by this time the Indians had learned that the leasing of their grass lands would be a substantial benefit to themselves, they held a joint council in the spring of the same year and authorized Quanah, Lone-wolf, and White-man, head chiefs of the three confederate tribes, to go as delegates to Washington, where they succeeded in negotiating leases for nearly all of their surplus grass lands for an aggregate annual rental of nearly $100,000. This money, with that received by 224 the Indian soldiers, has been invested largely in houses and improved stock. Today probably half the Indians of the three tribes are owners of houses paid for with their own money (see the calendar).

Fig. 53—H.L. Scott, Captain, Seventh cavalry, U.S.A.


In the autumn of 1892 a commission, which had already concluded agreements with several other tribes, visited the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache to negotiate with them for the distribution of individual 225 allotments and the sale of the remainder of their reservation. As the terms of the Medicine Lodge treaty, under which they hold their present reservation, do not expire until August 25, 1898, the Indians were opposed to any change in the existing conditions, but by bringing strong pressure to bear upon them, an agreement was finally reached by which the reservation was to be thrown open immediately upon the ratification of the contract by Congress. On learning the true nature of the instrument, the Indians denounced the interpreter and demanded that their names be stricken from the paper. This being refused, they repudiated in council the action of the chiefs who had signed, and elected other representatives to go to Washington to protest against the whole proceeding. The delegates chosen were Ä´piatañ, already mentioned, Apache John (Goñk'oñ, "Stays-in-tipi") and Piänä´vonĭt, "Big-looking-glass," for the Kiowa, Apache, and Comanche, respectively, with Captain Scott, U. S. A., and Andres Martinez (Ä´ndali), an influential Mexican captive among the Kiowa, as interpreter. The delegation arrived in March, 1894, and made such representation of the matter that no action was taken upon the agreement, and it is still unratified.

Fig. 54—A group of Kiowa.


Realizing that a change is inevitable in the near future, the Indians are going to work, and with the aid of the money received for their grass lands invested in houses, cattle, and improved breed of horses, the opening of small farms, and the general educational work of the schools, 226 there is a fair prospect that at the expiration of their present treaty in 1898 they will be able to meet the new conditions (see 52d Cong., 2d sess., Senate ex. doc. 17—Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache Agreement; 53d Cong., 2d sess., misc. doc. 102—Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache memorial).

Following are the names of the agents who have been in charge of the Kiowa, Apache, and Comanche since they were first brought upon the reservation in December, 1868. Of the earlier ones, Haworth (Senpo-gúadal, "Red-beard") is held in best remembrance:


The principal events in the history of the Kiowa may be summarized as follows:




The clan system does not exist among the Kiowa, and there is no evidence that they have ever had it. This may be a surprise to those disciples of Morgan who have assumed that because the system is found among the eastern tribes and certain tribes of the southwest and extreme northwest it is therefore universal and a necessary factor in tribal development. It is by no means universal, and it is doubtful if it exists among the Athapascan tribes of British America, the tribes of the Columbia region, Oregon, or California, or any of the recognized Shoshonean stock with the exception of the Hopi. The Cheyenne and Sioux of the plains seem to know as little of it as do the Kiowa. Clark, in his "Indian Sign Language," says: "I cannot help feeling that Mr Morgan's careful study of the form of government of the Iroquois league colored his writings in regard to all other Indians. Certain it is that no trace now exists of such organization among many of the plains tribes." In another place he states that among the majority of the plains tribes, and perhaps the western Indians generally, judging from their laws of inheritance and marriage customs, the system never did exist (Clark, 5). Gatschet, in his great work on the Klamath language, declares that the Klamath Indians of Oregon are absolutely ignorant of the clan system, while Hale, in the "Iroquois Book of Rites," takes the ground that the system is simply an artificial invention, adopted for convenience and spreading from various local centers. In support of the idea that it is artificial rather than natural he points out the fact that it is not found among the Polynesian tribes, who are on about the same plane of development as our Indians (Hale, 1). In the United States the clan system seems to be found more particularly among the agricultural tribes.


Before they were confined to the reservation the Kiowa were grouped into two general local divisions, known, respectively, as T'ó-k`íñähyup, "cold men" (i.e., men of the cold, or northern, country), and Gwáhalégo, from the Comanche name Kwáhadi or Kwáhari. These terms were practically equivalent to "northern" and "southern," the former ranging chiefly along Arkansas river and the Kansas frontier, while the latter, as the name indicates, associated more with the Kwáhadi Comanche of the region of the Staked plain. As they were merely temporary local designations and not proper band or gentile names, they have now ceased to be of any practical importance.


The Kiowa have six recognized divisions or subtribes, including the Apache, who form a component part of the Kiowa tribal circle. The extinct K'úato formerly made a seventh, but their position in the circle 228 is now forgotten. These divisions are not clans or gentes (social) based on marriage regulations, but subtribes (political), each division having had originally its own chief, subordinate to the recognized head chief of the tribe, with certain peculiarities of dialect and sometimes its special "medicine" or religious ceremonial. They may have been in the beginning distinct cognate tribes, with the exception of the Apache, which confederated at a later period for mutual assistance. The Comanche, although now allied with the Kiowa, have no part in their tribal organization or ceremonies.


The names of the bands and their order in the camp circle on the occasion of all tribal gatherings are as follows:

1. K`at'a, "Biters," i. e., Arikara. This is the largest and most important division, occupying the first place in the camp circle, immediately south of the door or entrance. To it belonged Dohásän, the great chief who ruled the Kiowa for more than thirty years. To his family was assigned the hereditary duty of furnishing the buffalo for each annual sun dance. At present the K`at'a may be said to constitute the aristocracy of the tribe. The name is said not to indicate an admixture of Ree or Arikara blood, but simply a more intimate trading association with that tribe in early days. As this association was comparatively modern, the word may be a substitute for another name discarded, in accordance with a Kiowa custom, in consequence of the death of some noted individual of the same name. They are sometimes called Gâ´i-K`at'a, "Kiowa K`at'a," to distinguish them from the Arikara proper.

2. Ko gúi, "Elk." This band took the lead in war ceremonials. A`dáte, whose camp was surprised and destroyed by the Osage in 1833, was its chief. Set-t'aiñte and the first Big-bow also belonged to this band.

3. Gâ´-igwû, "Kiowa proper." This may have been the original nucleus of the Kiowa tribe, as the name would seem to imply. Although not numerous, they are held in much respect, are the keepers of the taíme, and have charge of the K`ado Dó, or priestly tipi, at the sun-dance ceremony. The western side of the circle properly belongs to them, but in consequence of their small number individuals of other bands sometimes camp with them.

4. Kiñep, "Big Shields." To them belonged the gadómbitsóñhi image or idol, now lost, which was exposed in front of the taíme image at the annual sun dance.

5. Semät, "Thieves," i. e., Apache. Although a distinct tribe, they have formed an integral part of the Kiowa tribal circle from the earliest traditionary period.

6. Koñtä´lyui, "Black Boys," or Síndiyúi, "Sindi's children." No reason is assigned for either of these names, which are about equally 229 common, Sindi is the great mythic hero of the Kiowa. They are a small band, and occupy the last place in the circle.

7. K'úato "Pulling Up." These were exterminated by the Dakota about 1780, as already related. They spoke a peculiar dialect of Kiowa. It is not now known what position they occupied in the tribal circle.

Clark mentions four of these divisions, under the names of Elk (Kogúi), Shield (Kiñep), Cut-Off (K`at'a), and Black (Koñtälyui), and adds, "some claim five, the Apache Kiowa band" (Clark, 20).

Fig. 55—The Kiowa camp circle.


The Kiowa have an elaborate military organization, now fast becoming obsolete, known as Yä´pähe, "Warriors." A similar organization is found among most of the prairie tribes, and is commonly known to the whites as the Dog-soldier society, from an imperfect rendering of the name of one of the principal bands. The Kiowa organization consists of six orders, each having its own dance, songs, insignia, and duties. The members were first enrolled as boys among the "Rabbits," and 230 were afterward promoted, according to merit or the necessities of war, in regular progression, to higher ranks. Only the bravest few, however, ever attained the highest order, that of the Kâ-itséñko. Almost every able-bodied man was enrolled. The orders, beginning with the lowest, are as follows:

1. Polä´ñyup or Tsä´ñyui, "Rabbits." Boys above the age of eight or ten years, who were drilled in their future duties as warriors by certain old men. The step of their dance is intended to imitate the jumping of a rabbit.

2. Ädaltóyui or Téñbeyu´i, "Young (wild) Sheep."

3. Tseñtä´nmo, "Horse Head-dresses." (?)

4. Toñkóñko, "Black Legs."

5. T'äñpéko, "Skunkberry People" or Tséñ-â'dalka-i, "Crazy Horses."

6. Kâ´-itsénko, "Real or Principal Dogs (?)." These were the picked men of the warriors and were limited to ten in number. According to the myth, their founder saw in a vision a body of warriors dressed and painted after the manner of the order, accompanied by a dog, which sang the song of the Kâ´-itséñko and commanded him, "You are a dog; make a noise like a dog and sing a dog song." Their peculiar insignia and obligations will be described in another place (see the calendar, summer 1846.)

Clark gives the names of the Kiowa orders as follows, omitting the Poläñyup: Raven Soldiers or Black Leggings (Toñkoñko); Sheep (Ädaltóyui); Feather Head (Tseñtä´nmo); Horse (Kâ-itséñko); War-club (T'äñpéko). He adds, "The Kiowa Apache have only three bands, viz: 1st, Big Horse; 2d, Raven; 3d, Swift Fox" (Clark, 6).

At home the Yä`pähe acted as camp police and leaders in the tribal ceremonies; abroad they were the warriors and conductors of the hunt. Battey gives an illustration of the system as he once saw it in practical operation:

Being determined that none of their thoughtless young men should go raiding in Texas and thereby bring trouble upon the tribe, the Kiowas, immediately after the whole tribe got together on Pecon creek, organized a military system, under the control of the war chiefs, which was immediately put into operation. By this a strong guard of their soldiers were continually watching day and night while in camp to prevent any such enterprise from being undertaken. In moving from place to place these soldiers marched on each side of the main body, while a front guard went before and a rear guard behind, thus preventing any from straggling.

Their buffalo hunts were conducted in the same military order. The soldiers, going out first, surrounded a tract of country in which were a large herd of buffalo, and no one might chase a buffalo past this ring guard on pain of having his horse shot by the soldiers. Within the ring hundreds of men on horseback were chasing and shooting the huge creatures with revolvers or bows and arrows until each had killed as many as his female attendants could skin and take care of (Battey, 14).


In connection with their military and social organization the Kiowa and Apache have a system of heraldry, which finds tangible expression 231 in the painting and ornamentation of their shields and tipis. There were formerly about fifty shield patterns used in the two tribes, and all the warriors carrying shields of the same pattern constituted a close brotherhood, with similar war cries, body paint, and ceremonial taboos and regulations. Every prominent family also had its heraldic tipi, which occupied its fixed place in the tribal camp circle. Special taboos and rules belonged to the tipi as to the shield, and the right of hereditary descent was as nicely regulated as property ownership among the whites. This system of heraldry will form the subject of a future monograph.


Their system of personal names is also interesting. All the names have meaning and are as much a part of the owner as his hand or his foot. Children are usually named soon after birth by one of the grandparents or other relative not the parent; the name is commonly suggested by some passing incident, but may be hereditary, or intended to commemorate the warlike deed of some ancestor. In this way a girl may bear a war name bestowed by her grandfather to preserve the recollection of his own achievement. There are no ordinal names as among the eastern Sioux, no clan names as among the Shawnee, and no names which indicate the band of the individual. Young men as they grow up usually assume dream names, in obedience to visions, and these are sometimes superseded in later life by names acquired on the warpath, the hunt, or in council. Frequently an aged warrior, who feels that his day is near its close, formally gives his name to some young man who seems to him to merit the honor; the older man then assumes a new name, or more frequently lives out his remaining years without a name, being referred to and addressed simply as "old man." Sometimes the old warrior, having outlived the need of a name and not regarding any younger man as worthy to bear it, deliberately "throws it away" and is henceforth nameless. Should he die without having bestowed his name upon a successor, the name dies with him and can not be revived. The name of the dead is never spoken in the presence of the relatives, and upon the death of any member of a family all the others take new names—a custom noted by Raleigh's colonists on Roanoke island more than three centuries ago. Moreover, all words suggesting the name of the dead person are dropped from the language for a term of years, and other words, conveying the same idea, are substituted. The same custom exists among the Comanche and perhaps among other tribes.


Marriage among the Kiowa, as among the plains tribes generally, is a simple affair, with none of the elaborate ceremonials found among the Hopi and other sedentary Indians. About all that is necessary is that 232 the maiden of the young man's choice shall be willing, and, this having been ascertained by the lover, he sends some friend as a mediator to her parents to make an offer of ponies or other property to compensate them for the loss of their daughter. If both sides come to an agreement, the match is made, and the young couple, with the assistance of their friends, set up housekeeping on their own account. Compulsion is no more brought to bear upon the girl than in civilized communities; the brother of the girl has as much to do with the decision of the case 233 as her parents, and continues to claim a sort of guardianship over her even after her marriage. The marriageable age is about fourteen for girls and sixteen for boys. In general the husband goes to live among his wife's people instead of taking her to his own camp. The father seems to exercise more control over his children than among tribes having the clan system and mother right. There appears to be no fixed rule of inheritance, but shield, tipi, and band name usually descend in the male line. The husband avoids the mother-in-law, but not to the same extent as among other plains tribes. Polygamy is allowed, but is not frequent, only a few of the Kiowa now having two wives, and none more than that number. In the old times it was more common, in consequence of the surplus of women resulting from the killing off of the men in their constant wars. The father of T'ebodal is famous for having had ten wives; Quanah, the present head chief of the Comanche, has six. It was common to marry sisters of the same family, and according to tribal custom, which had analogy among the ancient Hebrews, the man who married the eldest daughter had first claim upon her sisters.

Fig. 56—Mäñyi-tén or Woman-heart, a typical Kiowa.

Divorce is easy and without ceremony, but not so common as might be supposed, there being many couples that have lived faithfully together for nearly half a century. Adultery is punished by taking or destroying the property of the guilty man. The woman is simply "thrown away" by her husband, although in theory her life is forfeited. In former times he might kill her or cut off her nose, as was done also among the neighboring tribes, but this latter custom is now only a memory.


The tribal government was formerly committed to the care of a head chief and the chiefs of the several bands, together with the war chiefs, who had control in military affairs. Women had no voice in the government. From the evidences of tradition and the statements of old men, the chiefs in former times, before tribal customs were demoralized by the advent of the conquering race, must have exercised almost despotic powers and were feared as well as respected by their people. Their last great chief was Dohásän, who died in 1866, since which time no one has had the unquestioned allegiance of the whole tribe. The present officially recognized head chief is Lone-wolf, the adopted son of the hostile leader of the same name in the last outbreak. The elder Lone-wolf formally bestowed his own name upon the younger man in 1879, thus publicly recognizing him as his successor. Camp and ceremonial regulations were enforced and their violation punished by the Yä'´pähe, acting under direction of the war chiefs. Personal grievances were avenged by the injured party or by his nearest relatives, without interference by the tribe.


In character the Kiowa are below the standard. Having been intimately associated with them for some years, the author would be better pleased to make a different showing, but truth compels the statement. 234 Tribal traits are strongly marked among Indians. The Sioux are direct and manly, the Cheyenne high-spirited and keenly sensitive, the Arapaho generous and accommodating, the Comanche practical and businesslike, but the Kiowa, with some honorable exceptions, are deficient in all these qualities. They have the savage virtue of bravery, as they have abundantly proven, but as a people they have less of honor, gratitude, and general reliability than perhaps any other tribe of the plains. The large infusion of captive blood, chiefly Mexican, must undoubtedly 235 have influenced the tribal character, but whether for good or evil the student of heredity must determine.

Fig. 57—Gaápiatáñ (alias Haitsĭki) or Feathered-lance, a typical Kiowa.

The report of Captain Alvord, already quoted at length, affords a good insight into Kiowa character. Gregg in 1844 described them as "one of the most savage tribes that infest the western prairies" (Gregg, 7). Captain (afterward General) John Pope ten years later called them deceitful and unreliable and "absolutely destitute of most of the chivalrous characteristics which distinguish the Comanche brave." General Pope in 1870 denounced them as being altogether the worst Indians the government had to deal with, having been for twenty-five years past "the most faithless, cruel, and unreliable of all the Indians of the plains." About the same time General Sheridan expressed his lasting regret that he did not hang Set-t'aiñte and Lone-wolf and punish the whole tribe when he first met them. The Quaker Battey, a good friend of theirs, describes them as "the most fierce and desperately bloodthirsty tribe of the Indian Territory"—a people who had hitherto resisted all attempts to bring them into friendly relations with the government or to a knowledge of civilization, still continuing to commit depredations upon the white settlements, stealing horses and mules, murdering men and women and carrying their children into captivity. He says it would probably be difficult to find in the whole tribe a man whose hands had not been imbrued in blood. Clark states that in personal appearance, intelligence, and tenacity of purpose he considers them inferior to the Comanche (Pacific, 1; War, 5; Battey, 16; Clark, 8).


It is always difficult to estimate the population of a roving tribe, and almost invariably first reports are greatly exaggerated. This is particularly true of the Kiowa, whose restless disposition and inveterate habit of raiding made them equally at home anywhere along a frontier of a thousand miles. Excluding some extravagant early estimates, the statements of the most competent observers, and the official reports since they have been put upon the reservation, all indicate that the combined population of the confederated Kiowa and Apache was never much more than 1,600, or 1,800 at the greatest, of whom the Apache numbered nearly one-fourth. No really accurate count was ever made until after their final subjugation in 1875, and it is worth noting that their numbers, which had been reported at 2,774 and 2,302 in the preceding two years, at once fell to 1,414, and remained nearly stationary at that figure until the epidemic of 1892. Battey's estimate in 1873 (in which he probably means to include the Apache) of 1,600 to 1,650 is probably very nearly correct. In 1892 the Kiowa numbered 1,014 and the Apache 241, a total of 1,255, being a decrease from 1,476 in the previous year in consequence of the epidemic of measles. In November, 1896, they numbered: Kiowa 1,065, Apache 208, a total of 1,273. The associated Comanche at the same time numbered 1,545. In each 236 of these tribes there is a large captive element of which, no separate account is taken, but investigation would probably show that at least one-fourth of the whole number have more or less of captive blood. The captives are chiefly Mexicans and Mexican Indians, with Indians of other tribes, and several whites taken from Texas when children, including one old man who still remembers having gone to school in Germany and having crossed the ocean with his parents (see Pope in Pacific, 2).

Some of the estimates are based on the number of tipis or warriors, an uncertain ratio, which varies greatly in different tribes. With the Kiowa it may be assumed to equal 2 warriors and 6 or 7 souls to a tipi. Below are given the various estimates and enumerations, beginning with the earliest, that of Lewis and Clark in 1805. The estimates of 1807, 1810, 1841—1845, and perhaps of 1850 probably include the Apache.






In religion the Kiowa are polytheists and animists, deifying all the powers of nature and praying to each in turn, according to the occasion. Their native system has no Great Spirit, no heaven, no hell, although they are now familiar with these ideas from contact with the whites; their other world is a shadowy counterpart of this. There is an indistinct idea of transmigration, owls and other night birds being supposed to be animated by the souls of the dead, with a general belief in ghosts, witches, and various sorts of good and bad "medicine." Dreams and visions are supernatural revelations, to be trusted and obeyed implicitly.

A curious instance of the persistence of the Indian beliefs in spite of educational influences is afforded by the case of the late Kiowa interpreter, a full-blood Indian, who had been reared and educated in the east, graduated in theology, and was ordained to the ministry, married a white woman, and returned as a missionary to his people. The Indians accused him of deceiving them as to the terms of the treaty, and told him that he "could not live," and he died shortly afterward in the belief that he had been bewitched by the medicine-men as a punishment for his part in the negotiations. The fact is a matter of official record, as well as of contemporary newspaper publication.


The greatest of the Kiowa gods is the Sun; by him they swear, to him they make sacrifice of their own flesh, and in his honor they held the great annual k'ado or sun dance. Next to the sun the buffalo and the señi or peyote plant claim reverence, and these too may be reduced to the same analysis, as the buffalo bull in his strength and majesty is regarded as the animal symbol of the sun, while the peyote, with its circular disk and its bright center, surrounded by white spots or rays, is its vegetal representative. The â'dalbeáhya also derives its origin from the sun. Unlike the agricultural tribes, they pay but 238 little attention to the rain gods and seem to have no reverence for the snake. Each shield order prays to some special deity, and every man has also his own personal "medicine," somewhat like the guardian angel or patron saint of the Catholic system. There are also supernatural heroes, of whom the Sun-boy and Sindi are the greatest, with ogres, dwarfs, water people, monsters, and all the other features of the orthodox fairy book.


Their most sacred objects of religious veneration are the Â'dalbeáhya, the Taíme, the Gadómbitsoñhi, and the señi or peyote. Their great tribal religious ceremony is the k'ado or. sun dance. Their tribal religion is that which centers around the â'dalbeáhya and the taíme. The worship of the peyote, although now general, excepting among the oldest men, is comparatively modern with the Kiowa, having been adopted from the more southern tribes. These two systems are compatible and auxiliary to each other. In 1890 the new religion of the ghost dance was introduced among the Kiowa. It is essentially different from the older Indian systems and antagonistic to them, being based on the doctrine of one God, although it preaches a return to the old Indian life.

The Â'dalbeáhya (the word has some connection with âdal, "hair," and scalp) is the eucharistic body of their supernatural hero teacher, the Sun-boy, and has been known among them almost from the beginning of their existence as a people. According to the myth, which has close parallels in other tribes, a girl was one day playing with some companions when she discovered a porcupine in the branches of a tree. She climbed up to capture it, but as she climbed the tree grew, carrying her with it, until it pierced the arch of the sky into the upper world; here the porcupine took on his proper form as the Son of the Sun; they were married and had a son. Her husband had warned her that, in her excursions in search of berries and roots, she must never go near the plant called äzón (pomme blanche, Psoralea esculenta) if its top had been bitten off by a buffalo. Like Eve, or Pandora, she longed to test the prohibition, so one day while digging food plants she took hold of a pomme blanche which a buffalo had already cropped and pulled it up by the root, leaving a hole through which she saw far below the earth, which she had forgotten since the day that she had climbed the tree after the porcupine. Old memories awakened, and full of an intense longing for her former home she took her child and fastening a rope above the hole began letting herself down to the earth. Her husband, returning from the hunt, discovered her absence and the method of her escape, and throwing a stone after her through the hole, before she had reached the end of the rope, struck her upon the head and she fell to the ground dead. The child was uninjured, and after staying some time beside the body of his mother he was found 239 and cared for by Spider Woman, who became a second mother to him. One day in playing he threw upward a gaming wheel, which came down upon his head and cut through his body without killing him, so that instead of one boy there were now twin brothers. After many adventures, in the course of which they rid the world of several destructive monsters, one of the brothers walked into a lake and disappeared forever under its waters, after which the other transformed himself into this "medicine," and gave himself in that shape to the Kiowa, who still preserve it as the pledge and guardian of their national existence. This â´dalbeáhya, or, as it is sometimes called, the tä´lyí-dá-i, "boy-medicine," is in ten portions, in the keeping of as many priests. Its chief priest is T'ébodal, the oldest man of the tribe, with whom the author once had the opportunity of seeing the pouch in which it is carried, for no man, unless possibly the priest himself, has ever been permitted to open it and look upon the contents. It is kept in a small pouch fringed with numerous scalps, in a special tipi appointed for its residence; it is brought out for use in connection with a sweat-house ceremony as individuals may desire to sacrifice to it, and not, like the taíme, at tribal gatherings. It is briefly mentioned by Clark in his work on the sign language (Clark, 7).



The Gadómbítsoñhi, "Old-woman-under-the-ground," belonged to the Kiñep band of the Kiowa. It was a small image, less than a foot high, representing a woman with flowing hair. It was exposed in front of the taíme at the great sun-dance ceremony, and by some unexplained jugglery the priest in charge of it caused it to rise out of the ground, dance in the sight of the people, and then again sink into the earth. A few years ago it was stolen by a crazy Indian from the priest who guarded it and has never since been recovered, although there are stories in the tribe of hunters belated in the mountains, or beside unfrequented streams, who have caught glimpses of a wailing dwarf with disheveled hair who vanished as soon as discovered, and is believed to have been the lost gadómbítsoñhi.

The Señi, "prickly fruit," the peyote or mescal plant, is a small species of cactus of the genus Lophophora (Coulter), which grows in the stony hill country along the Mexican border. On account of its medical properties and its wonderful effect upon the imagination, it is regarded by the Indians as the vegetal incarnation of a deity, and a whole system of myth and ritual has grown up in connection with its use. The rite originated among the more southern tribes, and has come through the Mescalero and Comanche to the Kiowa within about fifty years. The ceremony was first brought to public notice by the author and may be the subject of a more extended monograph at some future time.

Another ritual, pertaining more particularly to women, was dedicated to the Star Girls, or Pleiades (Dä´-mä´tán). Its last priestess died a few years ago. 240

The great, central figure of the k`adó, or sun dance, ceremony is the taíme. This is a small image, less than 2 feet in length, representing a human figure dressed in a robe of white feathers, with a headdress consisting of a single upright feather and pendants of ermine skin, with numerous strands of blue beads around its neck, and painted upon the face, breast, and back with designs symbolic of the sun and moon. The image itself is of dark-green stone, in form rudely resembling a human head and bust, probably shaped by art like the stone fetishes of the Pueblo tribes. It is preserved in a rawhide box in charge of the hereditary keeper, and is never under any circumstances exposed to view except at the annual sun dance, when it is fastened to a short upright stick planted within the medicine lodge, near the western side. It was last exposed in 1888 (see the calendar). The ancient taíme image was of buckskin, with a stalk of Indian tobacco for a headdress. This buckskin image was left in the medicine lodge, with all the other adornments and sacrificial offerings, at the close of each ceremony. The present taíme is one of three, two of which came originally from the Crows, through an Arapaho who married into the Kiowa tribe, while the third came by capture from the Blackfeet.

The tobacco upon the head of the ancient taíme is another evidence of the northern origin of the Kiowa, as the Kutenai, Blackfoot, and other tribes living near and across the Canadian border are noted for their cultivation of tobacco, and have a special tobacco dance and ceremonies. The more remote tribes along the northwest coast are equally celebrated for their carving in stone, the material used being commonly a black slate, and the original stone taímes may have come from that region.

According to the legend, which is told with the exactness of an historical tradition, an Arapaho, who was without horses or other wealth, attended with his tribe the sun dance of the Crows and danced long and earnestly before the "medicine," in hope that it would pity him and make him prosperous. The chief priest of the Crows rewarded him by giving him the taíme image, notwithstanding the protests of the Crows, who were angry at seeing such favor shown to a stranger. Fortune now smiled upon the Arapaho; he stole many horses and won new blessings for himself by tying numerous ponies to the medicine lodge as a sacrifice to the taíme, until at last his herd was of the largest. Being now grown wealthy, when next his own people visited the Crows he collected his horses and started back with them, but the jealous Crows followed secretly, untied the taíme bag from the pole in front of his tipi and stole it, as Rachel stole her father's gods. On discovering his loss the Arapaho made duplicates, which he took back with him to his own people. He afterward married a Kiowa woman and went to live with her tribe, bringing with him the taíme, which thus became the medicine of the Kiowa. Since that time the taíme has 241 been handed down in his family, the keeper being consequently always of part Arapaho blood.



The present guardian is a woman, Émaä, who succeeded to the office on the death of Taíméte, "Taíme-man," in 1894; she is the ninth successive guardian, the Arapaho being the first. The fifth keeper, Ánsogíani, "Long Foot," or Ánso'te, held it forty years—from before the Osage massacre until his death in the winter of 1870—71. Assuming that the combined terms of the first four guardians equaled in time the combined terms of the last four—i. e., about sixty or sixty-five years, or from about 1830 to 1894—we would have 1770 as the approximate date when the Kiowa obtained the present taíme image. As previously stated, they already had the ceremony and an equivalent image of buckskin. Of the two taíme images, both of which were of the same shape and material, one, the "man," was small, only a few inches in length, while the other, the "woman," was much larger. It is believed among the Kiowa that the Crows still have the originals which they stole from the Arapaho.

Long afterward, after the Kiowa had confederated with the Comanche, the latter had a fight with the Blackfeet, in which they killed a warrior and captured his medicine. The Comanche captor, so the story goes, kept the medicine one night in his tipi, but it kept up a strange noise, which so frightened him that the next day he gave it to a Kiowa, who pulled off a long "tooth" attached to it, and thenceforth it was silent. Learning afterward that it was a part of the taíme medicine, he gave it to the taíme keeper, who put it with the other images. It is said to have been nearly similar in appearance to the smaller image.

The complete taíme medicine thus consisted of three decorated stone images, a large one or "woman," a smaller one called a "man," and a third one closely resembling the second. They were kept in a rawhide case known as the taíme-bíĭmkâ´i, shaped somewhat like a kidney (see figure, summer 1835), and painted with taíme symbols, the large image being in one end of the case and the two smaller ones at the other; some say that the third image was kept in a separate box by a relative of the taíme priest. The smaller images, like the ark of the covenant, were sometimes carried to war, the box being slung from the shoulders of the man who carried it, and consequently were finally captured by the Ute. The large image, the "woman" taíme, was never taken from the main home camp.

The taíme has been twice captured by enemies, first by the Osage in 1833, and again by the Ute in 1868. In the first instance the Osage surprised the Kiowa camp and captured all the images with the bag, killing the wife of the taíme priest as she was trying to loosen it from its fastenings, but returned it two years later, after peace had been made between the two tribes (see the calendar, 1833 and 1835). In 242 the other case the Kiowa had taken the two smaller images, as a palladium of victory, upon a war expedition, when they were met by a war party of Ute, who defeated them, killed the bearer of the medicine, and carried off the images, which have never since been recovered. The larger image is still with the tribe (see the calendar, 1868; also plate LXIX).


Nearly every important tribe, excepting perhaps those aboriginal skeptics, the Comanche, has or did have a tribal "medicine" equivalent to the taíme, around which centers the tribal mythology and ceremonial with which the prosperity and fate of the tribe is bound up. With the Cheyenne this is a bundle of sacred arrows, now in the keeping of one of the southern bands near Cantonment, Oklahoma. With the Arapaho it consists of a pipe, a turtle, and an ear of corn, all of stone, wrapped in skins, and kept by the hereditary priest with the northern branch of the tribe in Wyoming. Among the Omaha it was a large shell, now preserved in the Peabody Museum at Cambridge, Massachusetts. With the Creeks it is a set of graven metal tablets, possibly relics of De Soto's disastrous expedition through the gulf states, religiously guarded by the priest of the Wind clan of the nation in Indian Territory.


The great tribal ceremony of the Kiowa was the k`adó, or sun dance, which was commonly celebrated annually when the down appeared on the cottonwoods, i. e., about the middle of June. In their calendar system the summers are counted by k`adós, the winters being designated as "cold seasons." On this occasion the whole tribe encamped in a circle, each band in its appropriate place, with the k`adó or medicine lodge in the center. Within the medicine lodge the taíme was exposed during the continuance of the ceremony, which lasted four days, although the preliminary buffalo hunt and other necessary arrangements occupied much more time. Space forbids a detailed account of the ceremony, which was common to most of the prairie tribes, and has been described with more or less accuracy by various writers. The Kiowa sun dance resembled that of the Dakota, Cheyenne, and other tribes in its general features—the search for the buffalo, the arrangement of the camp circle, the procession of the women to cut down the tree for the center pole of the medicine lodge, the sham battle for possession of the pole, the building of the medicine lodge, and the four days' dance without eating, drinking, or sleeping. It differed radically, however, in the entire absence of those voluntary self tortures which have made the sun dance among other tribes a synonym for savage horrors. With the Kiowa even the accidental shedding of blood on such an occasion was considered an evil omen, and was the signal for abandoning the dance; voluntary laceration by 243 way of sacrifice was practiced at other times, but not at the k'ado. Among the Kiowa the center pole must always be cut down by a captive woman. On account of the dread in which the taíme is held, by reason of the many taboos connected with it, they have also a captive, taken from Mexico when a boy and given to the taíme for this special purpose, to unwrap it and set it in place at the ceremonial exposure, so that should any regulation be inadvertently violated, the punishment would fall upon the captive and not upon the tribe. It is hardly necessary to state that this Mexican captive has as perfect faith in the taíme as the priestly keeper himself.



In the Sett'an calendar the summer is always designated by a rude figure of the medicine lodge. On the Anko calendar the distinction is made by the decorated center-pole of the lodge. Medicine-lodge creek, where the famous treaty was negotiated, derives its name from several medicine lodges formerly standing on its banks near the southern Kansas line, this being a favorite spot for the sun dance with both the Kiowa and Cheyenne. The following description of the medicine lodge is from Battey's account of the Kiowa sun dance witnessed by him in 1873, to which account the reader is referred (Battey, 15):

The medicine house is situated nearly in the center of the encampment, is circular in form, and about 60 feet in diameter, having its entrance toward the east. It is built by erecting a forked post, 20 feet high, perhaps, for a central support; around this, and at nearly equal distances, are 17 other forked posts, forming the circumference of the building. These are from 12 to 15 feet in height, and all of cottonwood. Small cottonwood trees are tied on the outside of these, in a horizontal position, with ropes of rawhide, having limbs and leaves on them. Outside of these small cottonwood trees are placed in an upright position, thus forming a wall of green trees and leaves several feet in thickness, in the midst of which many hundred spectators afterwards found a cool retreat, where they could observe what was going on without making themselves conspicuous. Long cottonwood poles extend from each of the posts in the circumference to the central post, and then limbs of the same are laid across these, forming a shady roof one-third of the way to the center.

The central post is ornamented near the ground with the robes of buffalo calves, their heads up, as if in the act of climbing it. Each of the branches above the fork is ornamented in a similar manner, with the addition of shawls, calico, scarfs, etc., and covered at the top with black muslin. Attached to the fork is a bundle of cottonwood and willow limbs, firmly bound together and covered with a buffalo robe, with head and horns, so as to form a rude image of a buffalo, to which were hung strips of new calico, muslin, strouding, both blue and scarlet, feathers, shawls, etc., of various lengths and qualities. The longer and more showy articles were placed near the ends. This image was so placed as to face the east. The lodges of the encampment are arranged in circles around the medicine house, having their entrances toward it, the nearest circle being some 10 rods distant....

The ground inside the inclosure had been carefully cleared of grass, sticks, and roots, and covered several inches deep with clean white sand. A screen had been constructed on the side opposite the entrance by sticking small cottonwoods and cedars deep into the ground, so as to preserve them fresh as long as possible. A space was left, 2 or 3 feet wide, between it and the inclosing wall, in which the dancers prepared themselves for the dance, and in front of which was the medicine. This consisted of an image lying on the ground, but so concealed from view in the screen as to render its form indistinguishable; above it was a large fan made of 244 eagle quills, with the quill part lengthened out nearly a foot by inserting a stick into it and securing it there. These were held in a spread form by means of a willow rod or wire bent in a circular form; above this was a mass of feathers, concealing an image, on each side of which were several shields highly decorated with feathers and paint. Various other paraphernalia of heathen worship were suspended in the screen, among these shields or over them, impossible for me to describe so as to be comprehended. A mound had also been thrown up around the central post of the building, 2 feet high and perhaps 5 feet in diameter.










Right index finger rubbed briskly up and down along the back of left index finger. This is the generic sign for all tribes of Apache connection, including Apache proper, Navaho, Mescalero, Lipan, and Kiowa Apache. It is commonly interpreted to mean "knife whetters" or "whetstone people," and this is also the meaning of the generic term for Apache in most of the plains languages. It is possible, however, that this is a misconception of the original purpose of the sign, which may have had reference to a peculiar musical instrument found in various forms among the Pueblo and other Indians of the southwest. Clark says:

I have heard two distinct conceptions for this gesture, the Cheyenne claiming that the sign came from a peculiar musical instrument made from an elk horn, which produced weird-like sounds by rubbing it backward and forward with a stick, and the second (I do not remember what tribe gave me the conception) from a specially good whetstone which the Apaches made and used (Clark, 9).

In a personal letter to the author Grinnell states, on Cheyenne authority, that the sign "is not whetting a knife, which would be performed by one open flat hand on back of other flat hand, and not poor, which would be passing right forefinger down over back of left forefinger held vertically. The sign is said by the Cheyenne to refer to a musical instrument used in old times by the Apache. This instrument was played by passing the forefinger back and forth over the flat surface of the instrument, from which surface a tongue protruded, which, when struck, vibrated and made the sound, somewhat after the manner of the Jew's-harp."


The Kiowa Apache are a small tribe of Athapascan stock, numbering now about two hundred and twenty-five, associated with the Kiowa from the earliest traditional period and forming a component part of the Kiowa tribal circle, although reserving their distinct language; they call themselves Nadíisha-dena, "our people." In the early French records of the seventeenth century, in Lewis and Clark's narrative, and in their first treaty, in 1837, they are called by various forms of the name Gáta`ka, the name by which they are known to the Pawnee, although this does not necessarily imply that the word is of Pawnee origin. They are possibly the Kaskaia or "Bad-hearts" of Long in 1820. The Kiowa call them by the contemptuous title of Semät, "thieves," a recent substitute for the older generic term Tagúi, applied also to other tribes of the same stock. They are now commonly known as Kiowa Apache, under a mistaken impression, arising from the fact of their Athapascan affinity, that they are a detached band of the Apache nation of Arizona. On the contrary, they have never had any political connection with the Apache proper and were probably unaware of their existence until about one hundred years ago. A few Mescalero 247 Apache from New Mexico are now living with them, and individuals of the two tribes frequently exchange visits, but this friendly intimacy is a matter of only sixty or eighty years' standing, resulting from the peace between the Kiowa and Comanche, as already recorded.




Photo by Hayden Survey, 1872.

Fig. 58—Gray-eagle, a Kiowa Apache subchief.

They have not migrated from the southwest into the plains country, but have come with the Kiowa from the extreme north, where they lay the scene of their oldest traditions, including their great medicine story. Their association with the Kiowa antedates the first removal of the latter from the mountains, as both tribes say they have no memory of a time when they were not together. It is probable that the Kiowa 248 Apache, like the cognate Sarsi, have come down along the eastern base of the Rocky mountains from the great Athapascan hive of the Mackenzie river region instead of along the chain of the Sierras, the line followed by the kindred Tototin, Wailaki, Navaho, and Apache proper, and that, finding themselves too weak to stand alone, they took refuge with the Kiowa, as the Sarsi have done with the Blackfeet.


by James Mooney, 1872.


In regard to this northern origin and early association Clark says, in his valuable work on the sign language: "Tradition locates the Kiowas near and to the southwest of the Black Hills, Dakota, and without doubt they had previous to that time lived near the Missouri river. The Apaches with whom they are now associated were at this time with them." In another place he states that an old Apache told him, about 1881, that he was then about seventy years of age and had been born near Missouri river, northeast of the Black Hills (Clark, 10). Keim chooses to call them Lipan, in which he is mistaken, the Lipan being still another Athapascan tribe living farther south, and states that "these people are improperly known as Apaches and so called in the official documents of the government. They say of themselves that they are not Apaches, that the Apaches live away to the west." He says that they have a tradition of having formerly lived in the Bad-lands of Dakota, whence they drifted to the south, but adds somewhat naively that there is no other authority for this than their own story (Keim, 4).

As the Apache are practically a part of the Kiowa in everything but language, they need no extended separate notice. Curiously enough their authentic history begins nearly seventy years earlier than that of the dominant tribe with which they are associated. They are first mentioned by the French explorer La Salle, in an undated letter of 1681 or 1682, under the name of Gattacka. Writing from a post in what is now Illinois, he says that the Pana (Pawnee) live more than 200 leagues to the west, on one of the tributaries of the Mississippi, and are "neighbors and allies of the Gattacka and Manrhoet, who are south of their villages, and who sell to them horses, which they probably steal from the Spaniards of New Mexico." In another fragmentary letter of 1682, written from the same place, he proposes to make an overland journey by means of horses, "which may easily be had, as there are many with the savages called Pana, Pancassa, Manrhout, Gataea, Panimaha, and Pasos, who lie somewhat remote, it is true, but yet communication with them is very easy by means of the river of the Missourites, which flows into the river Colbert" (Margry, 1). In modern terms Pana, Pancassa (or Paneassa), Gataea (for Gataca), Panimaha, Missourites, and Colbert are respectively Pawnee, Ponca (?), Kiowa Apache, Pawnee-Maha or ——, Missouri, and Mississippi. Paso is problematic, and Manrhoet or Maurhout, which in both letters is mentioned in connection with the Kiowa Apache, may possibly be some obsolete name for the Kiowa themselves. 249

Fig. 59—Tsáyăditl-ti or White-man, present head-chief of the Kiowa Apache.

Fig. 60—Dävéko, "The-same-one," a Kiowa Apache subchief and medicine-man

From these references it is plain that the Kiowa Apache—and presumably also the Kiowa—ranged even at this early period in the same general region where they were known more than a hundred years later, namely, between the Platte and the frontiers of New Mexico, and that they already had herds of horses taken from the Spanish settlements. It appears also that they were then in friendship with the 250 Pawnee. From the fact that they traded horses to the other tribes, and that La Salle proposed to supply himself from them or their neighbors, it is not impossible that they sometimes visited the French fort on Peoria lake. On a map in Harris' Collection of Voyages and Travels, published in 1705, we find the "Gataka" marked—probably on the authority of early French documents—on the west side of the Missouri, 251 above the Quapaw (see the Kiowa Apache synonymy, page 245). In 1719 La Harpe found them ("Quataquois") living in connection with the Tawákoni and other affiliated tribes in a village which has been identified by Philip Walker, Esquire, of Washington, as situated on the south bank of the Cimarron, near its junction with the Arkansas, in what is now the Creek nation of Indian Territory (Margry, 2).





The official history of the Apache begins nearly a hundred years later. In 1805 the explorers Lewis and Clark describe the "Ca´takâ," whom they apparently did not meet, as living between the heads of the two forks of Cheyenne river, in the Black Hills region of northeastern Wyoming, and numbering twenty-five tipis, seventy-five warriors, and three hundred souls. This appears to be a singularly close estimate. The Kiowa lived near them, on the North Platte, and both tribes had the same alliances and general customs. They were rich in horses, which they sold to the Arikara and Mandan, but had no trader among them, and the mouth of Cheyenne river was suggested as a suitable place for the establishment of a trading post for them both (Lewis and Clark, 6).


In 1837, in connection with the Kiowa and Tawákoni, they made their first treaty with the government, as has already been described at length in treating of the Kiowa. They are called Kataka in the treaty, this being apparently the last official use of that name, and thenceforth they have been known as Apache. Their subsequent history is that of the Kiowa. In 1853 they are mentioned as a warlike band ranging the waters of Canadian river, in the same great plains occupied by the Comanche, with whom they often joined in raiding expeditions (Report, 67).

By the treaty of the Little Arkansas, in 1865, they were officially detached from the Kiowa and attached to the Cheyenne and Arapaho. This was done at the request of the Apache themselves, in consequence of the unfriendly attitude of the Kiowa toward the whites. But the arrangement had no practical force, and by the treaty of Medicine Lodge, in 1867, they were formally reunited to the Kiowa. This latter treaty was signed by six chiefs on behalf of the Apache, Gúañtekána, "Poor-bear," being then their principal chief (see the treaty, ante). A part of the Apache continued to live with the Cheyenne and Arapaho until after the readjustment at the close of the outbreak of 1874—75. In keeping with the general conduct of the tribe, they remained peaceable and friendly throughout the trouble (Report, 68).


They participated with the Kiowa and others in the joint delegation which visited Washington in October, 1872, being represented on that 252 occasion by Pacer the principal chief, Daho, and Gray-eagle. In his official report Captain Alvord, chairman of the commission which had charge of the delegation, says of the Apache:

The Apache who are in the Indian Territory number about five hundred, are recognized by the supplemental treaty of 1867 as confederated with the Kiowa and Comanche, and have generally been controlled by and acted with the Kiowa. More or less of them have constantly participated in the marauding of the others, but as a tribe or band it is believed that they are better disposed than their associates, and that the professions of friendship which are made by their three principal chiefs, now in Washington, are in good faith, and may be received accordingly. I think that if they can be removed from the evil influences of the Kiowa and Comanche, they will do well (Report, 69).


On the return of the delegation the Apache in good faith commenced to learn the ways of civilization and to earn their own living. Their agent reports:

The Apache were very attentive, working themselves with the hoe. Apache John, a chief, is especially deserving of mention. He worked hard, had all the weeds hoed out, and in addition, to his corn has a fine crop of watermelons, some of which he brought me as a present. It was a very nice sight to see one who a few months ago was regarded as a wild and dangerous man drive up in his wagon (I had given him one) and unload from it a number of fine melons of his own cultivation and raising (Report, 70).

The next year, 1874, started out with even more encouraging prospects. The Apache chiefs worked in their own fields as an example to their people, and at the request of Pacer a school was established among them by A. J. Standing, who, like Battey and Haworth, was a Quaker. All went well until summer, when the Cheyenne, Comanche, and a part of the Kiowa took up arms in defense of their hunting grounds, as already narrated, more or less involving the other tribes, and putting a complete stop to the work of civilization. By direction of the agent the Apache, at the beginning of the trouble, repaired to the friendly camp at Fort Sill, where during all the disturbance they maintained their loyalty and kept the peace, and afterward used their good offices to bring about the surrender of the hostiles, as they had done previously in 1869 (Report, 71).

Pacer, head chief of the Apache, died in the summer of 1875. He was a man of considerable ability and is frequently mentioned in the official reports of the period, as well as by Battey. He had been the consistent advocate of friendly relations with the whites, and on his death was given a civilized burial, at the request of his people, as had been done in the case of Kicking-bird, the Kiowa chief, who died shortly before (Report, 72).


The Apache participate with the Kiowa and Comanche in the benefits of the leases of grass lands. They suffered terribly in the epidemic of 253 1892, losing more than one-fourth of their number. They joined in the protest against the late unratified agreement and were represented in the joint delegation of 1894 by Goñkoñ, "Stays-in-tipi," or Apache John. In dress, customs, and general characteristics they resemble the Kiowa, but are much more agreeable and reliable in disposition. They join with them in the sun dance and the peyote rite, and have no distinct tribal ceremony of their own, although they have a "horse medicine" of considerable repute. In 1896 they numbered two hundred and eight, under the head chieftainship of White-man, and resided chiefly on Apache creek and in the vicinity of the Kichai hills.


Below is given the population of the Apache at different periods, all but the first estimate (Lewis and Clark, 6) being taken from the annual Indian reports. They have probably never numbered much over three hundred and fifty:

Fig. 61—Sét-t'án or Little-bear.




WINTER 1832—33

Â'dal-hâ´ñgya Ähágyä-de Sai, "Winter that they captured the money." The first event recorded occurred about New Near, in the winter of 1832—33, being an encounter with a small party of Americans, resulting in the death of Gúi-kóñgya, "Black-wolf," and the capture of a large quantity of silver coin. The winter is indicated according to the regular system by a black bar below the principal figure, which 255 is that of a man with the picture of a black wolf over his head and joined to it by a line. The breech-cloth shows the figure to be that of a man, the black wolf connected by a line expresses his name, while the red spot with blood gushing from it between the shoulders shows that he was shot through the body. Beside it is a very good picture of a silver dollar to indicate the money captured. This last does not appear on the Dohásän calendar, although the capture gives name to the winter.

Fig. 62—Winter 1832—33—Money captured.

According to the Kiowa story, a war party led by Tóñp'ódal-kyä`tó, "Lame-old-man," met a small train in charge of a few Americans close to South Canadian river (Gúădal P'a, "Red river"), a short distance below the entrance of a southern creek, which they call T'ä´ñpeä´ P'a, "Skunkberry-bush river," about opposite the present town of Lathrop, in the panhandle of Texas. They call Americans Hâñpóko, "Trappers," for the reason that the first Americans known to the tribe were trappers. Texans are considered as of a different nation, and are distinguished as Tehä´neko from the Spanish Tejano. In this instance the Americans were traveling eastward, and as the place was remote from any regular trail the Indians were at a loss to know why the whites were there. The Kiowa attacked the train, killed several of the party, and captured the money, with the loss to themselves of but one man, Gúi-kóñgya. They found a few coins upon the ground, but this being the first money they had ever seen, they did not know its proper use, and so beat the coins into disks to be fastened to straps worn attached to the scalp lock, and hanging down behind (hence the name for money, â´dal-hâñ´gya, literally "hair metal"). After leaving the place they met some Comanche, who already knew the use of money, and on hearing the story told them the value of the silver pieces, upon which the Kiowa returned and searched until they succeeded in finding a large quantity. From this it appears that whatever trade the Kiowa had previously carried on with the Spanish settlements had been by barter in kind, as was usual along the Indian frontier in the early days. This was some time before the beginning of regular intercourse with Americans.

Gregg, the author of a most valuable account of the early Santa Fé trade, passed over the same ground a few years later and gives full details of the affair with its tragic sequel. His description of the location 256 agrees with the Indian statement, and his account explains also how the whites happened to be traveling in such an unfrequented place. The Kiowa statement was obtained without any reference to Gregg.

It was somewhere in this vicinity that a small party of Americans experienced a terrible calamity in the winter of 1832—3 on their way home, and as the incident had the tendency to call into play the most prominent features of the Indian character, I will digress so far here as to relate the facts.

The party consisted of twelve men, chiefly citizens of Missouri. Their baggage and about ten thousand dollars in specie was packed upon mules. They took the route of the Canadian river, fearing to venture on the northern prairies at that season of the year. Having left Santa Fé in December, they had proceeded without accident thus far, when a large body of Comanches and Kiowas were seen advancing towards them. Being well acquainted with the treacherous and pusillanimous disposition of these races, the traders prepared at once for defence; but the savages, having made a halt at some distance, began to approach, one by one or in small parties, making a great show of friendship all the while, until most of them had collected on the spot. Finding themselves surrounded in every direction, the travelers now began to move on in hopes of getting rid of the intruders, but the latter were equally ready for the start, and mounting their horses kept jogging on in the same direction. The first act of hostility perpetrated by the Indians proved fatal to one of the American traders named Pratt, who was shot dead while attempting to secure two mules which had become separated from the rest. Upon this the companions of the slain man immediately dismounted and commenced a fire upon the Indians, which was warmly returned, whereby another man of the name of Mitchell was killed. By this time the traders had taken off their packs and piled them around for protection, and now falling to work with their hands they very soon scratched out a trench deep enough to protect them from the shot of the enemy. The latter made several desperate charges, but they seemed too careful of their own personal safety, notwithstanding the enormous superiority of their numbers, to venture too near the rifles of the Americans. In a few hours all the animals of the traders were either killed or wounded, but no personal damage was done to the remaining ten men, with the exception of a wound in the thigh received by one, which was not at the time considered dangerous.

During the siege the Americans were in great danger of perishing from thirst, as the Indians had complete command of all the water within reach. Starvation was not so much to be dreaded, because in case of necessity they could live on the flesh of their slain animals, some of which lay stretched close around them. After being pent up for thirty-six hours in this horrible hole, during which time they had seldom, ventured to raise their heads above the surface without being shot at, they resolved to make a bold sortie in the night, as any death was preferable to the death which awaited them there. As there was not an animal left that was at all in a condition, to travel, the proprietors of the money gave permission to all to take and appropriate to themselves whatever amount each man could safely undertake to carry. In this way a few hundred dollars were started with, of which, however, but little ever reached the United States. The remainder was buried deep in the sand, in hopes that it might escape the cupidity of the savages, but to very little purpose, for they were afterward seen by some Mexican traders making a great display of specie, which was without doubt taken from this unfortunate cache.

With every prospect of being discovered, overtaken, and butchered, but resolved to sell their lives as dearly as possible, they at last emerged from their hiding place and moved on silently and slowly until they found themselves beyond the purlieus of the Indian camps. Often did they look back in the direction where from three to five hundred savages were supposed to watch their movements, but much to their astonishment no one appeared to be in pursuit. The Indians, believing, no doubt, that the property of the traders would come into their hands, and having no amateur 257 predilection for taking scalps at the risk of losing their own, appeared willing enough to let the spoliated adventurers depart without further molestation.

The destitute travelers having run themselves short of provisions, and being no longer able to kill game for want of materials to load their rifles with, they were very soon reduced to the necessity of sustaining life upon the roots and the tender bark of trees. After traveling for several days in this desperate condition, with lacerated feet and utter prostration of mind and body, they began to disagree among themselves about the route to be pursued, and eventually separated into two distinct parties. Five of these unhappy men steered a westward (sic) course, and after a succession of sufferings and privations which almost surpassed belief, they reached the settlements of the Creek Indians, near the Arkansas river, where they were treated with great kindness and hospitality. The other five wandered about in the greatest state of distress and bewilderment, and only two finally succeeded in getting out of the mazes of the wilderness. Among those who were abandoned to their fate and left to perish thus miserably, was a Mr Schenck, the same individual who had been shot in the thigh, a gentleman of talent and excellent family connections, who was a brother, as I am informed, of the Honorable Mr Schenck, at present a member of congress from Ohio (Gregg, 2).

The Kiowa had undoubtedly attacked the traders, believing them to be their enemies the Texans, instead of Americans, as the place was outside of what were then the limits of the United States, and over a hundred miles from the trail usually traveled by the American traders to Santa Fé. This is apparent from Gregg's experience in 1839 in nearly the same place. While proceeding up the Canadian with an escort of dragoons they fell in with a large party of Comanche, and after a doubtful preliminary talk, in which the Comanche very pointedly refused to smoke the proffered pipe, the officer began to speak of the advantages of peace and friendship, and invited some of their headmen to visit the great chief at Washington and make a treaty.

But they would not then converse on the subject. In fact, the interpreter inquired, "Are we not at war? How, then, can we go to see the Capitan Grande?" We knew they believed themselves at war with Mexico and Texas, and probably had mistaken us for Texans.... Upon this we explained to them that the United States was a distinct government and at peace with the Comanche. On this explanation the chiefs said they were glad to see Americans in their country and hoped more of them would come (Gregg, 3).


Ĭmk`ódaltä-dé Pai, "Summer that they cut off their heads." This picture commemorates one of the most vivid memories of the older men of the tribe—a wholesale massacre by the Osage, who cut off the heads of their victims and deposited them in buckets upon the scene of the slaughter. Set-t'an, the author of the calendar, was born in this summer. The picture of a severed head with bloody neck and a bloody knife underneath is sufficiently suggestive. The absence of the usual figure of the sun-dance lodge shows that no dance was held this summer, owing to the fact that the Osage captured the taime medicine at the same time. The massacre occurred just west of a mountain called by the Kiowa K`ódaltä K`op, "Beheading mountain," 258 on the headwaters of Otter creek, not 2 miles northwest from Saddle mountain and about 25 miles northwest from Fort Sill.

It was in early spring and the Kiowa were camped at the mouth of Rainy-mountain creek, a southern tributary of the Washita, within the present limits of the reservation; nearly all the warriors had gone against the Ute, so that few, excepting women, children, and old men, were at home. One morning some young men going out to look for horses discovered signs of Osage and immediately gave the alarm. According to one story, they found a buffalo with an Osage arrow sticking in it; according to T'ébodal and other old men, they came upon the Osage themselves and exchanged shots, wounding an Osage, but with the loss of one of their own men killed. On the alarm being given, the Kiowa at once broke camp in a panic and fled in four parties in different directions—one party toward the west, another toward the east, and two other bands, among whom was T'ébodal, then a boy, went directly south toward the Comanche. Three of these escaped, but the fourth, under A`dáte, "Island-man," thinking the pursuit was over, stopped on a small tributary of Otter creek, just west of the mountain.

Fig. 63—Summer 1833—They cut off their heads.

Early in the morning, almost before it was yet light, a young man (whose grandson was present during T'ébodal's narration) went to look for his ponies, when he saw the Osage creeping up on foot. He hastily ran back with the news, but all the camp was still sleeping, except the wife A`dáte, who was outside preparing to scrape a hide. Entering the tipi, he roused the chief, who ran out shouting to his people, "Tsó bätsó! Tsó bätsó!"—To the rocks! To the rocks! Thus rudely awakened, the Kiowa sprang up and fled to the mountain, the mothers seizing their children and the old men hurrying as best they could, with their bloodthirsty enemies close behind. The chief himself was pursued and slightly wounded, but got away; his wife, Sémätmä, "Apache-woman," was taken, but soon afterward made her escape. One woman fled with a baby girl on her back and dragging a larger girl by the hand; an Osage pursuing caught the older girl and was drawing his knife across her throat when the mother rushed to her aid and succeeded in beating him off and rescued the child with only a slight gash upon her head. A boy named Äyä, "Sitting-on-a-tree" (?), was saved by his father in about the same way, and is still alive, an old man, to tell it. His father, it is said, seized and held him in his teeth, putting him down while shooting arrows to keep off the pursuers, and taking him up again to run. A party of women was saved by a brave Pawnee living in the camp, who succeeded in fighting off the pursuers long enough to enable the women to reach a place of safety.

The warriors-being absent, the Kiowa made no attempt at a stand; it was simply a surprise and flight of panic-stricken, women, children, 259 and old men, in which everyone caught was butchered on the spot. Two children were taken prisoners, a brother and sister—about 10 and 12 years of age, respectively—of whom more hereafter. The Kiowa lost five men killed and a large number of women and children; none of the Osage were killed, as no fight was made. When the massacre was ended, the enemy cut the heads from all the dead bodies, without scalping them, and placed them in brass buckets, one head in each bucket, all over the camp ground, after which they set fire to the tipis and left the place. When the scattered Kiowa returned to look for their friends, they found the camp destroyed, the decapitated bodies lying where they had fallen, and the heads in the buckets as the Osage had left them. The buckets had been obtained by the Kiowa from the Pawnee, who procured them on the Missouri and traded them to the southern tribes. For allowing the camp to be thus surprised the chief, A`dáte, was deposed, and was superseded by Dohá, or Doháte, "Bluff," better known as Dohásän, who thenceforth ruled the tribe until his death, thirty-three years later.

Among the victims of the massacre was a Kiowa chief who had been present the previous winter at the attack on the American traders. His friends buried with him a quantity of silver dollars which had formed his share of the spoil on that occasion. An old woman, the last remaining person who knew the place of sepulture, died a few years ago.

In this affair the Osage also captured the taíme medicine, already described, killing the wife of the taíme keeper as she was trying to unfasten it from the tipi pole to which it was tied; her husband, Ansó te, escaped. In consequence of this loss, there was no sun dance for two years, when, peace having been made between the two tribes, as will be related farther on, the Kiowa visited the Osage camp, somewhere on the Cimarron or the Salt fork of the Arkansas, and recovered it, afterward giving a horse in return for it. Dohásän, who conducted the negotiations, asked the Osage about it and offered a pinto pony and several other ponies for it. The Osage said that they had it, and went home and brought it, but in token of their friendship refused to accept more than a single pony in return. On this occasion both taíme images were captured, together with the case in which they were kept.

Two points in connection with this massacre deserve attention. First, the Osage war party was on foot; this, as the Kiowa state, was the general custom of the Osage and Pawnee, more especially the latter, who are sometimes called Domáñk`íägo, "Walkers," by the Kiowa, and was occasionally followed by other tribes, including also the Kiowa. Grinnell states that the Blackfeet always went to war on foot (Grinnell, Blackfeet, 2). There was an obvious advantage in the practice, as a foot party could more easily travel and approach a hostile camp without attracting observation, relying on themselves to procure horses to enable them to return mounted. T'ébodal, when a young man, was twice a member of a large Kiowa war party which went out 260 on foot. The Kiowa say that the Pawnee in particular went afoot on war expeditions, and more recently when they visited other tribes for the purpose of a social dance, in the latter case always returning with large numbers of ponies given them by their entertainers (see summer 1851 and winter 1871—72). Gregg says that small war parties of the Pawnee were accustomed to rove on foot through every part of the plains, even to the Mexican frontier, but generally returning mounted on captured horses. When, on one occasion, his train was attacked upon the upper Canadian, he says:

It was evidently a foot party, which we looked upon as another proof of their being Pawnees, for these famous marauders are well known to go forth upon their expeditious of plunder without horses, although they seldom fail to return well mounted (Gregg, 4).

Dunbar says that Pawnee runners have been known repeatedly to travel over 100 miles in twenty-four hours or less, going at a swinging trot, without stopping on the way for sleep or food (Clark, 11).

Secondly, it is to be noted that the Osage beheaded the Kiowa without scalping them. This, the Kiowa say, was a general Osage practice; in fact, according to the Kiowa, the Osage never scalped their enemies, but cut off the heads and left them unscalped upon the field. They kept tally of the number killed, however, and when an Osage warrior had killed four he painted a blue half circle, curving downward, upon his breast. So far as Kiowa knowledge goes, no other tribe of the plains practiced the custom of beheading, but all of them scalped their enemies. It seems certain, however, that the Dakota at an early period had the same custom, as they are called "Beheaders" in several Indian languages, while their name is indicated in the sign language by drawing the hand across the throat to signify the same thing. Clark says:

In former times the Sioux Indians, if they had time, cut off the heads of their slain enemies and took them to their first camp after the fight, where the entire scalp was taken off. To make it particularly fine, they kept on the ears with the rings and ornaments. In case a woman had lost some of her kin by death, and her heart was, as they say, bad, she was at times allowed to go with the war party, remaining in the camp established near the point of attack. The head of a slain foe would be given to her, and after removing the scalp she would make her heart good by smashing the skull with a war club (Clark, 12).

Among other tribes, as well as the Osage, especially in the north, the number of enemies slain or other brave deeds performed was sometimes indicated by the style of body paint or dress adornment. Among the Kiowa the number of transverse stripes upon a woman's legging indicates the scalps or coups won by some warrior kinsman.

WINTER 1833—34

D'ä´-p'é'gyä-de Sai, "Winter that the stars fell." This winter takes its name from the memorable meteoric display which occurred shortly before daylight on the morning of November 13, 1833. It was observed throughout North America, and created great excitement among the 261 plains tribes, as well as among a large part of our own population; the event is still used as a chronologic starting point by the old people of the various tribes. It is pictorially represented on most of the Dakota calendars discussed by Mallery in his valuable work on the Picture Writing of the American Indians. Set-t'an was born in the preceding summer, and the small figure of a child over the winter bar indicates that this is his first winter or year; the stars above his head represent the meteors.

Fig. 64—Winter 1833—34—The stars fell.

The Kiowa say it occurred in the winter season, when they were camped on a small tributary of Elm fork of Red river, within the present Greer county, Oklahoma. The whole camp was asleep, when they were wakened by a sudden light; running out from the tipis, they found the night as bright as day, with myriads of meteors darting about in the sky. The parents aroused the children, saying, "Get up, get up, there is something awful (zédălbe) going on!" They had never before known such an occurrence, and regarded it as something ominous or dangerous, and sat watching it with dread and apprehension until daylight. Such phenomena are always looked upon as omens or warnings by the ignorant; in Mexico, according to Gregg, it was believed to be a sign of divine displeasure at a sacrilegious congress which had recently curtailed the privileges of the church, while in Missouri it was regarded by some as a protest from heaven against the persecution of the Mormons then gathered near Independence (Gregg, 5).

Fig. 65—The star shower of 1833 (from the Dakota calendars)


The figure is intended to commemorate the return of the girl captured by the Osage in the massacre of the preceding summer. The tipi above the female figure, with which it is connected by a line, indicates her name, Gunpä´ñdamä, Medicine-tied-to-tipi-pole(-woman) (see the glossary, Gunpä´ñdamä). She was restored to her friends by a detachment of the First dragoons from Fort Gibson. Although this occurred in the summer, the season is not indicated by the usual figure of the medicine lodge, for the reason that, the taíme being still in possession of the Osage, there was no sun dance held that year. It is omitted also in the picture for the preceding summer, the taíme having been captured early in the spring.

Fig. 66—Summer 1833—34—Return of Gunpä´ñdamä

As the return of this girl was the object of the first American expedition up Red river, and the beginning of our official and trading relations with the Comanche, Kiowa, Wichita, and affiliated tribes, it merits somewhat extended 262 notice. The expedition and subsequent council are noted in the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1834 (page 240), and are described at length in the journal of Lieutenant Wheelock (Greer, 1), and in the letters of the artist Catlin, who accompanied the party and painted the first pictures ever made of any of these tribes. The resulting treaties of 1835 and 1837 are noted in the Commissioner's reports for these years (Report, 74). The first Indian story of the occurrence is here given:

After the massacre at K`ódaltä K`op, already described, the Osage returned to their own country, where there was a soldier camp (i. e., Fort Gibson), bringing with them the Kiowa girl Gunpä´ñdamä (Medicine-tied-to-tipi-pole) and her brother, taken at the time of the massacre. The woman captured at the same time had escaped and made her way back to her people. At Fort Gibson the soldiers told the Osage that as they and other Kiowa were all alike Indians they should be friends. They then bought the two captive children from the Osage and proposed that some of the Osage should return with them (the soldiers) to the Kiowa country, there to give back the children to their friends and invite the Kiowa to come down to the fort and make a permanent treaty of peace and friendship between the two tribes. The Osage agreed, and accordingly a large party of soldiers, accompanied by a number of Osage, with the girl Gunpä´ñdamä, set out for the Kiowa country. The little boy had been killed by a sheep before starting. With them went also the famous trader, Colonel Auguste Chouteau, called "Soto" by the Kiowa, the first American trader known to the Kiowa, Wichita, and associated tribes. Up to this time the Kiowa had been at war with the Osage and had no knowledge of our government, and these dragoons were the first United States troops they had ever seen. The soldiers first met the Comanche, who told them that the Kiowa were near the Wichita village at the farther end of the mountains. When the troops arrived at the village, the Kiowa were afraid and kept at a distance until they saw the girl, which convinced them that the soldiers were their friends. The girl was given back to her people, and at the request of the soldiers a number of Kiowa, including the head chief, Doháte, returned with them and the Osage to the camp at Fort Gibson. They do not remember whether any of the Apache went. There the soldiers entertained the Kiowa with food, coffee, and sugar, and gave them blankets and other presents. A treaty of peace was made between the Kiowa and soldiers (i. e., Americans), and the Osage and other Kiowa were invited to trade with Chouteau, who promised to bring goods to their country. Since that time the two tribes have been friends. Hitherto the Kiowa had never had any traders in their country, but after this peace a regular trade was established. The first trader, whom they call Tóme or Tóme-te (Thomas?) came soon afterward and built a trading post on the west side of Cache creek, about 3 miles below the present Fort Sill; but he did not stay long. 263

Dohá, Doháte, or Dohásän (Bluff or Little-bluff), the head of the tribe at the time of this expedition, had superseded A`dáte, who had been deposed as a punishment for having allowed his people to be surprised and massacred by the Osage. In his youth Dóha had been, known, as Äanóñte. He was the fourth head chief of the tribe from the time of the treaty with the Comanche, the order of succession being Políăkya (Harelip), alias Kágiätsé (Thick-blanket); Tsóñbohón (Feather-cap), A`dáte, and Dohásän. He continued to be recognized as head chief until his death in 1866. The name is hereditary in the family, which is one of the most prominent in the tribe, and has been borne by this chief—distinguished as Old Dohásän—by his nephew, who died at an advanced age at Anadarko in the winter of 1893—94, and by his son. The older men state that the father of the great Dohásän was also called Dohá, and that his son, after assuming the same name, was known as Dohásän, (Little-bluff) for distinction. He is spoken of as Doháte as frequently as Dohásän.

According to one informant, at the time of the Osage massacre Chouteau had a trading post about a day's journey east of the present Fort Sill, and the Kiowa went to him and told him of their misfortune, whereupon he went to Fort Gibson and induced the soldiers to rescue the captives from the Osage and return them to their friends. This is perhaps a confusion of events. The trading post referred to was at Chouteau spring, on the east side of Chouteau creek which flows into the South Canadian from the east, about 5 miles northeast of the present town of Purcell, Indian Territory. It does not appear, however, to have been established until after, and as a result of, this expedition.

The expedition is described in detail by the artist Catlin, who accompanied it and was present at the council on its return. As the Comanche, Kiowa, and Wichita lived so remote from the frontiers, they had not yet been brought into official connection with the United States, and consequently had several times, as we have seen, come into collision with small parties of Americans on the borders of their country. The government had for some time been desirous of entering into treaty relations with them, more especially as the plan of colonizing the eastern tribes in the western country had been put into operation. As the Osage, who were already in treaty relations with the government, had several captives taken from the more western tribes, it was decided to purchase these prisoners and send them home under military escort as a token of the friendly intentions of the government, with an invitation to the chiefs of those tribes to come to the military post and make a treaty with the United States, the Osage, and the immigrant tribes.

Accordingly, the two Kiowa children and two Wichita children, captives, were purchased from the Osage and brought to Fort Gibson; unfortunately, the little Kiowa boy was killed near the post shortly after by a blow from a ram. An expedition of the First dragoons was organized, under command of General Leavenworth, to restore the children to 264 their parents and open communication with their tribes. The troops, numbering about four hundred, left Fort Gibson toward the end of June, 1834, taking with them the three children and accompanied by about thirty of the Osage, Cherokee, Delaware, and Seneca tribes, together with the artist Catlin, and, according to the Indian account, Chouteau and perhaps another trader. Their interpreter was a Cherokee with a "very imperfect" knowledge of Spanish, through which language he hoped to open communication with Spanish-speaking Indians among the tribes visited; his ignorance probably accounts for the atrocious names and etymologies given by Catlin. The march in the heat of summer proved so severe that by the time the command reached the junction of Washita and Red rivers about one third of the number, including the commanding general, were prostrated; the remainder, constantly dwindling, pushed on in charge of Colonel Henry Dodge, keeping a general northwest course along the divide between the two streams. They were considered to be within the Comanche country after crossing the Washita.

Fig. 67—Meeting of the dragoons and the Comanche (after Catlin).

Having traveled about two weeks, they one day discovered a large party of Comanche several miles ahead, sitting quietly on their horses watching the movements of the advancing troops, and holding, their long lances in their hands, the blades glistening in the sun. As the cavalry advanced toward them the Indians retreated to another ridge. This was repeated several times, until at last, says Catlin—

Colonel Dodge ordered the command to halt, while he rode forward with a few of his staff and an ensign carrying a white flag. I joined this advance, and the Indians stood their ground until we had come within half a mile of them and could distinctly observe all their numbers and movements. We then came to a halt, and the 265 white flag was sent a little in advance and waved as a signal for them to approach, at which one of their party galloped out in advance of the war party on a milk-white horse, carrying a piece of white buffalo skin on the point of his long lance in reply to our flag.... The distance between the two parties was perhaps half a mile, and that a beautiful and gently sloping prairie, over which he was for the space of a quarter of an hour reining and spurring his maddened horse and gradually approaching us by tacking to the right and left like a vessel beating against the wind. He at length came prancing and leaping along till he met the flag of the regiment, when he leaned his spear for a moment against it, looking the bearer full in the face, when he wheeled his horse and dashed up to Colonel Dodge with his extended hand, which was instantly grasped and shaken. We all had him by the hand in a moment, and the rest of the party seeing him received in this friendly manner, instead of being sacrificed, as they undoubtedly expected, started under full whip in a direct line toward us, and in a moment gathered like a black cloud around us.... The warrior's quiver was slung on the warrior's back, and his bow grasped in his left hand ready for instant use if called for. His shield was on his arm; and across his thigh, in a beautiful cover of buckskin, his gun was slung, and in his right hand his lance of fourteen feet in length. Thus armed and equipped was this dashing cavalier, and nearly in the same manner all the rest of the party (Catlin, 4).

When the purpose of the expedition had been explained to them, the Comanche said that their great village was a few days farther ahead, and abandoning their war expedition, they turned and escorted the troops to their camp. According to statements made by old men of the tribe to Horace P. Jones, post interpreter at Fort Sill, this Comanche village in 1834 was situated on Chandler creek, close to its junction with Cache creek, about ten miles north of the present Fort Sill. The artist gives a glowing account of the surrounding country and of their reception by the Comanche.

Having led us to the top of a gently rising elevation on the prairie, they pointed to their village at several miles distance, in the midst of one of the most enchanting valleys that human eyes ever looked upon. The general course of the valley is from northwest to southeast, of several miles in width, with a magnificent range of mountains rising in distance beyond, it being without doubt a huge spur of the Rocky mountains, composed entirely of a reddish granite or gneiss, corresponding with the other links of this stupendous chain. In the midst of this lovely valley we could just discern amongst the scattering shrubbery that lined the banks of the water courses, the tops of the Comanche wigwams and the smoke curling above them. The valley for a mile distant about the village seemed speckled with horses and mules that were grazing in it. The chiefs of the war party requested the regiment to halt until they could ride in and inform their people who were coming. We then dismounted for an hour or so, when we could see them, busily running and catching their horses, and at length several hundreds of their braves and warriors came out at full speed to welcome us, and forming in a line in front of us, as we were again mounted, presented a formidable and pleasing appearance. As they wheeled their horses, they very rapidly formed in a line and dressed like well-disciplined cavalry. The regiment was drawn up in three columns, with a line formed in front, by Colonel Dodge and his staff, in which rank my friend Chadwick and I were also paraded, when we had a fine view of the whole manœuvre, which was picturesque and thrilling in the extreme.

In the center of our advance was stationed a white flag, and the Indians answered to it with one which they sent forward and planted by the side of it. The two lines were thus drawn up face to face within 20 or 30 yards of each other, as inveterate 266 foes that never had met; and to the everlasting credit of the Comanches, whom the world had always looked upon as murderous and hostile, they had all come out in this manner, with their heads uncovered, and without a weapon of any kind, to meet a war party bristling with arms and trespassing to the middle of their country. They had every reason to look upon us as their natural enemy, as they have been in the habit of estimating all pale faces; and yet instead of arms or defences, or even of frowns, they galloped out and looked us in our faces, without an expression of fear or dismay, and evidently with expressions of joy and impatient pleasure, to shake us by the hand, on the bare assertion of Colonel Dodge, which had been made to the chiefs, that we came to see them on a friendly visit.

After we had sat and gazed at each other in this way for some half an hour or so, the head chief of the band came galloping up to Colonel Dodge, and having shaken him by the hand, he passed on to the other officers in turn and then rode alongside of the different columns, shaking hands with every dragoon in the regiment; he was followed in this by his principal chiefs and braves, which altogether took up nearly an hour longer, when the Indians retreated slowly toward their village, escorting us to the banks of a fine, clear stream and a good spring of fresh water, half a mile from their village, which they designated as a suitable place for our encampment (Catlin, 5).

While there the artist painted the pictures of the chief men of the tribe, together with camp scenes. The pictures form a part of the Catlin gallery in the National Museum at Washington, District of Columbia. In his usual incorrect style, he estimated the population of the tribe at thirty thousand to forty thousand. It may possibly have been one-tenth of that number.

After a few days the command, guided by some of the Comanche, started for the Wichita village lying farther to the west. After four days' march, keeping close along the base of the mountains, they reached the village, which was situated on the northeast bank of the North fork of Red river, about 4 miles below the junction of Elm fork, and within the present limits of the reservation. It was close to the mouth of Devil canyon, with the river in front and the mountains behind. It was an old settlement site of the Wichita, having been occupied by them as far back at least as about the year 1765 (Lewis and Clark, 8). Catlin thus describes it:

We found the mountains inclosing the Pawnee [i.e., Pawnee Pique, or Wichita] village, on the bank of Red river, about 90 miles from the Comanchee town. The dragoon regiment was drawn up within half a mile or so of this village and encamped in a square, where we remained three days. We found here a very numerous village containing some five or six hundred wigwams, all made of long prairie grass thatched over poles which are fastened in the ground and bent in at the top, giving to them in distance the appearance of straw beehives, as in plate 173 [figure 68 herein], which is an accurate view of it, showing the Red river in front and the "mountains of rocks" behind it. To our very great surprise we have found these people cultivating quite extensive fields of corn (maize), pumpkins, melons, beans, and squashes; so, with these aids and an abundant supply of buffalo meat, they may be said to be living very well (Catlin, 6).

The picture by Catlin gives a good idea of the location and a tolerable idea of the peculiar conical grass houses of the Wichita, who have always been noted as an agricultural tribe. As usual, however, he has grossly overestimated their number, attributing to the village five or 267 six hundred houses, and to the Wichita and Kiowa eight to ten thousand population. It is very doubtful if the two tribes, with all their affiliated bands, ever numbered a total of twenty-five hundred. The Wichita village may have had, all told, seventy or eighty houses. When the author examined the ground, in 1893, the circular depressions where the houses had stood were still regular in shape and plainly visible. According to Wichita information, the village was called Kĭ´tskûkătû´k, a name which seems to refer to its situation beside the mountain, and was abandoned soon after 1834, when the tribe removed to a new location, where Fort Sill is now located. From there they again removed to Rush spring, about 25 miles farther east, where Marcy found them in 1852. The mountains immediately about the site of the village visited by the dragoons are still known to the Kiowa as Do`gúat K`op, "Wichita mountains," the name not being applied by them to the more eastern portion of the range.

Fig. 68—Kĭ´tskûkătû´k, the Wichita village on Northfork in 1834 (after Catlin).

The meeting with the Wichita threatened at the start to be hostile. Having learned that they had in their possession a captive white boy, Colonel Dodge demanded that he be surrendered. They repeatedly denied having any knowledge of the boy or the circumstances attending his capture until, being convinced by the sight of their own children brought back by the dragoons that the intentions of the white visitors were friendly, they produced him.

An order was immediately given for the Pawnee and Kiowa girls to be brought forward. They were in a few minutes brought into the council house, when they were at once recognized by their friends and relatives, who embraced them with the 268 most extravagant expressions of joy and satisfaction. The heart of the venerable chief was melted at this evidence of the white man's friendship, and he rose upon his feet, and taking Colonel Dodge in his arms and, placing his left cheek against the left cheek of the colonel, held him for some minutes without saying a word, whilst tears were flowing from his eyes. He then embraced each officer in turn in the same silent and affectionate manner, which form took half an hour or more before it was completed.

From this moment the council, which before had been a very grave and uncertain one, took a pleasing and friendly turn, and this excellent old man ordered the women to supply the dragoons with something to eat, as they were hungry. The little encampment, which heretofore was in a woeful condition, having eaten up their last rations twelve hours before, were now gladdened by the approach of a number of women who brought their "back loads" of dried buffalo meat and green corn, and threw it down amongst them. This seemed almost like a providential deliverance, for the country between here and the Comanchees was entirely destitute of game and our last provisions were consumed.

The council thus proceeded successfully and pleasantly for several days, whilst the warriors of the Kiowas and Wicos [Wacos], two adjoining and friendly tribes living farther to the west, were arriving, and also a great many from other bands of the Comanchees, who had heard of our arrival, until two thousand or more of these wild and fearless-looking fellows were assembled, and all, from their horses' backs, with weapons in hand, were looking into our pitiful little encampment of two hundred men, all in a state of dependence and almost literal starvation, and at the same time nearly one-half the number too sick to have made a successful resistance if we were to have been attacked (Catlin, 7).

The result of the council was that a large delegation from the allied tribes returned with the troops to Fort Gibson, where arrangements were made for the subsequent treaties of 1835 and 1837, as already described, which mark the beginning of the modern history of the Kiowa, Comanche, Wichita, and affiliated bands.

The Wichita, as well as the Kiowa, still remember this friendly meeting. Nasthoe, a Wichita chief, in giving testimony in 1894 in regard to the location of the old village, said: "I was told that the white people and the Osage and the Kidi-ki-tashe [Wichita] came to that old village, where they lived and brought that girl and boy, and inside of one of those tipis they had made a feast among themselves, and the soldiers had fired their guns around there. The meaning of that was a peace" (Greer County, 1).

While with this expedition Catlin painted a number of portraits, the first on record from these tribes. He has this to say of his Kiowa subjects:

The head chief of the Kioways, whose name is Teh-toot-sah [Dohásän, see page 175], we found to be a very gentlemanly and high-minded man, who treated the dragoons and officers with great kindness while in his country. His long hair, which was put up in several large clubs and ornamented with a great many silver brooches, extended quite down to his knees. This distinguished man, as well as several others of his tribe, have agreed to join us on the march to Fort Gibson, so I shall have much of their company yet, and probably much more to say of them at a future period. Bon-son-gee (The New Fire) [Bohón-kóñkya, Black-cap], is another chief of this tribe, and called a very good man; the principal ornaments which he carried on his person were a boar's tusk and his war whistle, which were hanging on his breast. Quay-ham-kay (The Stone Shell) is another fair specimen of the warriors of this tribe 269 ... Wun-pan-to-mee (The White Weasel) [Gunpü´ñdamä´, Medicine-tied-to-tipi-pole], a girl, and Tunk-aht-oh-ye (The Thunderer), a boy, who are brother and sister, are two Kioways who were purchased from the Osages, to be taken to their tribe by the dragoons. The girl was taken the whole distance with us, on horseback, to the Pawnee village, and there delivered to her friends, as I have before mentioned; and the fine little boy was killed at the fur trader's house, on the banks of the Verdigris, near Fort Gibson, the day after I painted his portrait, and only a few days before he was to have started with us on the march. He was a beautiful boy of nine or ten years of age, and was killed by a ram, which struck him in the abdomen, and knocking him against a fence, killed him instantly. Kots-a-to-ah (The Smoked Shield) is another of the extraordinary men of this tribe, near 7 feet in stature, and distinguished not only as one of the greatest warriors, but the swiftest on foot in the nation. This man, it is said, runs down a buffalo on foot, and slays it with his knife or his lance as he runs by its side! (Catlin, 8).



Two of those mentioned by Catlin—Dohásän and Bóhónkóñkya—were signers of the first Kiowa treaty, in 1837, and are still well remembered, as is also the girl, Gunpä´ñdamä´. The other names are too badly mangled to be identified, and the memory of the swift runner seems to have utterly perished.

Fig. 69—Winter 1834—35—Bull-tail killed.

WINTER 1834—35

Pá-tón Ehótal-de Sai, "Winter that Bull-tail was killed." He was killed by the Mexicans. The figure above the winter sign has a blood spot upon the body to represent the wound, while the erect cue from the head indicates his name.

Fig. 70—Summer 1835—Cat-tail rush sun dance.

The Kiowa had made their winter camp on the Washita, when a war party set out against the Toñhéñ-t'a`ká-i (Mexicans of the waterless country), or Chihuahuans. Having started late, they camped all winter at a mountain toward the southern edge of the Staked plain, known as Déngyä-kóñ K`op, or "Black-ice mountain." One morning in the early spring, while several men were out looking for their ponies, they were suddenly surrounded by the Mexicans and all killed, including Pa-ton, who was shot through the body. Their comrades saw the fight from a distance, but, being outnumbered and therefore afraid to come near to help them, they got away as soon as they could.


Donpä K`ádó, "Cat-tail rush sun dance." This was the first sun dance held by the Kiowa after the recovery of the taíme from the Osages, already narrated, and is thus distinguished because it was held at a place where a great many cat-tail rushes (Equisetum arvense) were growing on the south bank of North Canadian river, at the Red hills, about 30 miles above the 270 present Fort Reno, Oklahoma. The soft white portion of the lower part of the stalk of this rush is eaten raw by the Indians with great relish. The picture above the medicine lodge represents the taíme bíĭmkâ-í or rawhide box in which the taíme is kept.

It was immediately after this dance that a war party of Kiowa made the raid far down toward the coast in which they captured Bóiñ-edal (Big-blond), now the oldest captive in the tribe. This man, sometimes known to the whites as Kiowa Dutch, was born in Germany and is now, according to his own account, about 70 years of age. He remembers having gone to school in Germany as a small boy, and came to this country, when about 8 or 9 years of age, with his father, stepmother, and an elder brother. He describes the place where they located as being a small settlement on a large river, up which ships could sail, where there were alligators and trees with long moss, and which was within a day's ride of the sea. The people were engaged in raising cotton, his family being the only Germans. From other evidence it seems to have been about Matagorda or Galveston bay, showing that the Kiowa carried their raids in this direction even to the coast. Within a year of their coming, and before he had learned English, a Kiowa war party attacked the settlement at night, carried off himself, his mother, and his brother, and probably killed his father; his mother was taken in another direction and he never saw her again; she was afterward ransomed by Tométe, the trader already mentioned; his brother committed suicide during the cholera epidemic of 1849; Bóiñ-edal is still with the tribe. As his name indicates, he is a typical German in appearance, and still remembers a few words of his mother language, besides having a fair knowledge of English and Spanish, although he does not remember his own name or birthplace. It was about the same time that the Comanche raided Barker's fort, on the Navasota, in eastern Texas, and carried off the girl Cynthia Parker, who afterward became the mother of Quanah, the present chief of the tribe. The story of these captives may have a hundred parallels among the three confederated tribes.

Fig. 71—Winter 1835—36—Big-face killed.

WINTER 1835—36

Tó`-edalte (Big-face) was shot through the body and killed by the Mexicans while on a raid into old Mexico. This is Set-t'an's statement, which is borne out by the picture of a man, whose name is indicated by the figure of a big head or face above. Other informants, however, deny any knowledge of such a man, and in the notes accompanying the Scott calendar he is called Wolf-hair. The gunshot wound is indicated in the ordinary way. 271


Gui P a K`ádó, "Wolf-river sun dance." The figure of a wolf or coyote above the medicine lodge indicates that the dance was held on Gui P a or Wolf river, i. e., Wolf-creek fork of the North Canadian. Soon after the dance the Kiowa moved to another camp north of the Arkansas, while the Kiñep band went on to pay a social visit to the Crows and buy from them ermine and elk teeth for ornamenting their buckskin shirts and the dresses of the women. After they had gone, those who remained behind were attacked in their camp by the whole Cheyenne tribe, but the Kiowa threw up breastworks and defended themselves until their assailants were compelled to retire.

Fig. 72—Summer 1836—Wolf-river sun dance.

WINTER 1836—37

K`íñähíate Ehótal-de Sai, "Winter that K`íñähíate was killed." K`íñähíate ("Man") was killed in an expedition against the Ä´-t'á`ká-i, "Timber Mexicans," or Mexicans of Tamaulipas and the lower Rio Grande. The tribe was camped on upper Red river at the time. The name is indicated by a small figure of a man above a similar larger figure, with which it is connected by a line, the death wound being indicated on the lower figure. No better illustration of the wide range of the Kiowa could be given than the fact that while one band was thus raiding in Mexico another, as we have just seen, was visiting upon the upper Missouri.

Fig. 73—Winter 1836—37—K`íñähíate killed.


Säk`ota Ä´otón-de Pai, "Summer that the Cheyenne were massacred," or Á`k`ádo Pai, "Wailing sun-dance summer." The figure is the conventional Indian symbol for a battle, with the party attacked defending themselves behind breastworks thrown up in the sand, and the arrows flying among them; below the main figure is another of a man wearing a war bonnet. Compare the battle pictographs from the Dakota calendars as given by Mallery (figure 75).

Fig. 74—Summer 1837—Cheyenne massacred.

At the time of the fight the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache were camped upon a small tributary of Scott creek (Pohón-ä P'a, "Walnut creek"), an upper branch of the North fork of Red river, southward 272 from the present Port Elliott in the panhandle of Texas. It was in early summer, and they were preparing for the sun dance; a young man was out alone straightening arrows when he saw two men creeping up, with grass over their faces. Thinking they were Kiowa deer hunters, he advanced to meet them, when they fired and wounded him and his horse; he fled back to camp and gave the alarm, and Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache rushed out in pursuit. They soon came up with a small party of the enemy, who proved to be Cheyenne. The Kiowa and their allies killed three of them there, and following the fugitives killed several others; continuing along the trail down the north side of the creek to a short distance below its junction with Sweetwater, they came upon the main camp of the Cheyenne, who dug holes in the sand and made a good defense, but were at last all killed except one, who strangled himself with a rope to avoid capture. The bodies of the dead Cheyenne, 48 in number, were scalped, stripped, and laid along the ground in a row by the victors. Six Kiowa were killed, including the grandfather of the present Lone-wolf. T'ébodal, the oldest man now in the tribe, was engaged in this encounter.

Fig. 75—Battle pictures (from the Dakota calendars).

Set-t´an states that one Cheyenne wearing a war bonnet was killed as he came out of a tipi (see figure 71). Other informants do not remember this, but say that the Kiowa captured a fine medicine lance in a feathered case, and also a pabón or Dog-soldier staff, of the kind carried by those who were pledged to die at their post. The stream where the battle took place is since, called Sä´k`ota Ä´otón-de P'a, "Creek where the Cheyennes were massacred." The summer of the occurrence is sometimes called Á'k`ádá Pai, "Wailing sun-dance summer," because, although the Kiowa wailed for their dead, the sun dance was not on that account abandoned.

WINTER 1837—38

A´daltem Etkúegán-de Sai, "Winter that they dragged the head." The figure above the winter mark shows a horseman carrying a bloody scalp upon a lance and dragging a bloody head at the end of a reata. 273

Fig. 76 — Winter 1837—38—Head dragged.

Three Comanche, two men and a woman, were camped alone one night in a tipi on the Clear fork of the Brazos (Ä´sese P'a, "Wooden-arrowpoint river"), in Texas, when one of them noticed somebody raise the door-flap and then quickly drop it again; he told the others, and as silently and swiftly as possible they ran out, and jumping over a steep bank of the creek hid themselves just a moment before their enemies returned and fired into the vacated tipi. The Comanche returned the fire from their hiding place and then made their escape to a Kiowa camp near by. In the morning the Kiowa returned to the spot, together with the Comanche, and found a dead Arapaho lying where he had been shot; they scalped and beheaded him, and brought the head into camp dragging at the end of a reata. The old German captive, Bóiñ-edal, then a little boy and who had been with the Indians about two years, witnessed this barbarous spectacle and still remembers the thrill of horror which it sent through him.


Gúi-p'ágya Sä´k`ota Ĭmdóhä´pa-de Pai, "Summer that the Cheyenne attacked the camp on "Wolf river." The combined warriors of the Cheyenne and Arapaho organized a great war party against the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache, to revenge the defeats of the previous two years. They attacked the camps of the three confederated tribes on Wolf creek (Gui P'a), a short distance above where that stream joins Beaver creek and forms the North Canadian, in Oklahoma. They killed several women who were out digging roots and some men whom they found out on the prairie after buffalo, but were unable to take the camp, as the Kiowa and their allies sheltered themselves in holes dug in the ground so as to form a circular breastwork. Among others the Kiowa lost Gui-k`ate and several other distinguished men.

Fig. 77—Summer 1838—Attacked by Cheyenne.

The figure shows the warriors of the three confederate tribes, indicated by the three tipis, within the breastwork, with the bullets and arrows flying toward them, the bullets (from which it is evident that the Cheyenne had some guns) being represented by black dots with wavy lines streaming behind to indicate the motion.

WINTER 1838—39

While the Kiowa were all together in their winter camp some who had gone out upon the prairie discovered a party approaching. They returned and gave the alarm, upon which all the warriors went out and 274 attacked the strangers, who proved to be Arapaho, killing them all. Set-t'an's father, Tĕn-píäk`ia ("Heart-eater"), was wounded in the leg in this fight, as indicated by the figure of a man, with blood flowing from a wound in the leg, below the battle picture.

Fig. 78—Winter 1838—39—Battle with Arapaho.


Píhó K`ádó, "Peninsula sun dance." The peninsula or bend is indicated by a line bending around the medicine lodge. The dance is thus designated because held in the píhó, or peninsula, on the south side of the Washita, a short distance below Walnut creek, within the present limits of the reservation. This dance simply serves as a tally date, as nothing of more special interest is recorded for the summer. It would seem that the incursions of the Cheyenne and Arapaho had prevented the usual holding of the k`ádó for the two preceding years.

Fig. 79—Summer 1839—Peninsula sun dance.

WINTER 1839—40

Tä´dalkop Sai, "Smallpox winter." The Kiowa were ravaged by the smallpox, the second visitation of that disease within their memory, the first having been in 1818. The disease is indicated in the conventional Indian manner by means of the figure of a man covered with red spots (compare figures from Mallery's Dakota calendar; see also 1861—62 and 1892). It was brought by some visiting Osage, and spread at once through the Kiowa, Apache, and Comanche, killing a great number in each tribe. The Kiowa and Apache fled to the Staked plain to escape it, and the Comanche in some other direction.

Fig. 80—Winter 1839—40—Smallpox.

This was the great smallpox epidemic which began on the upper Missouri in the summer of 1837 and swept the whole plains north and south, destroying probably a third, if not more, of the native inhabitants, some whole tribes being nearly exterminated. The terribly fatal result of smallpox among Indians is due largely to the fact that their only treatment for this disease and for measles, both of which came to them from the whites, is the sweat bath followed by the cold plunge. In this instance the disease first broke 275 out among the passengers of a steamer in the Missouri river above Fort Leavenworth, and although every effort was made to warn the Indians by sending runners in advance, the sickness was communicated to them. It appeared first among the Mandan about the middle of July, 1837, and practically destroyed that tribe, reducing them in a few weeks from about sixteen hundred to thirty-one souls. Their neighboring and allied tribes, the Arikara and Minitarí, were reduced immediately after from about four thousand to about half that number. The artist Catlin gives a melancholy account of the despair and destruction of the Mandan.

Fig. 81—Smallpox (from the Dakota calendars).

From the Mandan it spread to the north and west among the Crows, Asiniboin, and Blackfeet. Among the last named it is estimated to have destroyed from six to eight thousand (Clark, 13). As the plains tribes were then almost unknown to the general government, we find little of all this in the official reports beyond the mention that over sixty lodges of Yanktonais Dakota—perhaps four hundred persons—died by this disease about the same time (Report, 75). In 1838 it reached the Pawnee, being communicated by some Dakota prisoners captured by them, in the spring of that year. From the best information it seems probable that at least two thousand Pawnee perished (Clark, 14), about double the whole population of the tribe today. It probably continued southward through the Osage until it reached the Kiowa and Comanche the next year, although it is possible that it may have come more directly from the east through the emigrating Chickasaw, who brought it with them to Indian Territory in the spring of 1838 (Report, 76). We learn (Gregg, 6) that the disease ravaged New Mexico in the spring of 1840 and was again carried east to the frontiers of the United States by the Santa Fé traders.


Fig. 82—Summer 1840—Red-bluff sun dance.

Gúadal Dóhá K`údó, "Red-bluff sun dance," so called because held at Gúadal Dóha on the north side of the South Canadian, about the mouth of Mustang creek, in the panhandle of Texas. The (red) figure over the medicine lodge is intended to represent the "red bluff." The Red hills on the North Canadian above Fort Reno are called by the same name, but distinguished by the prefix Sä´k`odal, "Cheyenne."

The prominent event of this summer was the peace made by the Arapaho and Cheyenne with the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache—a 276 peace which, with trifling interruptions, has been kept to this day. According to the Kiowa account, the first overtures were made by the Cheyenne, who sent two delegates with proposals, but the Kiowa were suspicious and sent them back. The Cheyenne then made a second attempt, with more success, and a peace was concluded. The Arapaho were included in this treaty, but, as the Kiowa say, had always been in doubtful friendship, even when their allies, the Cheyenne, were at war with the Kiowa. On the occasion of the notable massacre of Cheyenne, in 1837, the Arapaho were camped with the Kiowa and left to give the alarm to their friends. This agrees with the conduct of the Arapaho in more recent times in remaining neutral while their Cheyenne confederates were at war with the whites.

WINTER 1840—41

Ká-i Sabíña Dam Sai, "Hide-quiver war expedition winter." The figure of a quiver is above the winter mark. This winter is so called on account of a notable war expedition made by the old men into Mexico, they equipping themselves with old bows and quivers of buffalo skin, as all the younger warriors had already gone against Mexico, carrying all the more efficient weapons and ornate quivers. The latter were usually of panther skin or Mexican leather, but never of deer, antelope, or buffalo skin if it could be avoided.

Fig. 83—Winter 1840—41—Hide-quiver war expedition.


As the Kiowa were constantly moving about this summer, no sun dance was held. The Arapaho met and attacked a party of Pawnee at T'aíñ Dóhá, "White bluff," on the upper South Canadian, near the line of New Mexico, and killed all of them. The Pawnee threw up breastworks, but, according to the Kiowa account, an Arapaho medicine-man who knew the proper medicine song sat down facing the breastworks and sang the song, moving his hands as in the hand game, and thus "drove them out," when they were killed in line one after another as they ran. The Kiowa were not present at the fight, but met and joined the Arapaho just afterward, when a final treaty of peace was concluded between the two tribes. Stumbling-bear visited the spot some years afterward and saw the skeletons of the dead Pawnee warriors still lying as they fell.

Fig. 84—Summer 1841—Pawnee fight.

The figure represents the bluff with the Pawnee below it, the tribe being indicated by the peculiar Pawnee scalplock and headdress (see 277 winters 1849—50 and 1852—53, and summer 1851). The breastwork is omitted, perhaps through oversight. As there was no sun dance this summer, the medicine lodge is not represented. It will be noted that the "white bluff" is drawn only in outline, i. e. white, while the figure of the "red bluff" (summer 1840) is filled in with red.

WINTER 1841—42

´dalhabä´-k`ia Ehótal-de Sai "Winter that ´dalhabä´k`ia was killed." ´dal-habä´ or âdl-habä´, "sloping, or one-sided hair," is the name applied to a style of wearing the hair shaved close over the right side of the head, so as to display the ear pendants, and at full length on the left. The hair is not braided, but is sometimes tied, and the scalplock is worn as usual. The man killed, who was a noted war chief, wore his hair in this fashion, hence his name. The picture is intended to represent the style of hair dress, with the mark of a wound on the body to show where he was shot. The bird on top of his head is intended to represent an ornament of red woodpecker feathers, which he wore on the left side of his head. Another Kiowa chief present on this occasion was K'adógyä´`tó, "Old-man-of-the-sun-dance," so called because consecrated to the taíme, the sacred image of the sun dance.

Fig. 85—Winter 1841—42—´dalhabä´k`ia killed.

The fight occurred in the fall of 1841 on a small stream called by the Kiowa Tóñ-zó`gódal P'a, "Swift-water river," or Päbo P'a, "American-horse river," south of Red river, near the Staked plain, and apparently a head branch of Pease river in northwestern Texas. The whole Kiowa tribe was camped on the stream when a party of Texan soldiers advanced against them. Five scouts who were in advance of the soldiers were killed by the Kiowa and their horses captured, but with the loss of ´dalhabä´k`ia. Abandoning their camp, the Kiowa fled, but returning a few days later, they found the soldiers still there and succeeded in killing another. On account of the number of large American horses captured by the Kiowa in this encounter the stream was afterward called by them "American-horse river."

The party encountered by the Kiowa on this occasion was the Texan Santa Fé expedition, and the fight occurred on August 30, 1841. The whole story as given by Kendall corresponds remarkably with the Indian account, which was obtained without any knowledge of the printed statement on the part of either the author or his informants, having been handed down orally for over half a century. The affair occurred, as already stated, on the edge of the Staked plain while the party was searching for Red river and near a stream which Kendall calls the Quintufue. Several days previously the expedition had met 278 a number of Kiowa, who had acted insolently, and were apparently responsible later on for several missing horses and mules.

On the 28th the Texans had crossed the stream and come suddenly upon the main camp of the Kiowa, who fled at their approach.

Scarcely had we unsaddled our horses and turned them loose before one of our hunting parties came in and reported that a large body of Indians were in our immediate vicinity, and that they had driven off an immense cavallada or drove of horses. Soon another party arrived with information that they had met a small body of Indians, one of whom spoke Spanish. They said that they were Caygüas, and on being interrogated concerning the direction towards Santa Fé, gave equivocal answers. They pointed to the southwest, however, to what appeared a passage through the hills, and said that was the direction to Chihuahua. They pretended to know nothing about Rio Colorado or Red river. These Indians were mounted on fine horses, were dressed in buckskin, and armed with lances and bows and arrows.

The stream upon which we were now encamped appeared to have its source in the long chain of hills upon our left and ran in nearly a northeast direction. A short distance above us, occupying a beautiful situation on the same stream, the main camp of the Indians in our neighborhood was discovered. It had apparently been just deserted, the inhabitants in their great haste to drive off and secure their horses not having time even to cache their other property. Tent poles, skins, numerous rough utensils, besides a quantity of dried buffalo, mustang, and deer meat were found precisely as they had left them. The latter we appropriated to our own use, and in our half-starving condition was found extremely palatable....

Two days later they were preparing for their morning start, when suddenly a young man came dashing into camp from the northward, evidently much agitated, and announced that a large body of Indians were pursuing a party of our men directly towards us. Scarcely had he finished speaking before firing was heard but a few hundred yards distant, a slight roll of the prairie concealing the combatants from our sight. Fast as they could mount horses a party of some fifty of our men dashed off toward the scene of strife, while the wagons were drawn up in square, the cattle and horses brought inside, and every preparation made to resist an attack, which was now considered certain. The first impression was that the scouting parties had been entirely cut off and that these successes would induce the Indians to attack our main body.

Just as the party of our men who had gone out to the relief of their companions reached the spot the Indians retreated; but their bloody work was done. Scattered about within the circumference of a few yards were the dead bodies of Lieutenant Hull and four of our men, stripped, scalped, and horribly mutilated, while the appearance of the ground gave strong evidence that manfully and with strong hearts they had resisted the attack of their adversaries. They had left camp but a short time previous, probably with the hope of finding water, and in returning had been thus cruelly murdered. But one look at their mangled bodies was sufficient to stir deep feelings of revenge in every heart, and madly did our men spur their horses in pursuit, with the vain hope of avenging the death of their companions. The Indians were at least four times their number, yet they retreated, and being far better mounted were able to keep out of the way. So near, however, were our men that they could plainly see the dead bodies of several of the Indians packed upon extra horses they had with them for that purpose. The prairie warriors always have horses trained especially to carry off their dead or wounded companions, which they take with them on going into action, and it is considered one of the greatest calamities that can befall them if they are compelled to leave one of their number in the hands of an enemy.

The pursuit of the bloodthirsty Caygüas, for such the Indians proved to be, was continued by our men until it was evident that they could not be overtaken, and 279 then reluctantly given up. Several times during the chase the Indians reined up their well-trained horses on the higher rolls of the prairies and formed in line as if intending to give battle; but before our men could get within gunshot they were off again with lightning speed across the plain. On returning to the spot where our men had fallen, a closer examination showed how hard and desperate had been the struggle. Lieutenant Hull had received no less than thirty arrow and lance wounds before he fell, and the broken stock of one of Colt's rifles was still retained in the grasp of a stout man named Mayby, plainly telling us that he had fought to the last, and that after discharging the piece he had still continued the combat. The heart of one of the men was cut out, and had not the Indians been driven off the other bodies would have been mutilated in the same way. Two of the horses of our unfortunate comrades were lanced close by; the others were probably in better condition and more able to run, and had been taken off as spoils by the savages. It was evident enough that Lieutenant Hull and his men had retreated from the Indians until they had found it impossible to elude them, and that they had then thrown themselves from their horses in a body and sold their lives at a fearful rate. The resistance they made had probably terrified their adversaries and induced them to fly when they saw our party coming up, although they outnumbered the Texans at least as three to one.

Fig. 86—Summer 1842—Repeated sun dance.

A party of fifty well-armed men, taking with them shovels, were sent out immediately on the melancholy errand of burying our murdered companions, while the main body retraced their steps toward the Quintufue...

They [the Kiowas] appear to be on terms of peace with the New Mexicans so far as it suits their interest and convenience—no further; at one time trading and exchanging their skins in amity, and almost in the same breath making a descent upon the unprotected frontiers, plundering and frequently murdering the inhabitants. When we passed through their country a party of Mexican traders were among them bartering meal, blankets, and trinkets for buffalo and deer skins. Some of these Mexicans we afterward saw, and from them learned that ten of their warriors, besides a principal chief, were killed by Lieutenant Hull and his brave companions before they were overpowered. The traders also gave us an account of their ceremonies on returning to camp with their scalps and trophies. A wild dance was executed by the braves in celebration of their victory, while the women tore their hair and faces and ran naked through the prickly pear and thorn bushes in token of their grief for the loss of their husbands and brothers (Kendall, 2).


Ä´dăldä K`ádó, "Repeated sun dance." The summer is called by this name because, as indicated in the figure, it was remarkable for two sun dances held at the same place on K`ádó P'a, or "Sun-dance creek" (Kiowa Medicine-lodge creek, which enters the North Canadian near 100°). This could happen only when two individuals in succession had been so instructed in dreams. In this instance the two dreamers belonged to different camps and made their requests of the taíme keeper almost simultaneously. After the first sun dance, when the taíme priest had gone home, instead of taking down the medicine lodge and building a new one, they decked it with fresh leaves and held the second dance in it. 280

WINTER 1842—43

Gaá-k`ódălte Hém-de Sai, "Winter that Crow-neck died." The chief Gaá-k`ódălte, or "Crow-neck," died in the late fall of 1842 at Gómgyä Dan, "Wind canyon," above Gáñta P'a, "Trading river," an upper branch of Double-mountain fork of Brazos river in Texas. He was a Kiñep with a Crow wife (see summer, 1836), and was the adopted father of the German captive, Bóiñ-edal, already mentioned. The figure shows him in connection with a crow, to indicate his name.


Ä´ntsenkúădal-de K`ádó, "Nest-building sun dance." The figure is intended to show a bird's nest at the top of the center pole of the medicine lodge. This dance, like the last, was held on K`ádó P'a, which was a favorite resort for the purpose, as the name indicates, at least five Kiowa sun dances having been held there. The occasion is rendered memorable by the fact that a crow built her nest and laid her eggs upon the center pole of the medicine lodge after the dance was over.

Fig. 87—Winter 1842—43—Crow-neck died.

After the dance a war party under (the former) Big-bow and Kicking-bird went into Texas and captured a number of horses. On their return they met a party of soldiers carrying American flags, and believing them to be Americans (i. e., Northerners, as distinguished from Texans), whom they regarded as friends, they shook hands with them and gave them back the horses. They afterward learned that the whites were Texans, who had adopted this stratagem to deceive them. The Texans also had with them a captive Comanche and a Mexican. The Kiowa rescued the Comanche, but left the Mexican, as no one wanted him.

WINTER 1843—44

The event here recorded occurred at or immediately after the sun dance in the summer of 1843, but is indicated above the winter mark as a matter of convenience. The figure represents a woman wounded in the breast.

After the women have cut down the trees for the medicine lodge they drag them to the place where the lodge is to be erected, escorted by a body of warriors in front and on each side. A warrior frequently invites a woman to get up and ride behind him, and the invitation is generally accepted. Among some tribes a procession in which the women ride behind the men is a feature of the ceremony. Although this is customary, 281 it sometimes gives rise to jealous feelings on the part of husbands or lovers. On this occasion, at the invitation of the chief Dohásän, a woman got upon his horse behind him, which so enraged her husband that he stabbed her. The woman recovered, and the husband received no other punishment than a rebuke from Dohásän, who told him that he ought to have better sense, as he (Dohásän) was a great chief and an old man—too old to be running after girls.

Fig. 88—Summer 1843—Nest-building sun dance.

Immediately after the dance, a war party under Gíădedéete (Faces-the-line), went against the Ä´-t'a`ká-i (Timber Mexicans) or Mexicans of Tamaulipas. They killed a number of people and destroyed houses, but on recrossing the Rio Grande encountered a body of Mexican troops when Gíădedéete and two others were killed.

In the following winter K`ódal-aká-i, "Wrinkled-neck," a clerk of the Bents, built a log trading house about a mile below Gúadal Dóha, "Red bluff," on the South Canadian, near the mouth of Mustang creek and a few miles above Adobe Walls, in the Texas panhandle (see winters 1845—46 and 1864—65). It is also stated that the same man, at a later period, built another trading post at a fine spring a few miles above this one at Gúadal Dóha on the same (north) side of the river.

Fig. 89—Winter 1843—44—Woman stabbed.


K`ódalpäk`iä K`ádó, "Dakota sun dance." A number of mounted Dakota paid a friendly visit to the Kiowa to dance and receive presents of ponies, while the Kiowa were engaged in the sun dance, which was held, like the last two preceding, on K`ádó P'a or Kiowa Medicine-lodge creek. Although the Dakota had been at war with the Kiowa when the latter lived in the north, the two tribes had now been friends for a long time, so long that the old men do not remember when the peace was made.

Fig. 90—Summer 1844—Dakota sun dance.

The Dakota are represented by the figure of a man's bust, wearing a k`ódalpä or necklace bracelet of long shell or bone tubes, popularly known among the traders as Iroquois beads. The Kiowa call the Dakota the K'ódalpä-k`íägo, "Necklace people," and say that the Dakota were the original wearers of such necklaces.

The explanation appears to be a myth founded on a misconception of the tribal sign for Dakota, which is the same as for necklace, i.e., a sweeping pass of the hand across the throat, but commonly translated "beheaders" when applied to that tribe. 282

WINTER 1844—45

Fig. 91—Winter 1844—45—Ä´-tahá-ik`í killed.

Ä´-tahá-ik`í Ehótal-de Sai, "Winter that War-bonnet-man was killed." The figure shows a man wearing a war-bonnet (ä´-tahá-i) and with a wound in his breast. He is further distinguished by the crosses (stars) with which his war shirt is ornamented. This "medicine shirt" was covered with dark-blue stars, with a green moon in front, in addition to which he wore a fine war-bonnet. He was also called Sét-k`ódalte, "Bear-neck."

The brother of Zépko-eéte (Big-bow, grandfather of the present old Big-bow, from whom he takes his name) had been killed in Tamaulipas, and at the last sun dance Big-bow had "given the pipe" to the Kiowa and their allies to revenge him. A large party of over two hundred warriors, including a number of Apache and Comanche, set out under Big-bow, and after crossing the Rio Grande and approaching the Salado (Señ P'a, "Cactus river") they reached a stone fort, in which a small number of Mexicans, not soldiers, had taken refuge. The Mexicans had with them their families, also two Indians, who wore feather crests upon their heads. The fort was so provided with loopholes that they could fire upon the attacking party, themselves remaining concealed. The first attack was repulsed, and Ä´-tahá-ik`í was killed; but the besiegers succeeded in piling wood against the log walls of the fort and setting fire to it, when all the defenders were either burned or killed as they tried to escape. ´dalpepte took part in this affair. After this fight the Kiowa warriors went farther into Mexico and had another encounter, in which Big-bow, the leader, was killed, in consequence of which the war party returned home.

Fig. 92—Giving the war pipe (from the Dakota calendars).

"Giving the pipe" is the ceremonial way of enlisting recruits for a large war party. For small expeditions the invitation is given as described in treating of the Gúa-dágya (winter 1862—63). At the time of the annual summer assemblage for the sun dance the organizer of the expedition, who must necessarily be a person of some prominence, sends a pipe to the leaders of each of the principal warrior orders—Kâ´itséñko, T'äñpéko, etc.—in turn. If these leaders sanction the enterprise, they themselves smoke and present the pipe to the members of their orders at their next meeting, and all who smoke engage themselves by this act to join the expedition at the time appointed by the original giver of the pipe. No one is obliged to smoke against his will, but when a sufficient number have determined upon the expedition, it takes precedence of all others, and no other parties or individuals may start out against the enemy in any direction until this expedition is concluded. 283


Tsó-`k`ódal K`ádó, "Stone-necklace sun dance." The figure above the medicine lodge is intended to represent a girl, distinguished by short sleeves, with a stone hanging from her neck.

Fig. 93—Summer 1845—Stone-necklace sun dance.

This dance, like the three preceding, was held on K ádó P'a (Kiowa Medicine-lodge creek), which was a favorite stream for the purpose, on account of the abundance there of cottonwoods, of which the medicine lodge was constructed. The event which distinguished the dance was the death of a girl named Tsó-k`ódalte (for Tsó-k`ódalpä-te), "Stone-necklace," who was much beloved by her father, and the consequent wailing for her during the season of the ceremony.

WINTER 1845—46

In this winter K`ódal-aká-i, "Wrinkled-neck," built a trading post on the South Canadian. The picture is sufficiently suggestive. This post was in the panhandle of Texas, on the north bank of the South Canadian (Gúadal P'a, "Red river"), just above Bosque Grande creek and about 2 miles above the entrance of Red-deer creek (Ko`gá-i P'a, "Elk creek"). It was in a swampy and well-timbered location, just west of one of the main trails from Arkansas river southward. It was owned by William Bent, called by the Kiowa Máñtahák`ia ("Hook-nose-man," "Roman-nose") who, in the spring of 1844, had built a trading post, as already noted, at Gúadal Dóha, higher up on the same river. Both were in charge of a clerk known to the Kiowa as K`ódal-aká-i, "Wrinkled-neck."

Fig. 94—Winter 1845—46-Wrinkled-neck's trading post.

The removal of Bent's base of operations from the Arkansas to the Canadian seems to have marked the southward drifting of the tribes, in consequence of the destruction of the buffalo and the encroachments of the Dakota, as noted by Frémont and other western explorers of this period. At the same time the Kiowa had dealings with another trading post, kept by William Allison, known to them as Tsódal-héñte, "No-arm," on Arkansas river at the junction of upper Walnut creek, in Kansas. As has been stated, the first trading post ever established in their country was built by Chouteau, on Cache creek, near the present Fort Sill.


Pá-guñhéñté Äópäñ-de K`ádó, "Sun dance when Hornless-bull was made a Kâ´itséñi-k`ia." The figure beside the medicine lodge represents 284 a man with the feather headdress and paint of the Kâ´itséñko, the chief order of the warrior society. There is nothing to indicate the name of the individual, which is carried in the memory of the artist. This dance was held on a small tributary of the North Canadian, a short distance above Kiowa Medicine-lodge creek.

The Yä´`pähe or military organization of the Kiowa has been already noted. The highest order was the Kâ´itséñko, or "Real dogs (?)," a select body of ten of the bravest warriors, who were pledged to lead every desperate charge and to keep their place in the front of battle until they won victory or death. With this purpose in view, their leader carried a ceremonial arrow, with which he anchored himself to the ground by means of a broad sash of elk-skin, which encircled his neck like a collar and hung down at his right side to the earth; at the lower end, where it trailed upon the ground, there was a hole, and when forming line for the charge it was his duty to dismount in front of his warriors, and, by thrusting the arrow through this hole, to fix himself in this position, there to remain until his party was victorious, or until, seeing that all was lost, they gave him liberty to retreat by pulling out the arrow from the ground. Should they forget this in the hurry of their flight, he must remain and die at his post. During the action, also, he was obliged to remain stationary, without endeavoring in any way to avoid the danger.

Fig. 95—Summer 1846—Hornless-bull initiated.

Whenever a leader died or was killed another was selected from among the Kâ´itséñko to carry the arrow. As the regulations governing it were adhered to very strictly, it can readily be understood that on the occasion of an election the office usually sought the man. As the Kiowa or other tribes, however, had no desire to sacrifice their bravest men needlessly, the ceremonial arrow or its equivalent was carried only when the expedition meant war to the bitter end against the enemy. In the absence of this emblem of his rank the owner took his place as an ordinary warrior. He might even lend it to a warrior who wished to distinguish himself in a war party while the owner remained at home; but should he do this when any serious expedition was in preparation, he was considered to be a coward and was degraded from his rank. The leaders of the Tóñkóñko, "Black legs," another warrior order, carried a lance somewhat resembling a shepherd's crook and called a pabón, which had nearly the same purpose as the arrow of the Kâ´itséñko. The noted chief Set-ängya, who was killed at Fort Sill in 1871, was the leader of the Kâ´itséñko at that time, and deliberately invited death in accordance with the obligation of his office.

The Kâ´itséñko initiations took place only on the occasion of a sun dance and were not of frequent occurrence, so that the event was 285 always a matter of considerable importance. The membership was always kept up to the requisite number of ten. The prominent feature of the ceremony was the investiture of the new members with the ópäm-yaípo, or collar sash of the order; hence the verb äópä, "to initiate into the Kâ´itséñko," which is derived from the verb äópäñ, "to tie with a rope around the neck." This ceremony evidently explains the picture from the Dakota calendar (figure 96) which Mallery translates "they made bands of strips of blankets in the winter," and goes on to say: "These bands were of mixed colors and reached from the shoulders to the heels. They also made rattles of deer-hoofs by tying them to sticks with bead-covered strings. The man has a sash over his shoulders and a rattle in his hand." The rattle was also a part of the ceremonial equipment of the Dog-soldiers, and as the Dakota calendar does not distinguish between seasons, the ceremony may as easily have taken place in the summer, the ordinary season for Indian celebrations on the plains.

Fig. 96—Dog-Soldier initiated(?) (from the Dakota calendars).

Of the ten ópäm-yaípo, the principal one, called the yaípo-kóñkya, "black rope," was made of elk-skin colored black and was worn by the leader, the most noted of whom in recent memory was Set-ängya. Three were made of red cloth and were called yaípo-gúădal, "red ropes," while the remaining six were made of elk-skin dyed red and were called simply ópäm-yaípo. Any of the Kâ´itséñko was at liberty, if he did not choose to go on a particular expedition, to lend his sash to another for the occasion; but if cowardice was suspected to be his motive for this action he was degraded from his rank and the sash taken from him and given to a braver man. Usually each one had a younger partner (tsä), whom he allowed to wear his sash while in camp or even on less important expeditions, but when any great war party was on foot, he must wear it and go himself or run the risk of being considered a coward. When a wearer became too old to go to war, he formally resigned his sash to some younger man whom he deemed worthy to wear it, the recipient acknowledging the honor with presents of blankets or other property. Sometimes the sash was publicly taken from a warrior grown too old to wear it in battle, but this was not necessarily regarded as a degradation when there was no implication of cowardice.

WINTER 1846—47

Sénpága Etá`ga-de Sai, "Winter when they shot the mustache." The figure represents a man shot in the mustache or upper lip by an arrow. The long hair and the breech-cloth shows that he was an Indian, and the beard or mustache is exaggerated to accentuate the idea. Mustaches are not infrequent among the older men of the Kiowa, and Set-ängya had almost a full beard. 286

While the Kiowa were encamped for the winter on Elk creek, a tributary of the North fork of Red river, within the limits of the present reservation, a band of Pawnee coming on foot stole a number of their horses. The Kiowa pursued them northward and overtook them on the Washita and recovered the horses after a fight in which one Pawnee was killed. In this action Set-ängya engaged a Pawnee and was about to stab him with his lance when, his foot slipped on the snow, causing him to fall, and the Pawnee sent an arrow through Set-ängya's upper lip.


Fig. 97—Winter 1846—47—Mustache shooting.

Mâ´nka-gúădal Ehótal-de Pai, "Summer that Red-sleeve was killed." The figure shows the Indian leader with his war-bonnet and red sleeve. The medicine lodge is absent, showing that there was no sun dance that year.

Mânka-gúădal is the Kiowa name of the Comanche chief Red-sleeve (Îkämosa?), who was killed in an attack against a party of Santa Fé traders in Kansas, where the Santa Fé trail crossed Pawnee fork of the Arkansas, below the present Fort Larned, which was not built until 1859. Pawnee fork, properly called by the Kiowa Aíkoñ P'a, "Dark-timber river," is sometimes called by them from this circumstance Mâ´nka-gúădal-de P'a, "Red-sleeve's river." According to the story told by the Kiowa, they and the Comanche were out in search of the Pawnee when they met at this point a large party of white men with wagons—evidently Santa Fé traders. Red-sleeve wanted to attack them, but Set-ängya, the Kiowa leader, refused, saying that the whites were their friends. Red-sleeve then taunted the Kiowa as cowards, put on his war-bonnet, and, calling his Comanche, attacked the traders. The Kiowa, wishing to avoid trouble, drew off. About the first fire a bullet went through the leg of Red-sleeve and into the spine of his horse, so that the animal fell, pinning his wounded rider to the ground. He called on Set-ängya to help him, but the Kiowa chief refused on account of the taunt of cowardice, and the white men came up to Red-sleeve and shot him.

Fig. 98—Summer 1847—Red-sleeve killed.

As the government had but little communication with the tribes of the southern plains until some years after the Mexican war, there is no direct notice of this occurrence in the official reports, but a letter by agent Fitzpatrick in the report of the Indian Commissioner for 1848, the year after the attack upon the train, bears out the statement of the 287 Kiowa that they were anxious to keep peace with the whites, even at the risk of quarreling with the Comanche and losing some very profitable business opportunities. Speaking of depredations upon parties traveling on the emigrant roads and the Santa Fé trail, he says:

Fig. 99—Winter 1847—48—Winter camp.

Before leaving there [Bent's fort] last February I had an interview with some of the Kiaway chiefs, and who have heretofore been allies of the Comanches. They expressed themselves as sorry for having anything to do with the war against us, and promised to quit their country and all intercourse with the Comanches and join the Cheyennes on the Arkansas, who are the friends of the whites. This course I approved, and since my departure from that country last spring learned that nearly all the Kiaways have moved to the country of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes and are living in perfect amity with the surrounding tribes.

He also states that there seem to have been fewer attacks made upon travelers along the Santa Fé road recently, which he can account for only on the supposition that "the Indians having, in 1846 and 1847, secured so much booty by their daring outrages upon travelers, are now and have been the past summer luxuriating in and enjoying the spoils" (Report, 77).

WINTER 1847—48

Fig. 100—Summer 1848—Initiation sun dance.

They camped all winter on T'aiñ P'a, "White river," an extreme upper branch of the South Canadian (perhaps identical with Major Long's creek). The figure represents the winter camp with the brush windbreak around it.

Fig. 101—Winter 1848—Antelope Drive.


Ópäñ K`ádó, "Kâ´itséñko initiation sun dance." This dance was held on Arkansas river near Bent's fort, in Colorado, and was distinguished by the initiation of several Kâ´itséñko (see summer 1846). The figure represents an initiate with his (red) body paint and ópäm-yaípo.

WINTER 1848—49

The Kiowa were camped on Arkansas river near Bent's fort and made "antelope medicine" (ät'á´kagúa) for a great antelope drive. Compare the figures from the Dakota calendars of Mallery (figure 102). 288

The antelope drive was made only in seasons of scarcity, when the supply of buffalo meat was insufficient, and only in the winter, at which season the antelope are accustomed to go in herds, while in the spring and summer they scatter. Such a drive was an event so rare that one informant over 60 years of age had seen but one in his lifetime.

When it has been decided to have an antelope drive, the "antelope medicine-man" builds a special tipi and remains in it all night, singing his medicine songs until daylight. In the morning he starts out in the probable direction of the antelope, carrying in each hand a rod about two feet long decorated at each end with eagle feathers and in the center with a wheel from which depend the feathers of other carnivorous birds, his face is painted white, a buffalo robe is thrown over his shoulder, and a whistle hangs from his neck. He is accompanied by the whole tribe, mounted and on foot—men, women, and children. On arriving at the place selected for the hunt, he sits upon the ground, facing the direction in which the antelope are supposed to be; in most other Indian ceremonies the priest faces the east. Beside him sit some of the principal men, while behind stand several women. The two men chosen to sit next him on each side must be men known as successful in the hunt and on the warpath. He plants the two decorated sticks in the ground in front of him, lights his pipe, and begins to smoke; after smoking a little while he hands the rods to the men sitting next him, crossing his right hand over his left as he does so, and giving their hands a peculiar pressure four times. These two men then rise, put their hands upon his head—a gesture of prayer or invocation—step across each into the place of the other so as to again reverse the position of the rods, and then, after the same four hand pressures, again plant the rods in front of the priest.

Fig. 102—Antelope drives (from the Dakota calendars).

Two other men, noted war chiefs, then take their places beside the priest, while the first two sit next them. Grasping the upright sticks at the top, the priest now sings the first antelope song, blowing upon the whistle at intervals, while all the surrounding men and women join in the song, and the four men sitting beside him beat time on the ground. Four different songs are sung in this manner, the sticks being grasped lower down at each song, until at the last song the priest pulls them out from the ground, and, holding them by their lower ends, 289 pushes them out alternately in front of himself, while the whole company—mostly women now, as the men have gone on ahead—swell the chorus, waving their arms with a sweeping motion, as if grasping at the antelope. Then the two war chiefs place their hands upon his head as before, and he gives them the sticks, with four other hand pressures. Taking the rods, the two chiefs run forward on foot at full speed on diverging lines until they meet two horsemen, to whom they deliver the rods, and then return to the place where the priest is sitting with the women and children. In the meantime the hunters have ridden far out in a semicircle, so as to inclose a large area of country. The two hunters who have taken the rods now also ride far out on diverging lines, then turn, cross each other's paths, and return to the priest. The four songs "draw the minds" of the antelope to the priests, and the crossing of the paths typifies the surrounding of the game by the lines of hunters.

Fig. 103—Summer 1849—Cholera sun dance.

The horsemen now begin to close in toward the center, driving before them the antelope and any other animals that may be within the semicircle; as they approach, the women close in from, the opposite side, and as the circle contracts, with the frightened animals running about within it, they seize them with their hands or with reatas. It is said that once, in such a drive, a woman caught a coyote by throwing her arms about its neck. No shooting is allowed within the circle, but any antelope that break through are pursued and shot outside (for other methods, see winter 1860—61).

SUMMER, 1849

Mayíagyă´ K`ádó, "Cramp (i. e., cholera) sun dance." The figure beside the medicine lodge represents a man with his limbs drawn up by the pangs of cholera, which the Kiowa name "the cramp," from its characteristic feature. Compare the corresponding figure (104) from the Dakota calendar for the same disease.

This was during the great cholera epidemic that swept the country in the spring and summer of 1849, which was carried to the plains by the California and Oregon emigrants and by some of the tribes then in process of removal from the east. The Kiowa remember this as the most terrible experience within their history, far exceeding in fatality the smallpox of nine years before. It was a disease before entirely unknown to them, and was particularly dreaded on account of its dreadful suddenness, men who had been in perfect health in the morning being dead a few hours later. The disease appeared immediately after the sun dance, which was held on Mule creek (Ädóä P'a, "Tipi windbreak river"), between Medicine-lodge creek and the Salt fork of the Arkansas, and, like the previous smallpox, it was brought by visiting Osage who attended the dance. During the performance a man 290 became inspired or "crazy," as in the ghost dance, and prophesied that something terrible was about to happen after the taíme had been returned to its box. Hardly was the dance over and the taíme put away when a man was attacked by this strange disease and died in a few hours; then another became sick and died as suddenly, and another, until in a few days the epidemic spread through the tribe, killing great numbers, including an unusual proportion of medicine-men. The Kiowa say that half their number perished during its prevalence; this is probably an exaggeration, but whole families and camps were exterminated and their tipis were left standing empty and deserted. Many in their despair committed suicide, but the survivors saved themselves by scattering in different directions until the disease had spent its fury.

Fig. 104—Cholera (from the Dakota calendars).

The tribes of the lake region and those which had been recently removed to Indian Territory generally escaped the disease, but among the wild tribes of the plains, from the Dakota to the Comanche, the ravages of the cholera during this season were as awful as among the white population of the eastern states. The western Dakota, who suffered severely, believed that the disease had been deliberately introduced by the whites for their more speedy extermination (Report, 78). The agent for the Pawnee states that up to June of 1849 twelve hundred and thirty-four persons, or nearly one-fourth of the tribe, had already died, and the disease was still making fearful ravages among them, while the survivors were in such dread of the terrible scourge that no persuasion could induce them to bury the dead, and within a short distance of the agency it was not unusual to find the unburied corpses partially devoured by wolves (Report, 79).

In the spring of 1850 an attempt was made to assemble the tribes of the southern plains for the purpose of making treaties with them to insure the safety of the emigrant roads. The Comanche, however, declined to attend on account of the cholera, which they said their medicine-men had predicted would be communicated to them again by the whites unless they kept at a proper distance until the grass had died in the fall, when the cholera would die out with it, and they would no longer be afraid to meet their white friends (Report, 80). This caused a postponement of the negotiations, which resulted later in the treaties of Fort Laramie in 1851 and Fort Atkinson in 1853.

WINTER 1849—50

The Kiowa killed several of the Pawnee and were received by their friends with a dance on returning to camp. The figure over the winter mark (figure 105) represents a Pawnee, as shown by the peculiar shaving 291 of the head, with two long scalp-locks or "horns." In this connection Dunbar says:

The name Pawnee is most probably derived from páriki, a horn, and seems to hare been once used by the Pawnees themselves to designate their peculiar scalp lock. From the fact that this was the most noticeable feature in their costume the name came naturally to be the denominative term of the tribe (Clark, 18. See also summers 1841 and 1851, and winter 1852—53).

The half circle above represents the circle of dancers opening in the direction from which the warriors are returning, and the cross in the center represents a fire made of a pile of buffalo chips around which they danced.

The Kiowa were camped in two divisions near the Salt fork of Arkansas river when a war party of Pawnee stole the horses of the first camp, whose warriors at once started in pursuit. In the meantime another party of Pawnee stole a number of horses from the Kiowa at the other camp, who also sent their warriors in pursuit of the thieves. The first Kiowa party overtook the Pawnee warriors, dismounted, and attacked them, killing one. While this was transpiring the other band of the Pawnee came up in the rear and stole the horses from which the riders had dismounted to fight. The second Kiowa party, coming up behind the Pawnee, at once attacked them, killed four, and recovered nearly all the horses.

As the victorious Kiowa warriors approached their home camp after this double pursuit and encounter, they imitated the cry of a wolf, to let their friends know that they had killed some of the Pawnee—designated as "Wolf-people" in the Kiowa language and in the sign language of the plains—and their friends at once formed the circle and began the dance to receive them, as indicated in the figure. The dance performed on this occasion is a peculiar one, with a particularly pleasing song accompaniment.

The scalp dance is called ´daldá-`gúăn, literally "hair-kill dance." Should one of the war party have been killed, all the others go into mourning (dóát) and do not rejoice or paint themselves as they return, even though bringing back a scalp. In this case they hold no dance, but sacrifice the scalp to the sun by "throwing it away" on some hillside. If, on the contrary, they have taken one or more scalps without the loss of one of their own party, they return to camp in full war dress, including their war-bonnets, and with faces painted black, to show that they have killed an enemy. They enter the camp running, to imitate a charge, firing their guns and discharging arrows, to show how they had met and struck the foe; if they approached in silence, they might be mistaken for enemies. Their friends run out to meet them, shouting "Ĭmkágyä´gya!" ("They are coming in triumph!"), and at once commence preparations for the dance. The entry is generally made in the morning, or perhaps just after noon, in order to give plenty of time to prepare for the dance; should they reach the camp late in the evening, 292 the entry is postponed until the next morning. The warriors take the women up behind them on their horses and ride around the circle singing, while the scalps, stretched over hoops and painted red on the inside, are carried at the ends of poles about 6 feet long by other women in the dance; at night a fire is built in the center of the circle. As the interpreter said, in his quaint English, "Everybody very happy time like picnic." No men excepting those of the returned war party engage in the dance, but all the women take part. The dance may continue every afternoon and night for a month, after which the scalp is usually "thrown away" in some unfrequented spot by fastening it to the branch of a tree, or to the end of a pole planted on the hillside, with a prayer offering it to the sun. This act of sacrifice was called pä´ñgun, a word signifying "to give by throwing away."

Fig. 105—Winter 1849—50—Dance over slain Pawnee.

An instance of the employment of buffalo chips among the Crows in ceremonial dances of a warlike character is noted by an officer concerned in the Dakota campaign of 1876. Several officers and men had left camp for a short hunting trip—

Fig. 106—Summer 1850—Chinaberry sun dance.

They were sighted by the Crow scouts at some distance below and mistaken for Sioux, whereupon the latter made a tragical rush for our camp to give the alarm. As they appeared in view across the valley running in single file at a lively speed, occasionally deviating from a direct line to describe a small circle indicating that they had seen an enemy, quite an excitement was aroused in the camp. The soldiers gathered in throngs, while the Crows formed in line, shoulder to shoulder, behind a pile of buffalo chips placed for the purpose and stood there swaying their bodies and singing while the scouts approached. As the leader of the scouts came up he paused to kick over the pile of buffalo chips, which was equivalent to a solemn pledge to tell the truth, then sat down surrounded by his fellow Crows, and after resting a minute or two, told what he had seen (Montana, 1.)


Ä´`gótä K`ádó, "Chinaberry sun dance," so called because held near a thicket of these trees on Beaver creek (P'o P'a) or upper North Canadian river, a short distance above the junction of Wolf creek at Fort Supply, Oklahoma. In the figure the tree above the medicine lodge represents the chinaberry tree with its leaves and berries. No other event is recorded in connection with this summer.

WINTER 1850-51

Tañgíapá Ehótal-de Sai, "Winter that Tañgíapa was killed." The bust above the winter mark represents the man killed, whose name, 293 signifying a male deer, is indicated by the connected figure of a male (horned) deer.

Fig. 107—Winter 1850—51—Buck-deer killed.

He had led a small war party into Tamaulipas or the adjacent region beyond the Rio Grande. They overtook a party of Mexicans, and Tañgíapa, who was mounted, was pursuing a Mexican on foot and was just about to stab him with a lance when the Mexican turned and shot him through the body, and was himself immediately killed by the Kiowa warrior. Tañgíapa was carried into the mountains, where he died the same evening. No other Indian was killed.


Paiñ K`ádó, "Dusty sun dance." It was held on the north bank of the North Canadian, just below the junction of Wolf creek, near where the last sun dance had taken place. It is so called on account of a strong wind that prevailed during the ceremony, which kept the air filled with dust.

Fig. 108—Summer 1851—Dusty sun dance; flag stolen.

When the dance was over and the Kiowa had left the spot and gone northward toward the Arkansas, a band of the Pawnee came to the place and stole from the center pole of the medicine lodge the offerings which had been hung upon it as a sacrifice, including a number of blankets and a flag which had been given by the Kiowa to the Osage when the two tribes had made peace in 1834. The figure over the medicine lodge represents a Pawnee—indicated by the peculiar scalplock, as already described—holding a flag in his hand.

Fig. 109—Winter 1851—52—Woman frozen.

The Pawnee followed the trail of the Kiowa, and on coming near them set fire to the prairie to attract their attention. Two young men of the Kiowa went out to learn the cause of the fire and found the Pawnee party, who said that they had come with presents and goods to make peace and to trade with the Kiowa. The young men rejoined their party with the news, and the Kiowa, under chiefs Dohasän and Set-ängya, turned back to meet the Pawnee band and escort them to a camping place. As the latter were on foot, in accordance with their usual custom, they asked the Kiowa to carry for them the skin bags which they said contained the presents. The Kiowa took the bags upon their horses, but as they went along, knowing well the tricky character of their ostensible 294 friends, they opened several of the bags and found them filled, some with buffalo chips for fuel, and others with arrows, showing that the Pawnee force had come to fight as soon as a favorable opportunity offered. Disgusted by this treachery, they at once attacked and defeated them, killed the chief, who wore a shell gorget, and captured a boy, who was taken by Set-ängya himself. It was an expensive capture, however, as will appear later. The Kiowa lost two prominent men, Set-äyaí, "Bear-on-trees," and Tén-ät'ánte, "Little-heart." The fight occurred in Kansas, north of the head of Medicine-lodge creek.

WINTER 1851—52

Mä´ñyí Dó`gyähón-de Sai, "Winter the woman was frozen." The figure over the winter mark represents the woman, indicated by the dress and belt with disks of German silver.

During the winter the present chief, Zépko-eét-te, "Big-bow," then a young man, stole a very pretty woman whose husband was away on the warpath, and took her to his own home camp. On coming near his father's tipi he concealed the woman among the trees and went into the tipi to get something to eat before going on. His father, who knew what he had done, held him and prevented his return to the woman waiting outside, who remained there exposed to the extreme cold until her feet were frozen.

Fig. 110—Summer 1852—Iron-shirt killed.

To "steal" a woman is to elope with or take possession of her in a manner contrary to tribal usage, i. e., secretly and without having made the customary presents to her relatives by which the transaction becomes ratified as a marriage.


Á`pätáte (K`a-t'ógyä or Hâñt'ógyä-k`ía) Ehótal-de Pai, "Summer that Touch-the-clouds (Knife-shirt, or Iron-shirt-man) was killed." There was no sun dance this year. The Pawnee warriors killed a Cheyenne chief who wore a cuirass. The cross marks over the human figure represent the cuirass, and the tree with leaves shows that it occurred during the summer.

At a great Cheyenne camp upon a stream, apparently in Kansas or Nebraska, known to the Kiowa as Hâ´ñtso P'a, "Cannonball (literally, metal rock) River," the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and some Dakota had made medicine for a combined expedition against the Pawnee, to which they invited the Kiowa and Apache, who were 295 camped at the time on Koñyä´daldä P'a, "Black-hill river," in Kansas, north of the Arkansas. About half the warriors of the two latter tribes accepted the invitation, and the united force, moving with all their women, children, and tipi outfits, started against the Pawnee. They met the enemy, but were defeated, with the loss of the Cheyenne chief Wóifdóĭsh, "Touch-the-clouds," called by the Kiowa Á`pätáte, "Far-up," otherwise known as Hañt'ógyä-k`ía, "Iron-shirt-man," from a cuirass which he wore and which had probably been procured originally from Mexico, where the Kiowa once captured another.

Fig. 111—Winter 1852—53—Gúădal-tséyu stolen.

The official report for the year thus notices the encounter:

A war party of Osages, Kioways, and Kaws, consisting of about four hundred warriors, went in pursuit of the Pawnees while out on their last hunt. They overtook the Pawnees and attacked them, but, being greatly outnumbered by the Pawnees, they ingloriously fled, leaving on the ground one war chief killed, and having killed and scalped one Pawnee woman (Report, 81).

WINTER 1852—53

Fig. 112—Summer 1853—Showery sun dance.

The Pawnee boy captured by Set-ängya in the summer of 1851 escaped, taking with him two horses, including the finest one in the tribe, a bay race horse known as Gúădal-tséyu, "Little-red" or "Red-pet." The figure above the winter mark shows the Pawnee boy, distinguished by the peculiar headdress of his tribe, holding the bay (red) horse by the halter. The importance of the horse to the equestrian Kiowa is shown by the fact that this is recorded as the important event of the winter.


Bíăsot K`ádó, "Showery sun dance," so called because there were continual showers during the dance. The figure above the medicine lodge is intended to represent the drizzling rain descending from the black clouds overhead, with occasional red flashes of lightning. Compare the corresponding rain and cloud symbols given below. The dance was held at the same place where the "dusty" sun dance was celebrated in 1851, near the present Fort Supply. 296

Fig. 113—Rain symbols (a Chinese; b Hopi; c Ojibwa).

This sun dance is distinguished for a deliberate violation of the taíme rules by Ten-píäk`ia, "Heart-eater," a noted warrior and medicine-man, rival of Ansó`te, the taíme keeper, and father of Set-t'an, the author of this calendar. One of the strictest regulations of the sun dance was the taboo against mirrors, which form part of the toilet equipment of nearly every Indian, but which must not even be brought near the taíme of the Kiowa. Notwithstanding this, Ten-píäk`ia, in defiance of the medicine and its priest, deliberately rode around inside the circle with a small mirror while the taíme was exposed, and afterward tried to poison Ansó`te by scraping off the mercury from the back and mixing it with some tobacco which he gave to the priest to smoke. Ansó`te took one puff, but detecting something wrong, put away the pipe, saying, "There is something there of which I am afraid." Soon afterward Ten-píäk`ia, while hunting buffalo, was thrown from his horse and killed, which was regarded as a speedy punishment of his sacrilege.

Fig. 114—Winter 1853—54—Pä´ñgyägíate killed.

Although Indian tradition records frequent instances of careless and unthinking neglect of some of the numerous taboos and other regulations in connection with sacred matters, such a deliberate defiance of their ordinances is almost unexampled; more rare, indeed, than heresy in the old days when Europe held but one religious doctrine. It is of interest as showing that even among savages attempts are sometimes made by bolder spirits to break away from the bonds of mental slavery. A somewhat similar incident is recorded for 1861.

WINTER 1853—54

Soon after the last sun dance a war party went into Chihuahua (Toñhéñ-t'a`ká-i-dómbe, "waterless Mexican country"), east of the Sierra Madre, where they met and attacked a mule train. The Mexicans made a circle of the wagons, with the mules on the inside, and prepared to defend themselves. A distinguished warrior named Pä´ñgyägíate succeeded in entering the circle and was striking the mules with his bow, equivalent to putting his seal of ownership upon all thus struck, when he was shot and killed by a 297 Mexican who had approached him unseen. No other Kiowa was killed. Pá-tadal was one of this party.



The man killed was one of the Kâ´itséñko (see summer 1846), as indicated by the headdress and the red sash of the order pendent from his shoulder. He is further designated by his shield—represented hanging at his side—which was made by Äk`ódalte, "Feather-necklace," and the picture of which is at once recognized by the old warriors of the tribe. The name Pä´ñgyägíate may be rendered "Sacrifice" or "Sacrifice-man," from pä´ñgyä, a sacrifice or offering "thrown away" on the hills as a gift to the sun.


Äyä´daldä´ P'a K`ádó, "Timber-mountain creek sun dance." This dance was held upon the creek upon which the most important treaty of the Kiowa was afterward made (see winter 1867—68). The event of the summer was the killing of Black-horse by the Sauk and other allied tribes.

Fig. 115—Summer 1854—Black-horse killed.

The brother of Set-ĭmkía, "Pushing-bear," more commonly known as Stumbling-bear, had been killed by the Pawnee, and at this dance he sent the pipe around as a summons for a great expedition against that tribe. Other tribes were invited to join the Kiowa, and a large war party set out, consisting of several hundred warriors of seven tribes—Kiowa, Apache, Comanche, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Osage, and some Crows. They crossed the Arkansas and proceeded to the northeast until they reached Gúigyä P'a, "Pawnee river" (Smoky Hill), where they met a small party of about eighty Säkíbo (i. e., Sauk and Fox), with a few Potawatomi, three cognate tribes which had been removed from beyond the Mississippi to reservations in eastern Kansas. The latter advanced against the Kiowa, who summoned them to halt, but notwithstanding the great disparity in numbers, the eastern Indians at once attacked the prairie warriors. Securing a sheltered position, and being all well armed with rifles with which "they hit every time," while the Kiowa and their allies were in the open prairie and armed chiefly with bows, the Sauk not only kept them off but defeated them with the loss of about twenty killed, among whom were twelve of the Kiowa, including Tseñ-kóñkyä, "Black-horse," a prominent war chief.

This is the story as given by the Kiowa themselves, who ascribe their disastrous defeat by a comparative handful of men to the rifles in the hands of the Sauk warriors. This battle occurred either on Smoky-hill or Saline river, in Kansas, about midway between the present Fort Harker and Fort Hays. 298

Although Set-ĭmkía says that the expedition was originally organized against the Pawnee to avenge the killing of his brother by that tribe, other informants state that it was organized and led by Tseñ-kóñkyä, the man who was killed, for the special purpose of exterminating the immigrant tribes, and this statement agrees with the official accounts. The Indian Report for 1854 contains an extended notice of this great war party, which went after wool and came back shorn.

In the summer of that year the agent for the southern plains tribes started for the Indian rendezvous near Fort Atkinson, on the Arkansas, with a large train of goods for distribution in accordance with the terms of the treaty made at that point in the previous year, having first sent messengers ahead to inform the Indians of his approach.

The Indians were encamped on Pawnee fork, at the crossing of the Santa Fé road, where they were collected in larger numbers than had ever been known to assemble on the Arkansas before. Old traders estimate the number at twelve to fifteen hundred lodges, and the horses and mules at from forty to fifty thousand head. The entire Kiowa and Prairie Comanches were there; several hundred of Texas or Woods Comanches had come over; the Prairie Apaches, one band of Arapahoes and two bands of Cheyennes and the Osages composed the grand council. They had met for the purpose of forming a war party, in order, as they in their strong language said, to wipe out all frontier Indians they could find on the plains. Two days previous to my arrival they broke up camp and started north. As soon as I heard that they were gone I sent two runners to try and bring them back. They, however, declined coming, and sent word that they would soon return, as it would take but a short time to clear the plains of all frontier Indians. They were doomed to be disappointed, as other nations, great in their own imaginations, have been. At some place near Kansas river they met about one hundred Sac and Fox Indians and the fight commenced, and from their own account lasted about three hours, when, to their great surprise, the combined forces were compelled to retreat, leaving their dead on the field, which Indians never do unless badly whipped. They report their loss at about sixteen killed and one hundred wounded. From the best information I can get, the Sacs and Foxes were as much surprised at the result as the others, for there is no doubt but that they would have run too if they could have seen a hole to get out at. They had taken shelter in a ravine and were for a long time surrounded. The prairie Indians were armed with the bow and arrow, while the others had fine rifles. One is a formidable weapon in close quarters, but worthless at more than about fifty yards. The rifle told almost every shot. It is easily accounted for why one hundred whipped fifteen hundred. The former had a weapon to fight with; the latter had none at the distance they were fighting. I learn that the Sacs and Foxes lost six killed, but they were killed with the rifle. The Osages have fine guns, and they must have shot them, for I am certain the other Indians have nothing in the shape of guns, except a few Northwest shotguns, and they are of but little use. The Sacs and Foxes are satisfied that the Osages did them the only damage they received, and as an evidence I learn that war has been declared between the nations, and already some scalps have been taken. This may save the government from whipping them (the Osages), as it is certain somebody will have it to do soon (Report, 82).

In his report for the same year the Indian superintendent says:

I am officially advised that on the arrival of Agent Whitfield at Fort Atkinson, on the Arkansas river, with the annuity goods for the Comanches, Kiowas, and Apaches, in July last, he found that they had all gone on a war party against the tribes of the north, confident from their numbers, estimated at fifteen hundred, to gain an easy 299 victory over any tribes they should encounter. In the vicinity of Smoky Hill they came up with a party of Sacs and Foxes and a few Pottawatomies, the whole not exceeding two hundred [sic] in number. The Comanches, believing, to use the words of one of their chiefs, that they could "eat up" so small a force in a few minutes, made a general charge. The Sacs allowed them to approach until within a hundred yards, when they opened upon them a well-directed fire from their rifles, which, being unexpected, appalled, and for the moment checked, their assailants. Three times these charges were repeated, and each time with a like fatal result. The Comanches at length retired, crestfallen and dispirited, having twenty-six killed and over one hundred wounded. On their return to Fort Atkinson their appearance and deportment were quite changed. They seemed humble and dejected, and quietly and submissively received their annuities and retired. The loss of the Sacs and Foxes is reported to be very inconsiderable (Report, 83).

Fig. 116—Winter 1854—55—Gyaí`koaóñte killed.

The agent for the Sac and Fox tribes gives a sequel which illustrates Indian vengeance:

On the second of August, by the request of the chiefs and head men of the Sac and Fox tribe of Indians, I reported to the honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs, through your office, an account of an attack made on the Sacs and Foxes by the Comanches, Arapahoes, and Osages, about the tenth of July, one hundred miles west of Fort Riley. Some five or six days ago a Sac Indian, who had a brother killed in that battle, left here by himself, went within four hundred yards of an Osage encampment, met two Osage men, shot one down and went up and scalped him; could have killed the other, but wished him to live to carry the news of what he had done to the Osage camp; waited until he had done so; heard the cries and lamentations of those in the camp for their dead kinsman, mounted his horse and returned with his scalp. The nation immediately upon his return moved to within a mile of the agency, where they are now dancing with joy and triumph over the trophy brought back in this warlike achievement to them (Report, 84).

Whirlwind, the famous war chief of the southern Cheyenne, who died in 1895, had every feather shot away from his war bonnet in this engagement, which he always declared was the hardest fight he had ever been in. Notwithstanding this, he was not wounded, owing to the protecting power of a medicine hawk which he wore upon his war bonnet! He said:

When all the feathers were shot away the hawk was not hit. Balls went to the right and left, above and below me. I was mounted and the Sacs and Foxes were on foot in a hollow like a buffalo wallow. It was the Great Spirit and the hawk which protected me (Clark, 15).

WINTER 1854—55

Gyaí`koaóñte "Likes-enemies," is killed by the Ä´lähó. He is identified in the picture by his shield, which is recognized as one made by Set-pate, "He-bear," and by the collar of the Kâitséñko, to which order he belonged. The zigzag stroke touching his breast is intended to show that he was killed by a bullet. 300

Fig. 117—Summer 1855—Sitting summer.

According to one statement, the Kiowa warriors had gone against the Osage on Arkansas river and found their camp with a number of horses hobbled near by. They waited until night and then made an attempt to steal the horses, but were ambuscaded by the Osage and this man was killed. Another informant states that the Indians concerned were not the Osage (K`apä´to, "Shaved-heads,") but the Ä´lähó (Kwapa? Omaha?), described as a tribe living to the northward of the Osage and similar to them in language and costume. As the Kiowa generally state that they have been friends with the Osage since the peace of 1834, and more particularly as they had been allies against the Sauk only a few months before this occurrence, the latter story is probably correct.


Toñgúayo Paídă, "Summer of sitting with legs crossed and extended." For some reason the word for summer is here used in the plural form. The figure is sufficiently suggestive. There was no sun dance this summer. The weather was extremely hot and the grass dried up, in consequence of which the horses became so weak that when traveling the Kiowa were frequently obliged to halt and sit down to allow the animals to rest.

WINTER 1855—56

Fig. 118—Winter 1855—56—Big-head kills an Ä´lähó.

´daltoñ-édal, "Big-head," the brother of Gyaí`koaóñte, who had been killed by the Ä´lähó (? see ante) in the preceding winter, after having cried all summer, went this winter for revenge, met an Ä´lähó (or an Osage?) hunting buffalo, and killed him.

The figure with a bow above the winter mark represents A´daltoñ-édal, indicated by the head above the head of the figure, while in front of him is the Osage (?), with the arrow in his breast and the blood pouring from his mouth. The headdress is like that hitherto used to indicate a Pawnee, both tribes wearing the head shaved, leaving a crest. During this winter also a war party went into Chihuahua and 301 brought back a large number of horses, but lost one man, "Going-on-the-road."


Séñ-äló K`ádó, "Prickly-pear sun dance." The prickly-pears or tunas (Opuntia tortispina ?) are shown above the medicine lodge. This dance was held at a place where there was an abundance of prickly-pears, at the mouth of a small creek, probably Caddo or Rate creek, entering Arkansas river about 10 miles below Bent's fort, in Colorado. It was held late in the fall, when the prickly-pears were ripe, instead of in midsummer, as usual, and the women gathered a large quantity. This circumstance has given the distinctive name to the k`ádó. The sweet fruit of the tuna is much prized by the Indians, who eat it raw, while the fleshy leaves are used as a mordant in their painting upon buckskin.

Fig. 119—Summer 1856—Prickly-pear sun dance.

WINTER 1856—57

Dó-gyäkódal-de Sai, "Winter that they left their tipis behind." The two tipis above the winter mark are intended to convey the idea.

Fig. 120—Winter 1856—57—Tipis left.

After the last sun dance, while the Kiowa, Cheyenne, and Arapaho were still camped near Bent's fort, a Kiowa war party under Big-bow and Stumbling-bear went against the Navaho, while the rest, men and women, under old Lone-wolf, went after buffalo, leaving their tipis rolled up in care of Bent. On their return they found the Cheyenne in possession of their tipis, and on complaining to Bent he said, "I have given them to my people" (i. e., the Cheyenne). A quarrel ensued, in which the Cheyenne shot Lone-wolf's horse and slightly wounded one Kiowa and drove the others away, retaining possession of the tipis. This appears to have been the most serious break between the two tribes since they had made peace in 1840.


Ä´potó Ek`iädă´-de K`ádó, "Sun dance when the forked stick sprouted." The figure (121) represents a forked stick, with leaves, growing out from the side of the medicine lodge.

This dance was held on the north side of Salt fork of the Arkansas (Ätäntaí P'a, "Salt river") at a small creek, probably Elm creek, a considerable distance below upper Mule creek (Ädóä P'a) in Oklahoma. A Kiowa named K`ayä´ñte, "Falls-over-a-bank," owned a sacred ä´poto, or two-pronged stick of ä`gótä, or chinaberry wood about four feet long, 302 trimmed with wild sage, which had been given him by his uncle Kóñabíñate or Kóñate, "Black-tripe." It was his medicine, which he carried publicly only in the sun dance, and no one else had such a stick. He carried it on this occasion, keeping time to the dance with it, and at the end of the ceremony planted it, with the fork down, inside the medicine lodge as a sacrifice. On returning to the place next year the Kiowa found that it had been reversed by someone and had taken root and put forth green leaves. This was the more remarkable, as it had previously been stripped of its bark. The news of the phenomenon spread through the tribe and confirmed the previous impression concerning the mysterious powers of the ä´poto. Ten years later, on the occasion of the treaty of Medicine Lodge, the Kiowa visited the spot and found that the rod had grown into a tree and was still alive. It is just possible that K`ayä´ñte, who is still living, could explain the matter.

Fig. 121—Summer 1857—Forked-stick-sprouting sun dance.

After this dance two war parties started out, one against the Pä´sûñko (Paseños, Mexicans of El Paso), and another, consisting principally of Comanche under the chief Mäwi, against the Sauk and Fox tribes, who had so badly punished them three years before. They met the Sauk northeast of the scene of the former battle and had an engagement in which several of the Sauk were killed. Gaápiatañ was one of this party. No mention of these expeditions occurs in the official reports.

The story of the origin of the ä´poto staff is romantic, and throws light upon several interesting points of Indian belief and custom. Eighteen years before this sun dance (i. e., in 1839) a small party of about twenty Kiowa warriors led by Gúădalóñte, "Painted-red," started against the Pä´sûñko, already mentioned. The old chief Dohasän accompanied the party, but not as leader. It should be noted that usually every war party had a substitute leader or lieutenant, who took command in case of the death of the leader. For some reason they made no attack upon El Paso, probably because they found it too vigilantly guarded, but stayed only one night and started the next day on their return. In the desolate Jornada del Muerto, between the lower Pecos and the Rio Grande, they halted for the night at a spring coming out of a cave since known to the Kiowa as Tsó-dói-gyätä´dă´-dée, "the rock house (cave) in which they were surrounded." None of the Kiowa can define its exact location, but they describe it as a deep rock well with a large basin of water, and on one side of it a cave running under the rock from the water's edge. Pope's statement shows it to have been the Hueco Tanks, in western Texas, just south of the New Mexico line. While resting there they were surrounded by a large force of Mexican soldiers, who killed several of their horses and forced them to take refuge in the cave. The Mexicans had with them several Mescalero 303 Indians (E´sikwita), who, however, were rather doubtful allies, as one of them, who spoke Comanche, shouted to the Kiowa in that language, encouraging them to hold out.

On being driven into the cave the Kiowa found themselves cut off from both food and water. They were watched so closely by the Mexicans that they could only venture out to the edge of the water under cover of darkness to get a hasty drink or cut from the dead horses a few strips of putrefying flesh, which they had to eat raw. One man was shot in the leg while thus endeavoring to obtain water. From the stench of the dead horses, and the hunger, thirst, and watchfulness, they were soon reduced to a terrible condition of suffering.

On exploring the cave to see if there might be any means of escape, they found that it extended a considerable distance, and at the farther end was a hole opening to the surface. One of them climbed up and thrust his head out of the opening, but was seen by the soldiers, who at once effectually closed the hole. It was evident that the Mexicans were afraid to attack the Indians and were determined to keep them penned up until they were starved. To add to their distress, the decaying carcasses of the horses soon made the water unfit to drink. After ten days of suffering they realized that a longer stay meant dying in the cave, and it was resolved to make a desperate attempt to escape that night.

The sides of the well were steep and difficult, but they had noticed a cedar growing from a crevice in the rock, the top of which reached nearly to the height of the cliff, and it seemed just possible that by its means they might be able to climb out. That night, after dark, they made the attempt and succeeded in gaining the top without being discovered by the soldiers on guard. One only, the man who had been shot in the leg, was unable to climb. He implored his comrades to take him with them, but finding that impossible, they answered that it was his life against theirs and if they remained with him or lost time in trying to get him out they would all perish together. They urged him to have a strong heart and die like a warrior; he calmly accepted the inevitable, saying only; "When you get home, tell my comrades to come back and avenge me." Then he sat down by the side of the well to await death when daylight should reveal him to his enemies. His name, Dágoi, deserves to be remembered.

Dohasän was the first to reach the top; he belonged to the Kâitséñko, and it is said that before leaving the cave he had sung the song of that warrior order in which they bid defiance to death, the same which Set-ängya afterward chanted before he sprang upon the guard and was riddled with bullets by the soldiers.

As they emerged they saw the fires of their enemies burning in various directions about the mouth of the cave. The Indians were sheltered by the darkness, but some of the soldiers heard a slight noise and fired at random in that direction, and seriously wounded Koñate, 304 who was shot through the body. The Kiowa succeeded in making their escape, probably helping themselves to some of the Mexican horses, and carried with them their wounded comrade until they reached a noted spring, perhaps on the edge of the Staked plain, known as Pai-k`op tóñtep, "Sun-mountain spring," from its circular shape and its situation on the top of a mountain. By this time Koñate's wounds were in such condition that it seemed only a question of a few hours when he would die. Finding themselves unable to carry him in his helpless condition across the desolate plains, his friends reluctantly decided to leave him to his fate. Placing him within reach of the water, they raised over him an arbor of branches to shield him from the sun, and rode away, intending on reaching home to send back a party, in accordance with their custom, to bring back his bones for burial.

Deserted by his companions, his wounds putrefying under the hot sun, Koñate lay stretched out by the spring silently awaiting the end. The sun went down and day faded into night, when far off on the hillside he heard the cry of a wolf; the wounded man roused himself from his stupor and listened; again he heard the cry of the wolf, but this time from another direction and evidently near; despair seized him as he realized that the coyotes had scented their prey and were gathering to the feast, and now he heard the patter of the light feet and the sniffing of the animal as a wolf prowled around him; but instead of springing upon the helpless man and tearing him in pieces, the wolf came up and gently licked his wounds, then quietly lay down beside him.

Now he heard another sound in the distance, the tsó dal-tem, or eagle-bone whistle of the sun dance; it approached, and he heard the song of the k`ádó, and at last the spirit of the taíme stood before him and said: "I pity you, and shall not let you die, but you shall see your home and friends again." The taíme then sent a heavy rain to clear out his wounds and afterward talked long with him, giving him instructions for a new shield and conferring upon him mysterious powers of medicine, of which the proof and emblem should be the ä´poto staff, which he instructed him to make after his return. Then the spirit left him, saying, "Help is near." The Kiowa insist that all this was not a dream or vision, but an actual waking occurrence; but of course most of it was the delirium of fever.

As his comrades proceeded on their way, they met six Comanche warriors on their way to Mexico, to whom they told the story of their encounter, also that they would find Koñáte's dead body at the spring, and asked them to cover it from the wolves. Then they parted, the Kiowa continuing on to the northward, while the Comanche proceeded toward the spring, where they intended to camp for the night. On arriving, they were astonished to find Koñáte alive and in somewhat better condition than when his comrades had left him. Seeing that there was a chance of saving his life, the Comanche washed his wounds and fed him; next morning they put him upon one of their extra horses, 305 and abandoning their proposed raid turned back and brought him safely to his friends and tribe, where he fully recovered and lived for many years. A few years after his return, he made several shields, as directed by the taíme, one of which still exists in possession of Dr J. D. Glennan, U.S.A., now stationed at Fort Clark, Texas; he also made the sacred ä´poto, which he carried for some time in the annual sun dance, and afterward bestowed it upon his son (i. e., nephew) K`ayä´ñti, who still lives, now an old man. Koñáte subsequently assumed the name, of Pá-tadal, "Lean-bull," which he conferred later on its present owner, commonly known to the whites as Poor-buffalo.

Captain Pope, who visited the Hueco tanks in 1854, describes the peculiar formation of the cave springs and mentions the Gúadalóñte fight of some years before, his statements being evidently derived from the Mexicans, who were disposed to magnify their own part in the affair. He says:

Fig. 122—Winter 1857—58—Horses stolen.

Besides the water contained in the tanks there are numerous holes and crevices in the mountains, which contain sufficient for every purpose to last for a considerable time. It is proper to remark that animals can not drink from the tanks; the water is taken out in buckets and thrown down the rocks until all have been supplied. Thus watering is a matter of time and labor. The peculiar formation of these mountains, their innumerable caverns and hiding places, seem to have been intended for a refuge for the Indians; nor have they neglected to avail themselves of its advantages. In one instance, however, they "reckoned without their host." About fourteen years ago these Arabs of New Mexico, the Apaches, having made a desperate foray upon the Mexicans, retreated with their plunder to these mountains. The Mexicans surprised and surrounded them, hemming them up in the rocky ravine forming the eastern tank. Here an engagement took place, in which the Indians were totally defeated and nearly exterminated, only two or three escaping. It is said that upward of one hundred of them were killed (Pacific Railroad, 1).

WINTER 1857—58

The Kiowa camped this winter on Two-butte creek (Ä´zót P'a, "Driftwood creek"), a southern tributary of the Arkansas, below Bent's Fort in Colorado. A band of Pawnee came on foot and stole six bunches of horses, including all those of T'ébodal and Set-ängya; among them were three spotted mules. The Kiowa pursued the thieves for three days and came in sight of them at sunset; they intended to strike them next morning and get the stock, but that night a snowstorm came on and stopped the pursuit; however, they killed one Pawnee who had been crippled by the cold. The figure above the winter mark represents the stolen horses.


Ädo-byúñi K`ádó, "Timber-circle sun dance." This dance was held on lower Mule creek, entering the Salt fork of the Arkansas from the 306 north, near the mouth of Medicine-lodge creek; it was so called because held in a natural circular opening in the timber, as indicated in the figure representing a circle of trees around the medicine lodge.

Fig. 123—Summer 1858—Timber-circle sun dance.

WINTER 1858—59

Gúi-k`áte Ehótal-de Sai, "Winter that Wolf-lying-down was killed." The figure above the winter mark represents a man shot through the body, his name being indicated by the connected figure overhead.

Fig. 124—Winter 1858—59—Gúi-k`áte killed.

After the last sun dance, the Kiowa warriors made a great raid into Chihuahua and captured a number of horses. They had recrossed the Rio Grande and camped on the northern side, when they were attacked at sunrise by a pursuing party of Mexicans. The Indians fled and escaped, excepting Gúi-k`áte, "Wolf-lying-down," who rode a mare which was delayed by a colt in following, and was therefore unable to get away from the enemy, who shot and killed him.

Set-t'aiñte and Set-ĭmkía also went against the Ute this fall and found and attacked a single tipi on the upper South Canadian, killing one man and wounding several others.


Fig. 125—Summer 1859—Cedar-bluff sun dance.

Ahíñ-dóha K`adó, "Cedar-bluff sun dance." The figure at the side of the medicine lodge is intended to represent a cedar tree on a bluff.

This dance was held at a place known to the Kiowa as "Cedar bluff," on the northern side of Smoky-hill river (Pe P'a, "Sand river"), about opposite the mouth of Timber creek, near the present Fort Hays, Kansas. The Kiowa state that they went so far north on account of the abundance of buffalo in that vicinity. This dance is sometimes also called Ää'otón-de K`adó, "Timber-clearing sun dance," from the fact that most of the trees once there had been cut down.


WINTER 1859—60

Gíaká-ite, "Back-hide," died, and a cross was afterward erected over his bones. The figure of the individual, with the cross above his head, explains itself. The gíăká-i or "back hide" (see the Glossary) is a piece of rawhide worn over the shoulders by women, to protect the back when carrying wood or other burdens.

Fig. 126—Winter 1859—60—Gíaká-ite died.

Gíaká-ite was a very old man, and died on the Staked plain (Päsä´ngya, "Edge prairie"), at a salt pond called Tóñ-kóñ, "Black water," perhaps the Agua Negra, just within the Texas boundary. Having become so old and enfeebled in mind and body as to be a continual source of trouble and anxiety, his unfeeling relatives deliberately abandoned him. Shortly before this the old man asked Dohasän, who was of his own family, where they intended to camp next winter. The chief brutally replied, "What is that to you? We shall not take you with us." The poor old man, thinking it a joke, laughed and said, "How can you leave me behind? There are not many chiefs, and you can't afford to lose one." However, on their next move they left him behind to shift for himself, and as he was too feeble to keep up with the party he died alone. Whether he died a lingering death of starvation or met a quicker fate by the coyotes, is unknown; but some time afterward a small war party of the Kiowa, passing near the spot, found his skeleton, over which kind hands—probably Mexican travelers—had erected a rude cross.

The winter before his death, while the Kiowa were on the move somewhere in the same neighborhood, Âdalpepte and his wife, being some distance behind the others, met the old man mounted upon an animal nearly as feeble as its rider, vainly endeavoring to catch up with the main party. It was bitterly cold and he had no blanket. Âdalpepte, unable to endure the sight, generously took off his own buffalo robe and threw it over the old man's shoulders, saying to him, "Take it; I am young and can stand more." Thus, before we make an estimate of Indian character from this story we must decide how far the generosity of the one act offsets the heartless cruelty of the other. It is but fair to state that Gíaká-ite had no immediate relatives who were in condition to help him, as his children were dead and his grandson was but a small boy, so that no one felt directly responsible for his welfare. Abandonment of the aged and helpless was not infrequent among the prairie tribes, but was rather a hard necessity of their wandering life than deliberate cruelty, as generally the aged are treated with the greatest respect and consideration. This is particularly the case among tribes who are less nomadic in habit. 308


T'ené-badaí, "Bird-appearing," was killed. The figure shows a man shot through the body, with blood streaming from his mouth, while the bird above is intended to indicate his name. As there was no sun dance this year, the medicine lodge is omitted.

A part of the Kiowa tribe was south of the Arkansas, while the rest, with the Kwáhadi and other western Comanche, under the chiefs Täbi-nä´năkă (Hears-the-sun) and Ĭsä-hä´bĭt (Wolf-lying-down), were camped north of that stream, when one day the latter party discovered a large body of people crossing the river. Täbi-nä'năka went out to reconnoiter, and returned with the report that there were a great many of them and that they were probably enemies. The Kiowa and Comanche at once broke camp and fled northward, and on their way met the Cheyenne and Arapaho, to whom they told the news, whereupon the latter also fled with them. By this time it had been discovered that the pursuers were white soldiers, accompanied by a large body of Caddo, Wichita, Tonkawa, and Pénätĕka Comanche. As they fled, the Kiowa and their allies kept spies on the lookout, who one night reported their enemies asleep, when they turned and attacked them at daylight, killing a soldier, but losing a Comanche named Silver-knife (properly Tin-knife, Hâ´ñt'aiñ-k`á in Kiowa), who was shot through the neck with an arrow, and a Kiowa named T'ené-badaí, "Bird-appearing," noted for his handsome appearance, who was killed by a Caddo. The engagement took place in Kansas, somewhere northward from Smoky-hill river (Pe P'a).

Fig. 127—Summer 1860—Bird-appearing killed.

The Pénätĕka Comanche lived in Texas, near the settlements, and associated more with the Caddo, Wichita, and whites than with their western kinsmen, the Kwáhadi Comanche, against whom and their allies, the Kiowa and Apache, they several times aided the whites.

There is no direct notice of this engagement in the Indian Report, but the Commissioner states that peace had prevailed among the treaty tribes during the year, with the conspicuous exception of the Kiowa, whose increasing turbulence would seem to render military operations against them advisable. In another place he states that both the Kiowa and Comanche were known to be hostile, and that the army had been ordered to chastise them, as the only way to make them respect their engagements and to stay their murderous hands. In going to Bent's fort, he says:

Citizens of the United States in advance of me as I went out, and also on my return, were brutally murdered and scalped upon the road. It is a fact also worthy of remark that the murders were committed almost within range of the guns at Fort Larned. The Indian mode of warfare, however, is such that it is almost impossible to detect them in their designs. They cautiously approach the Santa Fé road, commit the most atrocious deeds, and flee to the plains (Report, 85).


WINTER 1860—61

This winter is known as ´dálká-i Dóha Sai, "Crazy-bluff winter." While the Kiowa were encamped on the south side of the Arkansas, near the western line of Kansas, a man named Gaá-bohónte, "Crow-bonnet," the brother of the man who had been killed by the Caddo the preceding summer, raised a party for revenge. They went to the Caddo camp on the head of Sugar creek, in the present Caddo and Wichita reservation, where they encountered a Caddo looking for his horses. They killed and scalped him, and brought back with them the scalp over which the Kiowa held a scalp dance at a bluff on the south side of Bear creek (T'á-zótă´ P'a, "Antelope-corral river"), near its head, between the Cimarron and the Arkansas, near the western line of Kansas. From the rejoicing on this occasion the place took the name of Foolish, or Crazy bluff.

The picture represents a man with a scalp on a pole, while the projection at the upper end of the winter mark indicates the bluff.

Fig. 128—Winter 1860—1861—Crazy-bluff winter.

About the same time a war party went into Texas, but lost three men.

The zótă´ or driveway for catching antelope was an open corral of upright logs, stripped of their branches, with an entrance, from which diverged two lines of posts set at short distances from one another and covered with blankets to resemble men. The antelope were surrounded on the prairie and driven toward the corral until they came between the converging lines of posts, when it was an easy matter to force them into the closed circle, where they were slaughtered. The zótă´ was used for catching antelope at any season of the year. It was not used for deer, as the deer could jump over an ordinary corral.

For a description of another method, the ät'ákagúa, or "antelope medicine," see Winter 1848—49. Antelope make regular trails from their shelter places to their grazing grounds, and the Indians sometimes caught them by digging a large pitfall along such a trail—an entire band assisting in the work—and carrying the excavated earth a long distance away, so as to leave no trace on the trail, after which the pitfall was loosely covered with bushes and grass. The hunters then concealed themselves until the herd approached, when they closed in behind and drove the frightened animals forward until they fell into the pit.

Wild horses also were sometimes taken in driveways called t'á-tséñ-zótă´ ("wild-horse driveway"), which were set up near the water holes in the Staked plain, usually in summer, when the streams were dry and the animals were obliged to resort to these places for water. A steep cliff was sometimes utilized to form one side of the corral or driveway. In hunting buffalo the Indians sometimes built converging leadways to the edge of a cliff and then drove the animals over the precipice. 310


T'óigúăt Äpäñ´tsep-de K`ádó, "Sun dance when they left the spotted horse tied." The picture shows the spotted or pinto horse tied to the medicine lodge.

Fig. 129—Summer 1861—Pinto left tied.

This dance was held near a canyon, on the south bank of upper Walnut creek, entering the Arkansas at the Great Bend in Kansas. The event recorded throws another curious light on Indian belief. At the sun dance no one but the taíme priest must attempt any "medicine," but on this occasion a man called Dogúatal-edal, "Big-young-man," became "crazy" and committed sacrilegious acts, tearing off his feather headdress and throwing it upon the taíme image, and afterward, when they were smoking to the sun, taking the pipe and throwing it away. No reason is given for these strange actions, except that he was temporarily crazy, as he had never acted strangely before, but the Indians believe that, as his conscience troubled him after he came to his senses, he gave this horse to the taíme as an atonement. At the close of the dance he tied a spotted horse to one of the poles inside the medicine lodge and left it there, where it probably died. Such a thing as tying a horse to the medicine lodge had never before been heard of, although a horse was sometimes sacrificed to the sun by tying it to a tree out upon the hills and leaving it there to perish. The old war chief Gaápiatañ twice sacrificed a horse in this manner, once during the cholera of 1849, when he offered a gray horse as a propitiatory sacrifice for himself, his parents, and brothers and sisters; also again, in the smallpox epidemic of 1861—62 (see next year), he offered a fine black-eared horse, hobbling it and tying it to a tree, with a prayer to the spirit of the disease to take his horse and spare himself and his children and friends. On both occasions his faith appears to have been rewarded, as none of his relatives died. The horse offered on this last occasion was of the kind called t'á-kóñ, "black-eared," considered by the Kiowa to be the finest of all horses.

Dogúatal-édal afterward led a small war party, seven in number, including one woman, into Mexico. None of them ever returned, all the warriors having been killed, probably by Ute warriors, among whom the woman was found living by Big-bow and his companions when they visited that tribe in 1894. It was on this occasion that the Kiowa tribe gained the first intimation concerning the fate of the party. The woman was then the wife of a Ute and the mother of three of his children. Big-bow wanted her to return home with them, especially as her son by her Kiowa husband was still living, but her Ute husband was unwilling to come, and she refused to leave him and her three other children. 311

WINTER 1861—62

Fig. 130—Winter 1861—62—Smallpox.

Tä´dalkop Sai, "Smallpox winter." The smallpox, like the measles, is indicated by a human figure covered with red spots (see 1839—40 and 1892). The Kiowa were camped for the winter about the Arkansas, in the vicinity of Âdalka-i Doha, in southwestern Kansas, and a party went into New Mexico to trade. They stopped at a town in the mountains at the head of the South Canadian, where smallpox was prevalent at the time, and the people warned them of the danger; they therefore left, but one Kiowa had already bought a blanket, which he refused to throw away, although requested to do so. On returning to their home camp, about New Year, he was attacked by the disease and died, and the epidemic spread through the tribe; many died, and the others scattered in various directions to escape the pestilence. The Cheyenne, Arapaho, Dakota, and other tribes also suffered greatly at the same time, as appears from the official report (Report, 86). It was in consequence of this epidemic that the Arikara abandoned their village lower down the Missouri and removed to their present location near Fort Berthold, North Dakota.

It will be noticed that for several years the Kiowa appear to have been drifting eastward from their former haunts on the upper Arkansas. Although no definite reason is assigned for this movement, it may have been due to the influx of white men into Colorado, consequent upon the discovery of gold at Pike's peak in 1858, which would have a tendency to drive away the buffalo as well as to disquiet the Indians.


Fig. 131—Summer 1862—Sun dance after smallpox.

Tä´dalkop Kyäkán K'ádó, "sun dance after the smallpox," or sometimes simply Tä´dalkop K'ádó, "smallpox sun dance." It was held a short distance west of where the sun dance had been held in 1858, on Mule creek, near the junction of Medicine-lodge creek with the Salt fork of the Arkansas. No event of importance marked this summer, which is indicated only by the medicine lodge.

WINTER 1862—63

Ä´pätsä´t Sai, "Treetop winter," or Tséñko Sápän Étpata Sai, "Winter when horses ate ashes." This winter the Kiowa camped on upper Walnut creek (Tsodal-héñte-de P'a, "No-arm's river"), which enters the Arkansas at the Great Bend, in Kansas. There was unusually deep snow upon the ground, so that the horses could not get at the grass, and in their hunger tried to eat the ashes thrown out from the camp fires. 312

In the early spring a large war party, accompanied by women, as was sometimes the custom among the Kiowa, started for Texas, along the trail which runs south through the Panhandle, crossing the North Canadian near Kiowa creek and passing on by Fort Elliott. While singing the "travel song" on a southern head stream of Wolf creek the tree tops returned the echo. The phenomenon was a mystery to the Indians, who ascribed it to spirits, but it may have been due to the fact that just south of the camp was a bluff, from which the sound may have been echoed back. The figure over the winter mark is intended to indicate the sound above the tree tops.

Fig. 132—Winter 1862—63—Treetop winter.

When a man wishes to gather a small war party he sends around to invite those who may desire to join him. On the night before he intends to start he sits alone in his tipi, having previously bent a long stick, like a hoop, around the fire hole; then he begins the Gua-dagya or travel song, beating time upon the hoop with another stick which he holds in his hand. When those who intend going with him hear the song, they come in one by one and join in it, beating time in the same way with sticks. The women also come in and sit behind the men, joining in the song with them, but without beating time; after some time the leader invites them to come outside, to a buffalo hide, which the men surround and each holds it up with one hand while they beat time upon it with the sticks. The women and those who can not reach the hide stand behind and all sing together. The song is sung at intervals during the march. It has words with meaning and is different from all their other songs; the first singing by the leader is the signal that he intends to start the next day; the pipe was sent around only for a very large war party.

A contributor to the Montana Historical Society gives a humorous account of a rawhide dance by a party of packers on Columbia river, in 1858, when the tribes of that region had combined against the whites. The account is of interest as showing that the dance was found from the Columbia to the Rio Grande:

About dark some seven or eight canoes loaded with Yakima warriors landed near our camp. They were painted and rigged up in first-class war style and just spoiling for a fight. Our few Indian packers and the interpreter took the situation in and suggested that we bluff them. So we built a large camp fire out of sage brush and greasewood, and all of us, the Major included, formed a circle, and with one hand holding a rawhide, with a stick in the other, batted that rawhide and yelled and danced until we were nearly exhausted. This act, the interpreter said, was intended to show these Yakimas that we were not afraid of them and were ready to give them "the best we had in the shop," and to my utter surprise when I turned out in the morning not a canoe was to be seen. It was a complete bluff. They had taken the hint and gone away during the night. I must confess I felt pleased, and so would anyone, from the fact that there is less danger in thumping the rawhide as a bluff than trying to dodge their bullets (Montana, 2).



Tsodalhéñte-de P'a K`ádó, "No-arm's river sun dance." The figure near the medicine lodge shows a man with his right arm gone.

Fig. 133—Summer 1863—No-arm's-river sun dance.

This dance was held on the south side of Arkansas river, in Kansas, at the Great Bend, a short distance below the mouth of upper Walnut creek, called Tsodalhéñte-de P'a, "Armless man's creek," from a trader, William Allison, who kept a trading store at its mouth, on the east side, and who had lost his right arm from a bullet received in a fight with his stepfather, whom he killed in the encounter. From this circumstance the Kiowa knew him as Tsodalhéñte, or sometimes Man-héñk'ia, "Armless man" or "No-arm." He had as partners his half brother, John Adkins, known to the Kiowa as Kábodalte, "Left-handed," and another man named Booth. Fort Zarah was built in the immediate vicinity of Allison's trading post in 1864.

WINTER 1863—64

Fig. 134—Winter 1863—64—Big-head dies; Hâñzephó`da dies.

Âdaltoñ-édal Hém-de Sai, "Winter that Big-head died." The Set-t'an figure is sufficiently suggestive. Âdaltoñ-edal was the uncle of the present chief Gomä´te (Comalty), who has taken the same name. He died while the Kiowa were in their winter camp on the North Canadian, a short distance below the junction of Wolf creek at Fort Supply.

The Anko calendar begins with this winter, the first event recorded being the death of Hâ´ñzephó`da, "Kills-with-a-gun." He is represented below the winter mark, holding a gun to indicate his name, while the irregular black marking above his head is intended to show that he is "wiped out" or dead.


Ä´sâhé K`ádó, "Ragweed sun dance," so called because held at a place where there was a large quantity of this plant growing, at the junction of Medicine-lodge creek and the Salt fork of the Arkansas, a short distance below where the dances had been held in 1858 and 1862. On the Set-t'an calendar the medicine lodge, instead of being painted black, as usual, is blue-green, to show the color of the plant (ä´-sâhé, literally "blue or green plant"), and is surmounted by a blue-green stalk of ä´-sâhé or ragweed.

In this summer the Anko calendar records a fight between the Kiowa tribe and soldiers, at which Anko himself was present. In the figure the ragweed is indicated by irregular markings at the base of the 314 medicine pole, while the fight is represented in the conventional way by means of bullets at the ends of wavy lines.

The encounter occurred at Port Larned, Kansas, called by the Kiowa "The soldier place on Dark (i. e., shady)-timber (ai-koñ) river." The Kiowa had camped outside the post and were holding a scalp dance when Set-ängya and his cousin approached the entrance but were warned away by the sentry. Not understanding his words, they continued to advance, whereupon the soldier made a threatening motion with his gun, as if about to shoot. Upon this Set-ängya discharged two arrows at the soldier, shooting him through the body, while another Kiowa fired at him with a pistol. A panic immediately ensued, the Indians mounting their horses and the garrison hastily preparing to resist an attack. It so happened that the soldiers' horses were grazing outside the post and the Indians stampeded and ran them off, abandoning their camp, the soldiers being unable to follow on foot. The Indians did not risk an attack on the post, but remained satisfied with the capture of the horses. No one was hurt excepting the sentry. Whether his wound proved fatal or not the Kiowa are unable to say. They state that this was their first hostile encounter with United States troops.

Fig. 135—Summer 1864—Ragweed sun dance; soldier fight.

At the time of this occurrence there was a general Indian war in progress on the plains. The encounter is thus referred to by Agent Colley in a letter to the governor of Colorado, dated July 26, 1864:

When I last wrote you I was in hopes that our Indian troubles were at an end. Colonel Chivington has just arrived from Larned and gives a sad account of affairs at that post. They have killed some ten men from a train and run off all the stock from the post. As near as they can learn, all the tribes are engaged in it. The colonel will give you the particulars. There is no dependence to be put in any of them. I have done everything in my power to keep peace. I now think a little powder and lead is the best food for them.

In another place he states that "while the war chief of the Kiowa tribe was in the commanding officer's quarters at Fort Larned, professing the greatest friendship, the young men were running off nearly all the horses, mules, and cattle at the post" (Report, 87).

WINTER, 1864—65

Tsenhó Sai, "Muddy-traveling winter," so called because the mud caused by the melting of heavy snows made traveling difficult. The Kiowa and Apache, with a part of the Comanche, made their winter camp on the South Canadian at Gúădal-dóhá, "Red bluff," on the north side, between Adobe Walls and Mustang creek, in the Texas panhandle. While here early in the winter they were attacked by the famous scout Kit Carson, with a detachment of troops, assisted by a 315 number of the Ute and Jicarilla Apache. According to the Indian, account, five persons of the allied tribes, including two women, were killed. The others, after a brave resistance, finally abandoned their camp, which was burned by the enemy. One of those killed was a young Apache warrior who wore a war-bonnet. He was shot from his horse and his war-bonnet was captured by a Ute warrior. An old Apache warrior, who was left behind in his tipi in the hurry of flight, was also killed.

In the Set-t'an calendar the attack upon the camp is indicated by conventional bullets and arrows around two tipis above the winter mark. In the Anko calendar it is indicated by a picture of the captured war-bonnet.

Fig. 136—Winter 1864—65—Ute fight.

According to the Kiowa statement, most of the younger men were away on the warpath at the time, having left their families in the winter camp in charge of the old chief Dohásän. Early one morning some of the men had gone out to look for their ponies, when they discovered the enemy creeping up to surround them. They dashed back into camp and gave the alarm, and the women, who were preparing breakfast, hastily gathered up their children and ran, while the men mounted their horses to repel the assault. The Ute scouts advanced in Indian fashion, riding about and keeping up a constant yelling to stampede the Kiowa ponies, while the soldiers came on behind quietly and in regular order. Stumbling-bear was one of the leading warriors in the camp at the time and distinguished himself in the defense, killing one soldier and a Ute, and then killing or wounding another soldier so that he fell from his horse. Another warrior named Set-tádal, "Lean-bear," distinguished himself by his bravery in singing the war song of his order, the Toñkóñko, as he advanced to the charge, according to his military obligation, which forbade him to save himself until he had killed an enemy. Sét-k`opte, then a small boy, was there also, and describes vividly how he took his younger brother by the hand, while his mother carried the baby upon her back and another child in her arms, and all fled for a place of safety while Stumbling-bear and the warriors kept off the attacking party. The Kiowa escaped, excepting the five killed, but the camp was destroyed.

The engagement is thus mentioned in the testimony of an army officer a few months later:

I understand Kit Carson last winter destroyed an Indian village. He had about four hundred men with him, but the Indians attacked him as bravely as any men in the world, charging up to his lines, and he withdrew his command. They had a regular bugler, who sounded the calls as well as they are sounded for troops. Carson said if it had not been for his howitzers few would have been left to tell the tale. This I learned from an officer who was in the fight (Condition, 1).


The engagement is described in detail by Lieutenant George H. Pettis, who had charge of the two howitzers during the fight. The expedition, which consisted of three hundred and thirty-five volunteer soldiers and seventy-two Ute and Jicarilla Apache Indians, was under command of Colonel Christopher ("Kit") Carson, the noted scout and Indian fighter, then holding a commission in the First New Mexico infantry. Starting from Fort Bascom, New Mexico, they proceeded down the Canadian, the intention being to disable the Indians by taking them by surprise in their winter camp, as Custer did on the Washita four years later. The first village, a Kiowa camp consisting of one hundred and seventy-six tipis, was discovered on the Canadian at the entrance of a small stream since known as Kit Carson creek, in what is now Hutchinson county, Texas, a short distance above Adobe Walls. The attack was made at daybreak of November 25, 1864. After some resistance the Kiowa retreated a few miles down the river, where there were other camps of the allied Kiowa, Apache, and Comanche. Reenforced from these, they returned and made such a desperate attack upon the invaders that Carson was glad to retire after burning the upper village, although the other camps against which the expedition was directed were in plain sight below. The battle lasted all day, the Indians disputing every foot of his advance and following up his retreat so closely that only the howitzers saved the troops from utter destruction.

In the early part of the engagement the soldiers corralled their horses in an old abandoned adobe building which Pettis calls the Adobe Walls, but which was probably the ruins of the trading post built by Bent twenty years before (see winter 1843—44). The Adobe Walls, where Quanah led his celebrated fight, were not built until 1873 or 1874 and were some distance down the river. Several white captives, women and children, were in the hands of the Indians at the time of the attack, but none of these was rescued. The Kiowa also saved all their horses, although most of their winter provision and several hundred dressed buffalo skins in the first village, together with the tipis, were destroyed by the troops.

Quite a number of the enemy acted as skirmishers, being dismounted and hid in the tall grass in our front, and made it hot for most of us by their excellent marksmanship, while quite the larger part of them, mounted and covered with their war dresses, charged continually across our front, from right to left and vice versa, about 200 yards from our line of skirmishers, yelling like demons, and firing from under the necks of their horses at intervals. About 200 yards in rear of their line, all through the fighting at the Adobe Walls, was stationed one of the enemy, who had a cavalry bugle, and during the entire day he would blow the opposite call that was used by the officer in our line of skirmishers; for instance, when our bugles sounded the "advance," he would blow "retreat," and when ours sounded the "retreat," he would follow with the "advance;" ours would signal "halt," he would follow suit. So he kept it up all the day, blowing as shrill and clearly as our very best buglers. Carson insisted that it was a white man, but I have never received any information to corroborate this opinion (Pettis).


It was most probably a Kiowa, possibly Set-t'aiñte himself, who was famous for a bugle, which instrument he blew as a signal on state occasions.

Deeming it unsafe to remain longer after destroying the first village, Carson formed the troops in marching order, with skirmishers in front and on the flanks and the howitzers bringing up the rear, and began the return march.

The enemy was not disposed to allow us to return without molestation, and in a very few minutes was attacking us on every side. By setting fire to the high, dry grass of the river bottom, they drove us to the foothills, and by riding in rear of the fire, as it came burning toward us, they would occasionally get within a few yards of the column; being enveloped in the smoke, they would deliver the fire of their rifles and get out of harm's way before they could be discovered by us.

Fig. 137—Summer 1865—Peninsula sun dance.

On the side of the troops, Pettis reports two soldiers killed and twenty-one wounded, several mortally, together with one Ute killed and four wounded. He puts the Indian loss at nearly one hundred killed and between one hundred and one hundred and fifty wounded. The official report, which he quotes, makes the number of tipis in the village destroyed about one hundred and fifty and the Indian loss in killed and wounded together only sixty. Among these were four crippled or decrepit old Indians, who were killed in the tipis by a couple of Ute squaws searching for plunder. A buggy and spring wagon belonging to Sierrito or "Little-mountain" (Dohásän) are also mentioned as having been destroyed.

A signal instance of Indian bravery is noted by Pettis:

At one of the discharges the shell passed directly through the body of a horse on which was a Comanche riding at a full run, and went some 200 or 300 yards farther on before it exploded. The horse, on being struck, went head foremost to earth, throwing his rider, as it seemed, 20 feet into the air, with his hands and feet sprawling in all directions, and as he struck the earth, apparently senseless, two other Indians who were near by proceeded to him, one on each side, and throwing themselves over on the sides of their horses, seized each an arm and dragged him from the field between them, amid a shower of rifle balls from our skirmishers. This act of the Indians in removing their dead and helpless wounded from the field is always done, and more than a score of times were we eyewitnesses to this feat during the afternoon (Pettis).


Pihó K`ádó, "Peninsula sun dance." It is so called because held in the peninsula or bend of the Washita on the south side, a short distance below the mouth of Walnut creek (Zódăltoñ P'a, "Vomiting-water river") within the present reservation. The Set-t'an calendar represents the medicine lodge in the bend, indicated by a curved line. In the Anko calendar the peninsula is more rudely indicated by a circle around the base of the medicine pole. 318

WINTER 1865—66

In this winter the Set-t'an calendar records the death of the noted war chief, Tä´n-kóñkya, "Black-warbonnet-top," on a southern tributary of the upper South Canadian. The war-bonnet is made conspicuous in the figure to call attention to his name.

Fig. 138—Winter 1865—66—Tän-kóñkya died; Dohásän died.

The Anko calendar notes the death of the celebrated chief Dohásän, "Little-bluff," the greatest and most noted chief in the history of the tribe, who died on the Cimarron in this winter. The event is indicated by the figure of a wagon, he being the only Kiowa who owned a wagon at that time. For more than thirty years from the massacre by the Osage in 1833, he had been the recognized head chief of the Kiowa. His death left no one of sufficiently commanding influence to unite the tribe under one leadership, and thenceforth the councils of the Kiowa were divided under such rival chieftains as Set-t'aiñte and Kicking-bird until the unsuccessful outbreak of 1874 finally reduced them to the position of a reservation tribe and practically put an end to the power of the chiefs.

This winter is notable also for the arrival of a large trading party from Kansas under the leadership of a man named John Smith. He traded also among the Cheyenne, whose language he spoke, and was called by them Póomûts, "Gray-blanket," or "Saddle-blanket," these articles forming a part of his trading stock; this name the Kiowa corrupted into Pohóme. The party visited all the various camps of the Cheyenne and Kiowa, trading blankets and other goods for buffalo hides. Smith died among the Cheyenne after having lived more than forty years in the Indian country, and was buried in the sand hills near the present agency at Darlington, Oklahoma. His name appears in the official reports as government interpreter for the Cheyenne, and he rendered valuable assistance at the Medicine Lodge treaty in 1867.


Hâñ-kopédal K`ádó, "Flat metal (i. e. German silver) sun dance," was held on Medicine-lodge creek, near its mouth, in Oklahoma. It was so called because a trader brought them at this time a large quantity of German silver, from which they made headdresses, belts for women, bracelets, and other ornaments. German silver is known to the Kiowa as "flat metal," because it is furnished to them in sheets, which they cut and hammer into the desired shapes. On both calendars the event is recorded in the same way, by the figure of a head pendent with silver disks placed near the medicine lodge. Such pendants were attached to the head of the scalplock, and consisted of a strip of buffalo hide reaching nearly to the ground and covered along the whole 319 length with a row of silver, copper, or German-silver disks, gradually decreasing in size toward the bottom, which was usually finished off with a tuft of bright-colored horsehair. They were called góm-â´dal-hâ´ñgya, "back-hair-metal," and were highly prized by the warriors. This was not the first time the Kiowa had obtained German silver. In the old days these ornaments were made for them, of genuine silver, by Mexican silversmiths near the present Silver City, New Mexico.

Fig. 139—Summer 1866—German-silver sun dance.

Charles W. Whitacre (or Whittaker), the trader who brought their supply of metal on this occasion, together with sugar and other goods, had some knowledge of the Kiowa language, as well as of Comanche and Caddo, and is familiarly known to the older Kiowa as Tsâli, i. e., Charley. He was present at the Medicine Lodge treaty the next year, and afterward kept a trading store on the north side of the Washita, near the place where the Wichita school is now located, a short distance from the agency at Anadarko. He was killed by accidentally shooting himself about 1882.

WINTER 1866—67

Fig. 140—Winter 1866—67—Äpämâ'dalte killed.

Ä´pämâ´dal Ehótal-de Sai, "Winter that Ä´pämâ'dalte was killed." The name signifies "Struck-his-head-against-a-tree." The same event is recorded on both calendars, the figures being sufficiently suggestive. He was a Mexican captive among the Kiowa, and was killed, in an encounter with troops or Texans, while with a party led by the present Big-bow, at a small creek on the main emigrant road to California (Hóan T'a`ká-i, "White-man's road") in southwestern Texas. When killed he was trying to stampede the horses which the Texans had left a short distance away. There is no official notice of this encounter in the reports, beyond general references to continual Kiowa raids into Texas.

In this winter, also, Andres Martinez, the most influential captive among the Kiowa, was bought by them from the Mescalero Apache, who had captured him a few months previously near Las Vegas, New Mexico. He was then seven years of age, and was adopted by the Kiowa, and at once taken by them on a raid into Mexico. His purchaser was Set-dayá-ite, "Many-bears," who was killed by the Ute in 1868.


T'á-kóñ Ä´semtse-de K`ádó, "Sun dance when Black-ear was stolen. This dance was held on the north bank of the Washita, near the western 320 line of Oklahoma. The Cheyenne also attended. While the dance was in progress a party of Navaho stole a herd of Kiowa ponies, including a fine white racer with black ears, the kind most highly prized by the Indians. The Kiowa had no idea that the horses had been stolen by lurking enemies, but supposed that they had simply strayed, until after the dance was over, when the three tribes organized an expedition against the Navaho, at that time upon a reservation in eastern New Mexico, and there captured a number of horses, including the stolen herd. The event is recorded on the Set-t'an calendar by means of the figure of a white horse with black ears above the medicine lodge.

Fig. 141—Summer 1867—Black-ear stolen; the Kâ´itseñko.

This dance is also designated as Kâ´itséñko Edópäñ-de K`ádó, "Sun dance when the Kâitseñko were initiated" (and further distinguished from similar occasions by describing it as "Ä´guntä P'a-gya, "on Washita river"), from the fact that on this occasion the members of this order made new sashes for themselves. Some who had acted in a cowardly manner were degraded at the same time, their sashes stripped from them and given to others more worthy (see summer 1846). The event is indicated on the Anko calendar by means of a figure above the medicine lodge representing a man with the Kâitseñko headdress and sash.

Fig. 142—Winter 1867—68—Medicine Lodge treaty; Navaho killed.

WINTER 1867—68

Ä´yä´daldä Sai, "Timber-hill winter," so-called on account of the famous treaty made this winter with the confederated tribes on Medicine-lodge creek, Kansas, known to the Kiowa as "Ä´yä´daldä P'a, Timber-hill river." The picture on the Set-t'an calendar is highly suggestive. It represents a white man, who appears to be a soldier, grasping the hand of an Indian, the locality being shown by the figure of a tree-covered hill above the winter-mark.

The Anko calendar has no reference to this treaty, which is the leading event in Kiowa history of the last thirty years, but records instead a minor occurrence, the killing by the Kiowa of a Navaho, indicated below the winter mark by the figure of a man with his hair bunched in Navaho fashion, wearing the characteristic black leggings and moccasins and carrying a quiver. He was killed near Gúădal Dóhá, on the upper South Canadian, by a party under White-horse, of which Anko was a member. On examining the body of the dead man they found that he had no ears, having probably been so born. For this reason the winter 321 is sometimes known as T'á-bódal Ehótal-de Sai, "Winter that Spoiled-ear was killed." Several parties went against the Navaho on the Pecos this year (that tribe being still at the Bosque Redondo), particularly a large expedition, including nearly all the Comanche and about half of the Kiowa and Apache, which started immediately after the sun dance, defeated the Navaho in an important engagement, and returned in time for the treaty.

The treaty of Medicine Lodge has already been discussed at length in another place. According to the statement of the Kiowa they were camped on the creek where they had held their sun dance, when they were summoned to Fort Larned. Set-t'aiñte, Set-ängya, Set-ĭmkía, and the other chiefs, with all their people, at once moved to that point, where they met an officer who, they say, was called Gánúän, "General" by the whites, and whom the Indians called Pasót-kyä'tó, "Old-man-of-the-thunder," because he wore upon his shoulders the eagle or thunderbird. This was General Winfield S. Hancock, then in command in that section. By his direction they camped on the river near the post, where they were supplied with rations for some days until the purpose of the government was explained to them. They then returned to Medicine-lodge creek and prepared a council house among the trees, ready for the arrival of the commissioners. The medicine lodge and Kiowa camp were on the south (west) side of the creek, while the council house in which the treaty was made was on the opposite (northeast) side, 12 miles above, or about 3 miles above the junction of Elm creek and near the present site of Medicine Lodge, Barber county, Kansas. It is described in the treaty itself as "the council camp on Medicine Lodge creek, 70 miles south of Fort Larned, in the State of Kansas." The low, timbered hill, from which the stream takes its Kiowa name of Ä'yä'daldä P'a, "Timber-hill river," is on the east side, opposite the medicine lodge of the last preceding dance, from which the stream derives its present name. It was a favorite dance headquarters, as several other dances had already been held in the same vicinity.

The Kiowa say that the white man, Philip McCusker, who interpreted the treaty to the three confederated tribes, spoke only Comanche, and his words were translated into Kiowa by Bä'o ("Cat"), alias Guñsádalte, "Having-horns," who is still living. They sum up the provisions of the treaty by saying that the commissioners promised to give them "a place to go," to give them schools, and to feed them for thirty years, and hoped that they would then know how to take care of themselves. Only a part of the Comanche were represented, most of the Kwáhadi band being then on an expedition against the Navaho. According to contemporary notices, there were present at the treaty over eight hundred and fifty tipis, or about five thousand souls, of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache, together with about six hundred whites, including the commissioners and attachés, a large 322 detachment of the Seventh infantry, and miscellaneous camp followers, the various groups and bands being scattered for a distance of several miles along the stream, forming probably the largest Indian gathering that had ever been held on the plains.


Íătä'go Dahótal-de K'ádó, "Sun dance when the Ute killed us," or Ä'yädaldä P'a K'ádó, "Timber-hill river (Medicine-lodge creek) sun dance." The dance this summer was held on Medicine-lodge creek, near where the treaty had been made, this, as has been said, being a favorite place for the purpose. The Cheyenne and Arapaho also frequently held their sun dance in the same neighborhood, but not in connection with the Kiowa, although they always attended the Kiowa dance in large numbers. The Comanche had no sun dance of their own, but sometimes joined with the Kiowa. On one occasion they tried to get up such a dance, but the attempt was a failure.

Fig. 143—Summer 1868—Ute fight.

This summer was signalized by a disastrous encounter with the Ute, in which two of the three taímes of the Kiowa were captured. On the Set-t'an calendar this battle is indicated by the figure, above the medicine lodge, of a man holding out the red stone war-pipe, which was sent around as an invitation to the warriors to join the expedition. On the Anko calendar it is indicated by flying bullets about the medicine lodge.

This battle was the most disastrous in the history of the Kiowa tribe since the memorable massacre by the Osage in 1833. The impression made was perhaps even greater, for the reason that their sacred palladium captured on this occasion has never since been recovered.

In the previous winter Pá-tadal, "Lean-bull" (alias Poor-buffalo), who is still living, had led a small party against the Navaho beyond the head of the South Canadian. On reaching the salt beds on that river, near the line between Texas and New Mexico, they met some Navaho coming on foot to steal Kiowa horses. A fight ensued, resulting in the death of one Navaho and one Kiowa, the latter being Pá-tadal's stepson. The father thirsted for revenge, and at the next sun dance he sent around the pipe to all the warriors of the tribe to enlist them for a great expedition against the Navaho. A large number responded, perhaps two hundred, including some of the Comanche, and placed themselves under his leadership. Among these was Set-dayá-ite, "Many-bears," the son (nephew?) of Ansó'te, the medicine keeper. To render victory more certain and complete, he asked and obtained permission from his father to carry with the expedition the two smaller taíme images, viz, the small "man" figure and the "bear kidney." These were sometimes carried to the field, but the larger one, the "woman," 323 which the tribe still retains, was never allowed to leave the home camp. Set-dayá-ite carried one and intrusted the other to his friend Pá-guñhéñte, "Hornless-bull." According to another story, Pá-guñhéñte's medicine was one which belonged to himself and had no connection with the taíme, although it was a smaller image of similar appearance. However, Pá-guñhéñte was killed and his medicine captured, together with the other.

They set out for the Navaho country, but the omens were unpropitious from the start. Among the numerous things tabooed to the taíme are bears, skunks, rabbits, and looking-glasses, none of which must be permitted to come near the sacred image or be touched by the taíme keeper. Almost at the start the warriors were alarmed by seeing a skunk cross their path, and soon afterward it was discovered that the Comanche had brought with them their looking-glasses, which they refused to break or throw away, but wrapped them up and concealed them at one of the camping places to await their return. Farther on, at a place where the warriors had halted for the night to prepare supper, the wind carried to the nostrils of the Kiowa the smell of burning grease. On investigating the cause they found that their sacrilegious allies had killed a bear and were broiling the flesh over their fire. Realizing that nothing but defeat could now be in store for them, many of the warriors turned back, but Set-dayá-ite, trusting to his medicine, persisted in going forward, while Pá-tadal, although he foresaw disaster, as the organizer and leader of the expedition felt bound in honor to proceed.

They went up the north bank of the South Canadian until they reached the salt beds in the vicinity of Red-river spring, near where they had encountered the Navaho the preceding winter. Here they met a much smaller party of Ute, said to have numbered only thirty or forty, and the battle at once began. For some reason, perhaps because the Kiowa felt that their gods had deserted them, they did not fight with their accustomed dash, and the battle soon became a flight, the Ute pursuing them for some miles down the river and killing seven, including Set-dayá-ite and his adopted son, a Mexican captive. Set-dayá-ite on this occasion rode a balky horse, which became unmanageable, so that he dismounted and met his fate on foot, telling his comrades that there was his place to die. His adopted son might have saved himself, but on seeing his father's plight he returned and was killed with him. Pá-guñhéñte, who carried the other medicine, was also among the slain.

Set-dayá-ite had the taíme bag tied upon his back, where it was found by the Ute after the fight. They readily recognized it as some great "medicine," a conjecture which was made certain if it be true, as some say, that the dead man had cut (painted?) upon his body sacred emblems similar to those painted upon the image itself, viz, a crescent upon each breast, the sun in the center, and upon his forehead another 324 crescent. Stumbling-bear, who was in the fight, as was also Anko, went back shortly afterward to bury his remains. He found a beaten circle around the skeleton of Set-dayá-ite, as though the Ute had danced around his dead body.

The Ute carried the taíme with them to their own country, but misfortune went with it. The son of its capturer was shortly afterward killed in a fight with the Cheyenne, and soon after that the custodian himself was killed by a stroke of lightning. Afraid to keep longer such "bad medicine," they brought both images down to the trader Maxwell, in New Mexico, who placed them on a shelf in his store, where they remained in plain view for a long time, but were finally lost. The Ute left word with Maxwell that the Kiowa, if they came for the images, might have them, on payment of a specified number of ponies. For some reason the Kiowa did not come—perhaps because they were afraid to trust themselves so far in their enemies' country.

While the sacred images were on Maxwell's shelf they were seen by a brother of George Bent, of the noted pioneer trading family, from whom the author obtained a description of their appearance. They were two small carved stones or petrifactions, the taíme proper having the shape of a man's head and bust, and was decorated and painted. The other resembled in form a bear's kidney. While in New Mexico some years ago the author made diligent inquiry among Maxwell's former business associates concerning the images, but found no one who could throw any light upon their whereabouts. In 1893 Big-bow and some others of the tribe visited the Ute, chiefly for the purpose of ascertaining the fate of the taíme, not knowing that it had passed out of their possession. They learned nothing, however, as they asked no direct questions concerning it and the Ute volunteered no information. This was the first friendly meeting between the two tribes, although as early as 1873 the Kiowa chiefs in council had made an urgent request to the agent that some good white man should be sent with them to make peace with the Ute (Battey, 18).

When the news of the defeat reached them, the Kiowa were encamped on the Arkansas, near Fort Larned, where at that time they drew their government issues. They at once moved down to the Washita and encamped adjoining the Cheyenne village under Black-kettle, on the western border of Oklahoma. This village was soon after destroyed by Custer. About this time steps were taken to confine the confederated tribes to the reservation assigned them by the late treaty, which was soon after accomplished, and as a people the Kiowa never again went back to the neighborhood of Arkansas river.

The only official reference to this fight, if indeed it does refer to it, is the incidental mention in a letter of about June 20 that an appointment by the agent for the Ute and Jicarilla Apache had been postponed in consequence of the absence of Kaneatche, who was away and had had a fight with the Kiowa and Comanche (Report, 88). Kaneatche, 325 Kanache, or Conyatz (Kanats according to Major Powell) was the head chief of the confederate Ute and Jicarilla band of Apache, and on his death was succeeded by Ouray.

The encounter is thus noted by a contemporary author:

During the previous summer [1868] a war party of Ute left their haunts in New Mexico, and after marching on foot a distance of over 500 miles fell upon a band of Kiowa, completely routed them, captured a number of ponies, took many scalps, and, more calamitous than all, got possession of the "medicine" of the band. As might be inferred, the Kiowa had a superstitious dread of the very name Ute (Keim, 2).

The action and the grief of the Kiowa over the loss of their medicine are further described by a writer in a contemporary Kansas newspaper, who evidently speaks with exact knowledge:

Fig. 144—Winter 1868—69—Tän-gúădal killed.

About the 10th of July [1868] the Kiowa had a battle with the Ute, in which the chief Heap-of-Bears and seven other Kiowa braves were killed. Heap-of-Bears had on his person the medicine of the Kiowa, which was captured by the Ute, who still retain it. This medicine consists of an image about 18 inches in length, carved to represent a human face, and covered with the down and feathers of the eagle and other birds and swathed in wrappers of different materials of value. Although I have been conversant with Indian habits and customs for a long time, I was surprised to find the value these people attach to this medicine. They begged and implored Colonel Murphy to recover it for them, and promised to pay the Ute as many horses as they wanted, and also to make a permanent and lasting peace, not only with the Ute, but also to refrain from further depredations on the Texas border, if this should be restored. Colonel Murphy promised to endeavor to recover it, but I think his success in the matter will be doubtful, as the Ute also attach great importance to their capture, believing that while they retain it the Kiowa will be powerless to do them harm (Abbott, 1).

WINTER 1868—69

Tän-gúădal Ehótal-de Sai, "Winter that Tän-gúădal was killed." Tän is the name of a particular variety of headdress, also of an edible root resembling a turnip; gúădal signifies red. Shortly after the removal to the Washita, a small raiding party went to Texas. In an encounter with a white man and boy both parties fired simultaneously and Tän-gúădal was killed. Although a young man, he was a noted warrior and the hereditary owner of a medicine lance or zebat, shaped and adorned like an arrow. The event is indicated on the Set-t'an calendar by the figure, above the winter mark, of a man holding the arrow lance. On the Anko calendar it is indicated by the rude figure of the medicine lance.

This medicine lance, which was hereditary in Tän-gúădal's family, came originally from the Crows. The one carried by him on this occasion, as described by Set-k`opte, who was with the party, had a Mexican-made steel blade and was left sticking upright in the ground at the place where they rested before the encounter, the owner not having taken it into the fight. Set-t'aiñte claimed the hereditary right to this 326 medicine lance, through marriage into the family of one of Tän-gúădal's ancestors. Despite the protest of Tän-gúădal, he made a similar lance, which he carried for several years (see summer 1874). This lance of Set-t'aiñte is said to have had a separable ornamented wooden point, which was inserted on ceremonial occasions, while an ordinary steel blade was substituted when it was to be used in actual service. Similar "medicine" lances for ceremonial purposes were used also among other tribes.

Fig. 145—Summer 1869—War-bonnet sun dance.

While this expedition was in Texas another party, under Stumbling-bear, went up the Canadian to bury the bones of those killed with Set-dayá-ite in the encounter with the Ute.


Ä´tahá-i Gyä´`gan-de K`ádó, "Sun dance when they brought the war-bonnet." On both calendars this sun dance is designated by the figure of a war-bonnet (ä-tahá-i, "feather crest") above the medicine lodge.

Fig. 146—Winter 1869—70—Bugle scare.

The dance was held on the north side of the North fork of Red River, a short distance below the junction of Sweetwater creek, near the western line of Oklahoma, the Kiowa having been removed during the preceding autumn from Kansas and the north to their present reservation, but still ranging outside the boundaries, under the hunting privilege accorded by the late treaty. While the dance was in progress, Big-bow, who had gone with a large party against the Ute to avenge the death of Set-dayá-ite the year before, returned with the war-bonnet of a Ute whom he had killed in the mountains at the head of the Arkansas, in Colorado. By a curious chance this Ute was one whom the Cheyenne or Arapaho had wounded and scalped on a former expedition. The Ute had taken their wounded comrade to the Mexicans of New Mexico, who cured him, only to die soon afterward by the hand of a Kiowa. The facts in the case were learned by Big-bow on his friendly visit to the Ute in 1893.

WINTER 1869—70

Dómbá Etpé-de Sai, "Winter when they were frightened by the bugle." The circumstance is indicated on both calendars by means of a bugle in connection with the winter mark.

This was a winter of chronic alarm, as the Cheyenne, the neighbors and friends of the Kiowa, were on the warpath and were being hard pressed by Custer. The Kiowa had made their winter settlement in two camps on Beaver creek, near the junction of Wolf creek, in the vicinity of the present Fort Supply, in Oklahoma. It was reported that soldiers were in the neighborhood, and a party of young men went 327 out to look for them. On returning, about daylight, one of them, who carried a bugle, blew it to announce their approach, with the result that the whole camp, thinking that the troops were about to attack them, fled precipitately several miles before the truth was discovered.

Fig. 147—Summer 1870—Plant-growing sun dance; dusty sun dance.

According to another account, the bugle was blown by Set-t'aiñte, who for many years carried on ceremonial occasions a bugle which he had probably obtained from some army post. He had been on a visit to the Arkansas, and blew it on his return in order to locate the camp.


Fig. 148—Winter 1870—71—Set-ängya's bones brought home; drunken fight; negroes killed.

É`gú Gyäk`íädă-de K`ádó, "Plant-growing sun dance," or K`ádó Paíñyoñhä´-de, "Dusty sun dance." The former is the more common designation. This sun dance, like the last, was held on the North fork of Red river, but on the south side, in what is now Greer county, Oklahoma, near where the reservation line strikes the stream. During the dance the traders brought corn and watermelons to sell to the Indians. The seeds were thrown away, and on returning to the spot in the fall the Kiowa found that they had germinated in the sandy soil and developed into full growth; hence the common name of the dance, indicated on the Set-t'an calendar by a stalk of green (blue) corn beside the medicine lodge. On the Anko calendar it is distinguished as the "Dusty sun dance," on account of the high winds which raised clouds of dust during the dance and which are rudely indicated by close black lines across the medicine pole. No other event is recorded, the dance serving merely as a chronologic point.

WINTER 1870—71

Set-ä´ngya Ä´ton Ágan-de Sai, "Winter when they brought Set-ängya's bones."

For this winter the Set-t'an calendar records the bringing home of the bones of young Set-ängya, indicated by a skeleton above the winter mark, with a sitting bear over the head.

In the spring of 1870, before the last sun dance, the son of the noted chief Set-ängya ("Sitting-bear"), the young man having the same name as his father, had made a raid with a few followers into Texas, where, while making an attack upon a house, he had been shot and killed. After the dance his father with some friends went to Texas, found his bones and wrapped them in several fine blankets, put the bundle upon the back of a led horse and brought them home. On the return journey he killed and scalped a white man, which revenge served in some measure to assuage his grief. On reaching home he 328 erected a tipi with a raised platform inside, upon which, as upon a bed, he placed the bundle containing his son's bones. He then made a feast within the funeral tipi, to which he invited all his friends in the name of his son, telling them, "My son calls you to eat." From that time he always spoke of his son as sleeping, not as dead, and frequently put food and water near the platform for his refreshment on awaking. While on a march the remains were always put upon the saddle of a led horse, as when first brought home, the tipi and the horse thus burdened being a matter of personal knowledge to all the middle-age people of the tribe now living. He continued to care for his son's bones in this manner until he himself was killed at Fort Sill about a year later, when the Kiowa buried them. Although a young man, Set-ängya's son held the office of Toñhyópdă´, the pipe-bearer or leader who went in front of the young warriors on a war expedition.

Fig. 149—Summer 1871—Set-t'aiñte arrested; Koñpä´te killed.

The Anko calendar records two incidents. The first was a drunken fight between two Kiowa, in which one killed the other, indicated by the rude representation of two heads with a bottle between them. The other event was the killing of four or five negroes in Texas by a party led by Mamä´nte ("Walking-above)," who brought back the scalps with the woolly-hair attached. It is shown on the calendar by means of a figure with bullet and arrow wounds, drawn below the heads and the bottle. An attempt has been made to indicate the peculiar woolly hair of the negro; the trousers are blue, like those worn by soldiers, Anko thinking they were probably soldiers, because, as he says, "Negroes can't go alone."

In this winter Ansó-gíăni or Ansó`te, "Long-foot," the great medicine keeper, died of extreme old age. He had been in charge of the taíme for forty years; consequently there was no sun dance for two years until his successor was selected.


For this summer the Anko calendar records the death of Koñpä´te, "Blackens-himself," who was shot through the head in a skirmish with soldiers. He was the brother of the noted raider, White-horse. The event is indicated by the rude representation of a head struck by a bullet. As there was no dance this summer, the medicine lodge is not represented on either calendar.

The great event of the summer was the arrest of the noted chiefs and raiders, Set-t'aiñte, Set-äñgya and Ä´do-eétte, "Big-tree." The figure on the Set-t'an calendar shows the soldier arresting Set-t'aiñte, distinguished by the red war-paint which he always used.

Notwithstanding the promises of good conduct which had induced General Sheridan to release Lone-wolf and Set-t'aiñte when the tribe had been brought to the reservation in December, 1868, the Kiowa 329 had never ceased their raids into Texas, and had constantly behaved in the most insolent manner toward the agent and military commander on the reservation. On May 17, 1871, a party of about one hundred warriors, led by Set-t'aiñte and Set-ängya, attacked a wagon train in Texas, killed 7 men and captured 41 mules. Shortly afterward Set-t'aiñte had the boldness to avow the deed to the agent, Lawrie Tatum, who at once called upon the commander at Fort Sill to arrest Set-t´aiñte and several other chiefs who had accompanied him, viz: Set-ängya, Big-tree, Big-bow, Eagle-Heart and Fast-bear. The officer promptly responded and arrested the first three; Eagle-heart escaped and the other two were absent at the time. On May 28, the three prisoners were sent under military guard to Fort Richardson (Jacksboro), Texas, to be tried for their crimes, when Set-ängya attacked the guard and was killed in the wagon (Report, 89; Record, 11; Battey, 19; Tatum letter). The fate of the other prisoners is noted elsewhere.

According to the Kiowa account, which is correct in the main incidents, the prisoners having been disarmed, Set-ängya was placed in a wagon, accompanied by a single soldier, and Set-t'aiñte and Big-tree were put into another wagon with other guards, and an escort of cavalry and Tonkawa scouts rode on either side. Leaving Fort Sill, they started toward the south on the road to Texas, when Set-ängya began a loud harangue to the two prisoners in the other wagon, telling them that he was a chief and a warrior, too old to be treated like a little child. Then pointing to a tree where the road descends to cross a small stream about a mile south of the post, he said: "I shall never go beyond that tree." As he spoke in the Kiowa language, none but the prisoners knew what he was saying. Then raising his voice, he sang his death song, the song of the Kâitséñko, of whom he was chief:

I´ha hyo´ o´ya i´ya´ i´ya' o i´ha ya´ya yo´yo´ A´he´ya ahe´ya´ ya´he´yo´ ya e´ya he´yo e´he´yo Kâ´itseñ´ko änä´obahe´ma haa´-ipai´-degi o´ba´-ikă´ Kâi´tse´ñko änä´obahe´ma hadâ´mga´gi o´ba´-ikă´ I hahyo, etc. Aheya, etc. O sun, you remain forever, but we Kâitse´ñko must die. O earth, you remain forever, but we Kâitse´ñko must die.

The song ended, he suddenly sprang upon the guard with a knife which he had managed to conceal about his person, and had cut him seriously when the soldiers following behind fired and he fell dead in the wagon. He was buried in the military cemetery at Fort Sill, but there is nothing to distinguish the grave. The Kiowa statement of his singing his death song is corroborated by Battey and by agent Tatum.

Although a noted warrior and a chief of the Kâitséñko, Set-ängya was generally feared and disliked by the tribe on account of his vindictive disposition and his supposed powers of magic. It was believed that he could kill an enemy by occult means, and that he had in this manner actually disposed of one or two who had incurred his displeasure. The 330 knife with which he attacked the soldier is reputed to have been a "medicine knife," which he could swallow and disgorge as demanded by the necessity of concealment or use; several stories are told by the Indians to confirm this belief. His paternal grandmother was a woman of the Sarsi (Pákiägo, a small tribe incorporated with the Blackfeet,) who had married a Kiowa when the latter tribe lived in the far north. Unlike Indians generally, he habitually wore a mustache and straggling beard. He left two children; the elder, a son, was adopted into a white family under the name of Joshua Given, was educated in the east, married a white lady, afterward returned as a missionary to his people, 331 and died of consumption about four years ago. The younger child, Julia Given, was until recently employed in one of the mission schools on the reservation.

Fig. 150—Set-t'aiñte in prison (from Scribner's Monthly, February, 1874)


PHOTO BY SOULE (1) 1872.


Bearing on the subject of the arrest of the three chiefs and the death of Set-ängya, we quote at length from a letter written by Lawrie Tatum, the first agent for the Kiowa and associated tribes, from whom the author has obtained much valuable information in response to letters of inquiry. Mr Tatum, who is now (1896) living in Springdale, Iowa, at the advanced age of 75 years, is a member of the Society of Friends, and was appointed, on their recommendation, in accordance with the "Indian peace policy" of President Grant, soon after the tribes were brought upon the reservation. He took charge, as he states, July 1, 1869, and resigned March 31, 1873, in consequence of the release of Set-t'aiñte and Big-tree, a measure which he opposed, as it was on his motion that these men were originally arrested. During his incumbency he rescued a number of white captives without ransom—a thing before unexampled. On this point he states, in a letter of March 31, 1896:

I recovered fourteen white captives from the Indians, two of whom had forgotten their names and every word of English. I advertised for their parents and found them. I also recovered twelve Mexicans. I was the first agent, I think, that those Indians had, who obtained captives of them without paying a ransom. A part of them were procured by withholding rations from the band that had them, and a part were obtained by means of the leverage that Colonel Mackenzie gave by taking a hundred women and children from a raiding camp to Texas.

His stringent measures at times brought him into disfavor with his co-religionists, but had great influence in bringing these unruly tribes under effectual control. He writes, under date of April 7, 1896:

General Sherman called at my office, Kiowa and Comanche agency, Indian Territory, fifth month, 23, 1871, to see if I knew of any Indians having gone to Texas lately. He said that a party of Indians, supposed to number about one hundred and fifty, had attacked a train of ten wagons about 17 miles from Fort Richardson and killed the trainmaster and six teamsters. Five others escaped. Being at the fort at the time, he gave orders for the available troops to follow them with thirty days' rations and report at Fort Sill.

I told the general that I could not then tell what Indians they were, but thought that I could ascertain in a few days. Four days later the Indians came after their rations. Before issuing I asked the chiefs to come into the office, and told them of the tragedy in Texas, and wished to know if they could tell by what Indians it had been committed. Satanta immediately arose and said:

"Yes; I led in that raid. I have been told that you have stolen a large amount of our annuity goods and given them to the Texans. I have repeatedly asked for arms and ammunition, which have not been furnished, and made other requests which have not been granted. You do not listen to my talk. The white people are preparing to build a railroad through our country, which will not be permitted. Some years ago they took us by the hair and pulled us here close to Texas, where we have to fight them. When General Custer was here some years ago he arrested me and kept me in confinement several days, but that is played out now. There are never to be any more Kiowa Indians arrested. I want you to remember that.

"On account of these grievances a short time ago I took about one hundred of 332 my warriors, whom I wished to teach how to fight, to Texas, with the chiefs Satank [Set-ängya], Eagle-heart, Big-tree, Big-bow, and Fast-bear. We found a mule train, which we captured, and killed seven of the men. Three of our men got killed, but we are willing to call it even. It is all over now, and not necessary to say much more about it. We don't expect to do any raiding around here this summer. If any other Indian claims the honor of leading that party he will be lying to you, for I led it myself."

Satank, Eagle-heart, and Big-tree were present, and assented to the correctness of the statement made by Satanta. That they were guilty of murder in the first degree I had not the shadow of a doubt, and thought that forbearance in the case had ceased to be a virtue and would become a crime. I told the men to go to issuing and I would go to the fort (Sill). I went to Colonel Grierson's quarters and requested him to arrest Satanta, Satank, Eagle-heart, Big-tree, Big-bow, and Fast-bear on the charge of murder. Scarcely had the order been given when, to the surprise of all of of us, Satanta took the post interpreter into Colonel Grierson's quarters. He had heard that there was a big Washington chief there (General Sherman), and he probably wished to measure up with him and see how they compared. When I started to the agency he said he would go with me, but some soldiers stepped in front of him with their revolvers and ordered him back, and he quietly obeyed. The colonel sent for Satank and Eagle-heart to go to his quarters. Satank went and was arrested. Eagle-heart got nearly there and saw Big-tree being arrested, and he turned and fled. Kicking-bird pled eloquently for the release of the three prisoners, although he entirely disapproved of their raiding.

A day or two after the arrest, Colonel Mackenzie, in command of the troops from Fort Richardson, arrived at Fort Sill and reported that the heavy and continued rains had obliterated the tracks of the raiding Indians so that they could not be followed. After remaining a few days, the colonel with his troops took charge of the prisoners to convey them to Texas for trial. Satank was so refractory that he was put into a wagon with two soldiers, and Satanta and Big-tree were put into another wagon. George Washington, a Caddo Indian, rode alongside of the wagons as they left Fort Sill. Satank called to him and said: "I wish to send a little message by you to my people. Tell them that I am dead. I died the first day out, and my bones will be lying on the side of the road. I wish my people to gather them up and take them home." Satanta also sent a message, saying: "Tell my people to take the forty-one mules that we stole from Texas to the agent, as he and Colonel Grierson require. Don't commit any depredations around Fort Sill or in Texas."

When about a mile from the post Satank sang his death song, and with his back to the guard drew the shackles off his hands by taking some of the skin with them. Then with a butcher knife which he had secreted, he started for the guard in the front part of the wagon, cutting one of the soldiers slightly in the leg. They both jumped out, leaving their guns. Satank picked up one of them and commenced loading it, wanting to kill one more man. Before he got it loaded he received several shots, and in twenty minutes died in much agony, gritting his teeth. Colonel Grierson had him buried at Fort Sill. He gave the Indians permission to take him up and convey him to their camp for interment, which they declined to do.

Mr Leeper, my interpreter, who has since been a practicing physician in Chicago, and Horace P. Jones, the post interpreter, attended the trial of Satanta and Big-tree at Jacksboro. The jury brought in a verdict of murder in the first degree, and sentenced them to be hung on the 1st of the following September. I had requested that they be not executed, and gave my reasons for thinking that such a course would have a better effect upon the Indians of the reservation. The judge wrote me that he approved of my request and would ask the governor to commute the sentence to life imprisonment, which was done. The Kiowas delivered to me the stolen mules, as Satanta requested.


Although Set-ängya was a bad Indian and deserved punishment, it is impossible not to admire the grim courage of the old man, as, true to his warrior oath to despise death, though laden with chains and surrounded by armed troops, he boldly sang his death song, and then, wrenching the manacles from his bleeding wrists, drove the guards from the wagon, picked up their abandoned guns, and coolly prepared to kill one more enemy of his race before he fell, shot to death.

WINTER 1871—72 (1872—73)

A part of the Kiowa camped during this winter on Ä´-gíăni P'a, "Long-tree creek," a branch of Elk creek of upper Red river. The name is indicated on the Anko calendar by the figure of a tree below the winter mark. The remainder of the tribe camped on the Washita, near Rainy mountain. During this winter the Kiowa were visited by a large party of Pawnee, who came to make peace. They came on foot and remained a long time, returning with many horses given them by their hosts. On the Set-t'an calendar the event is indicated by a representation of three characteristic Pawnee heads above the winter mark.

Fig. 151—Winter 1871—72 (1872—73)—Pawnee visit; camp on Long-tree creek.

This was the first friendly meeting within the memory of the two tribes. The Pawnee first came to the Wichita, their near relatives, and then announced their intention to visit the Kiowa to make a treaty of peace. The Kiowa debated the matter for some time, but finally agreed, and after the visit dismissed their guests with many presents of horses. The older men describe the identical horses which were given. In the fall of 1873 another large party of the Pawnee visited the Wichita and remained some time. On their return home they gave such an account of their experience that the entire tribe decided to remove to the south from Nebraska, where they were constantly harassed by the Dakota. The matter was brought to the attention of the government and a new reservation was selected for them in Indian Territory (Oklahoma), to which they removed in the spring of 1875 (Report, 90).

From the concurrent notices by Battey, Grinnell, and the Indian Commissioner, together with the statements of a number of Indians, it is plain that in this instance the author of the calendar has made an error in the date, which should be the winter of 1872—73. As the Indians tell it, the Pawnee came late in the fall, after the Kiowa had left Ä´gíăni P'a. The explanation may be in a confusion between the visit of the Pawnee and that of the Pueblos (see winter 1872—73).

In regard to this Pawnee visit, which led to the removal of the tribe to Indian Territory, Grinnell says that in the summer of 1870 Lone-chief 334 led a large party of the Pawnee southward to visit the Wichita. Again in the winter of 1871—72, the same chief, with a party, started on another visit to the Wichita, but for some reason turned back. The next winter (1872—73) in consequence of renewed inroads of the Dakota, the Pawnee were thrown into an unsettled condition and the question of removal to a safer situation began to be seriously discussed. It was finally decided to send a small party under Lone-chief and one or two others to the southern tribes to learn how these would look upon a general Pawnee migration into Indian Territory. The delegates visited the Oto, Kansa, Wichita, Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache, and were everywhere received in a friendly manner. The Pawnee then invited the chiefs of the various tribes to meet them at the Wichita camp, where the Pawnee speaker broached the proposition, stating that his people wished to be at peace and had made up their minds to come and live with their friends in the south.

They received a cordial invitation from all the chiefs of the different tribes, who said that they had good land and plenty of buffalo for them, and the result was that in 1873 the first party moved south and was followed by others, until in 1875 the whole tribe had removed from Nebraska to the Indian Territory (Grinnell, Pawnee, 1).

Grinnell is not entirely consistent with himself, but in another place says that the first expedition under Lone-chief took place "the following summer in August" of 1869 or 1870, and that it was on that occasion that the Pawnee visited and made peace with the Kiowa, and afterward visited the Comanche (Grinnell, Pawnee, 2).

The Quaker teacher, Battey, was with Kicking-bird in the Kiowa camp on Cache creek on the arrival of the Pawnee dancers, numbering forty-five, in March, 1873. He gives an extended account of their reception and performance:

A party of Pawnees came in last evening, giving notice of their arrival by their headman and two or three others coming into camp, while the main body remained 2 or 3 miles distant. This morning a public reception was given them.

The party was seen coming over a ridge in single file, bearing a white flag. Approaching to within 20 rods, they planted their flag, upon which was painted the single letter P, and sat down in a line on each side of it, facing the village. After sitting in this manner for perhaps half an hour, during which they maintained entire silence, and preliminary arrangements for their reception were made in the camp, the chiefs, followed by most of the headmen, and these by the young men, women, and children, went forth to welcome them. Upon drawing near to them, the Kiowa chiefs walking with a slow step and dignified mien, some of the old women set up a chant in a shrill voice, whereupon the head chief of the Pawnees and two or three others, perhaps the nearest in rank, arose, and with a quick, firm step approached the Kiowa chiefs, and after embracing them retired to their former position.

Others of the Pawnees came forward, a few at a time, until all had embraced and been embraced by the Kiowa chiefs and headmen. The women, remaining some distance behind, renewed their shrill chant from time to time. Some of the Pawnees occasionally placed a shawl or embroidered blanket upon the shoulders of a Kiowa, while several of the old men passed along in front of the whole line of the visitors, shaking hands with them. After this the Pawnees set up a weird song, during the continuance of which Kiowa fathers, each carrying a small child in his arms, bearing a piece of stick in its little hands, young girls, and occasionally a woman, would 335 approach the Pawnees, and selecting someone, would present themselves before him, holding out the stick. Thereupon he would arise, place his hands upon the donor's head in a solemn, reverential manner, as if blessing, pass them down the sides, following the arms, take the stick, and sit down. Each stick thus given was a pledge from the giver to the receiver for a pony, to be given when the visitors are ready to return to their country. Old men, from time to time addressing the Kiowas, urged them to liberality, to show the largeness of their hearts and the warmth of their friendship by giving ponies to these poor Pawnees, who had come so far to see them and renew their friendship, and not allow them to return on foot, as they came. I know not how many ponies were thus pledged to them, but there must have been many.

At the conclusion of the ceremony the Pawnees arose in a body, ceased their song, took up their flag, and a part following one Kiowa chief and a part another, accompanied them to their lodges to partake of their hospitality. The head chief, with four or five others, including the flag bearer, accompanied Kicking-bird to his lodge, thus becoming his guest.

In the afternoon the visitors gave a Pawnee war dance, of which Battey wisely remarks:

Fig. 152—Summer 1872—Viejo shot.

I shall not render myself ridiculous by attempting to describe that which is indescribable.... Individuals occupied the intervals between the dances by narrating their own former valorous exploits, not even omitting that their victims were in some instances Kiowas, concluding by throwing their war implements upon the ground with such force, in case of tomahawk or hatchet, as to cause the metal to ring. Then, with gesture of covering it up, they would go away, leaving it to lie there; thus intimating that, though they had been foolish and fought, they now rejoiced in the beams of peace and hoped that the red men everywhere might live in peace one with another; all of which was received by the Kiowas with the loud response of "How! how! Yes! yes!" (Battey, 20).


This summer there was no sun dance, and in consequence the medicine lodge does not appear on either calendar.

For this summer the Anko calendar has two connected human figures, together with what he explains as a "mule's head" above the medicine pole. Between the forks of the pole is another human head, where he commenced to draw the first figure, but found that he had no room. The joined human figures refer to a drunken fight between Sun-boy and T'ené-zépte, "Bird-bow" (?), growing out of some whisky smuggled in by Mexicans, in which Sun-boy shot his antagonist with an arrow. The mule's head indicates a raid into Kansas, in which the Kiowa captured a large number of mules. This may have been the same raid in which Bíako was shot.

The Set-t'an calendar has a picture of a man wounded in the chest, with a tree above his head to show that the event occurred in summer. This has reference to a skirmish with the whites in which a Mexican captive named Bíako (Viejo) was shot, but afterward recovered. He was one of those selected for confinement in Florida a few years later, 336 and is still living and with the tribe. The fight took place in the course of a raid into Kansas by a small party of Kiowa under T'ené'taide, "Bird-chief," which was undertaken against the protests of the other chiefs, who desired to be at peace with the Americans. Near Medicine-lodge creek, not far from the Kansas line, they were joined by some of the Osage, and soon afterward met a party of white men in wagons, whom they thought were surveyors; a skirmish ensued, resulting in the wounding of the captive and one of the Osage.

WINTER 1872—73

Téguăgo Tsän-de Sai, "Winter that the Pueblos came." In this winter, while most of the Kiowa were encamped on the Washita near Rainy mountain, a party of Pueblo Indians and Mexicans visited them to trade biscocho, or Pueblo bread, and eagle feathers for horses and buffalo robes. The Kiowa were very fond of this bread and willingly gave a pony for a small bag of it. The figure on the Set-t'an calendar represents a Pueblo Indian, with his hair tied in a bunch behind, driving before him a burro (donkey) with a pack upon his back. The Kiowa say that the Pawnee visited them late in the fall, while the Pueblo party came in the winter, stopping south of Stumbling-bear's present camp. From an early period the Pueblo Indians of the Rio Grande had carried on a trade with the southern plains tribes, with which they appear to have been always on friendly terms. This was the next to their final visit.

Fig. 153—Winter 1872—1873—Pueblo visit; battle tipi burned.

The Anko calendar records the accidental burning of a noted heraldic tipi, hereditary in the family of the great Dohásän. It was known as the Dó-gíägyä gúăt, "Tipi with battle pictures," being ornamented with battle pictures on the northern side and horizontal stripes of black and yellow alternating on the southern side; it occupied the second place from the entrance in the camp circle on ceremonial occasions. A small facsimile model has been deposited by the author in the National Museum. Plate LXXIX shows the appearance of the buckskin model when open and spread out.

The Kiowa, like the plains tribes generally, had an elaborate system of heraldry, exemplified in the painting and decoration of their shields and tipis. Every prominent family had its heraldic tipi, which had its appointed place in the great camp circle of the tribe and descended by inheritance from generation to generation. The system may form the subject of a future study by the author.


Iyúgúa P'a K`ádó, "Maggot-creek sun dance," so called because held on that stream, known to the whites as Sweetwater creek, a tributary of the North fork of Red river, near the western line of the reservation, 337 just within the Texas panhandle. The dance was made by Dóhéñte, "No-moccasins," the successor of Anso te; it occurred in June and was attended by Battey, who describes it in detail in his book. There were present most of the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache, with a large part of the Cheyenne and Arapaho, who discussed the question of starting another war in consequence of the continued imprisonment of Set-t'aiñte and Big-tree. Although Battey himself had come to bring them the news of the further detention of these chiefs on account of the Modok war, he was able, with the help of Kicking-bird, to dissuade the Indians from their hostile intent.



Fig. 154—Summer 1873—Pa-kóñkya's horses killed.

While the dance was in progress Pa-kóñkya ("Black-buffalo") "stole" the wife of Guibadái, "Appearing-wolf," in retaliation for which the injured husband killed seven of Pa-kóñkya's horses and took a number of others, in accordance with the tribal custom; he threatened also to kill the seducer, so that the Toñkóñko Dog-soldiers had to interfere. The killing of the horses or the seizure of the property of the offender by the injured husband is the regular tribal punishment for such offenses, but in extreme cases, as in this instance, the Dog-soldiers interfere. The same event is recorded on both calendars, the Set-t'an picture being sufficiently suggestive, while the Anko calendar has above the medicine pole the figure of a horse's head struck by a bullet, with another head below it to represent the woman.

Fig. 155—Winter 1873—74—Set-t'aiñte returns; Lone-wolf's son killed.

WINTER 1873—74

Set-t'aiñte Tsän-de Sai, "Winter of Set-t'aiñte's return." The notable event of this season was the return of Set-t'aiñte from prison October 8, 1873. The figure above the winter mark on the Set-t'an calendar shows Set-t'aiñte, distinguished by his red headdress, coming into his tipi, which was conspicuous by being painted entirely red, with red streamers at the ends of the poles. The red marks above the tipi are intended to represent his return footprints. The event is noted at length in another place.

The Anko calendar commemorates the killing in Mexico of two "sons" (i. e., a son and a nephew) of Lone-wolf, rudely indicated below the winter mark by a human figure wearing a k`ódalpä or shell breastplate, with several flying bullets at the side.

Battey, who was in the Kiowa camp when the news arrived, has this entry in his diary under date of January 13, 1874:

This is a day of wailing in our camp. News arrived this morning of the death of two Kiowa braves, the one a son of Lone-wolf, the other of Red-otter [Ápeñ-gúădal] 338 Lone-wolf's brother. They were killed while on a raid in Mexico. Lone-wolf's son was wounded in the knee a year ago last summer while raiding in Texas, and came near losing his life. This, it seems, did not satisfy his thirst for blood, and the Kiowa determining to raid no more in Texas, he, the past autumn, went into Mexico, where it appears he has been killed. The camp resounded with the death wail, the song of mourning for the unreturning braves mingled with the war whoop. This was revived at stated intervals for several days (Battey, 21).

According to information given by the Indians to Battey, Lone-wolf's son, with a few other young Kiowa warriors, had accompanied a raiding party of Comanche into Mexico. On their return they were attacked at a night camp by Mexican troops and the two Kiowa were killed. The remaining Kiowa at once returned home with the news, but the Comanche crossed the Rio Grande into Texas and began a series of raids on Nueces river, when they were attacked by soldiers and several killed. The rest started for home, but meeting another party of Comanche, they turned back with them and were again attacked by the troops, losing, in both encounters, twenty-two killed. A desire to avenge these losses had much to do with the ferment among them which led to the outbreak in the following summer; they also tried to make it appear that the Kiowa had been raiding in Texas when killed, in order to involve that tribe with themselves, although it seems beyond question that the Kiowa were killed in Mexico and had not been engaged in the Texas raids.

Fig. 156—Summer 1874—The medicine lance; Bluff-end sun dance.

Lone-wolf went to Mexico to bury the body of his son, the sun dance having been postponed in the meantime, and it is said that on finding it he knelt down beside it and vowed to avenge his death with the life of a white man. A lot of government horses were soon afterward stolen from Fort Concho (or Clark?), in Texas, and it was charged that this was done by Lone-wolf and his party on their return, although they denied it. The killing of his son was the chief reason assigned by Lone-wolf for his part in the outbreak which followed (Battey, 22; Report, 91).


Tsó`kakánă-de K`ádó, "Sun dance at the end of the bluff." The dance was held at a place called Tsó`kakán, "end of the bluff," on the south side of the North fork of Red river, above the junction of Elm fork, at a mountain called by the Kiowa the "Last mountain," in Greer county, Oklahoma. On the Anko calendar the bluff is indicated by a projection from one side of the medicine pole.

At this dance Set-t'aiñte, in thanksgiving for his release from prison, gave his famous zébat, or medicine arrow-lance, to Ä´`to-t'aiñ, "White-cowbird," brother of the chief Sun-boy, thus resigning his own chieftainship in favor Ä´`to-t'aiñ. There were only two lances of this kind in the tribe, both being regarded as medicine lances, the other belonging to Tän-gúădal (see winter 1868—69). 339

WINTER 1874—75

Fig. 157—Winter 1874—75—Gi-edal killed; Kiowa imprisoned.

Gí-edal Ehótal-de Sai, "Winter that Big-meat was killed." The southern plains tribes, including a large part of the Kiowa, went out together on the warpath. After the fight at the Wichita agency, at Anadarko, in August, 1874, as previously detailed, the Comanche warriors who were implicated fled to the Staked plain, and the Kiowa to the head of Red river, with the troops in pursuit. While there a small party of the Kiowa went on a horse-stealing raid into New Mexico, resulting in an encounter, in which they killed two men, captured a woman, and ran off several horses. On their return they stopped to rest in the mountains, and were stretched at ease telling stories when they were suddenly attacked by the soldiers. Gi-edal was mortally wounded at the first fire, but propped himself against a rock and succeeded in killing one soldier and wounding another before he died. Another Kiowa was killed also, but the troops were finally repulsed. The Set-t'an calendar shows Gi-edal, who is distinguished by buffalo horns on his war-bonnet, wounded, with the blood gushing from his mouth.

Fig. 158—Summer 1875—Love-making spring sun dance.

At the close of the outbreak, a number of warriors were selected and sent to confinement at Fort Marion, Florida. The figure on the Anko calendar is intended to represent Fort Sill, with the imprisoned Kiowa warriors confined before being sent to Florida.


Fig. 159—Winter 1875—76—Sheep and goats issued.

K`ioñ-Toñ K`ádó, "Love-making spring sun dance." It was held at a spring in a bend on the north (reservation) bank of North fork of Red river, a few miles from K`ób-akán, "Last mountain" (Mount Walsh, in Greer county). As conditions were yet unsettled on account of the outbreak, the Kiowa were escorted on this occasion by a body of troops.

The spring takes its name from the fact that on one occasion, while the Kiowa were encamped there, some young men "stole" two girls who had gone to the spring for water. On the Anko calendar the place is identified by a figure of a woman above the medicine pole.

WINTER 1875—76

In this instance the same event is recorded on both calendars by means of the figure of a ram or goat in connection with the winter mark.

In the various engagements during the last campaign and at the final surrender, several thousand ponies and mules had been taken from 340 the Indians. These were sold under direction of Colonel Mackenzie, who determined to invest the proceeds in sheep and cattle for the benefit of the Indians, with the idea of changing their habits from hunting to pastoral. A detachment of troops, accompanied by several Kiowa and Comanche, was sent to New Mexico, where they purchased thirty-five hundred sheep and goats, with which they returned in November, 1875, the flock being driven by Mexican herders. Many died on the journey, and the remainder arrived in poor condition, but recuperated in the spring, when they were distributed to those Indians deemed most deserving. Stumbling-bear received one hundred, and others smaller flocks. Six hundred cattle were also purchased from the same fund and distributed in the same manner (Report, 92).

Fig. 160—Summer 1876—Horse-stealing sun dance.

Just previous to the outbreak the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache, with the few of the Delaware tribe living among them, were officially reported to have over sixteen thousand horses and mules. At the close of the troubles they had only six thousand remaining, having lost ten thousand within a little more than a year. They had also a small number of cattle before the outbreak, but no sheep (Report, 93).

This was the first general attempt by the Kiowa to raise stock (except horses). Although at the start the experiment promised well, the herds were soon reduced by neglect, killing for food, etc., and in a few years the last animal was gone. It is said that some of the sheep escaped to the Wichita mountains, where for several years they roamed wild.


Iyúgúa P'a Pähä´dal K'ádó, Sun dance at the fork of Maggot (Sweetwater) creek, or Paí-tälyí-de Tseñko Edásémk`opa-de K`ádó, "Sun dance when Sun-boy's horses were stolen." This dance was held at the junction of Sweetwater creek and the North fork of Red river, on the western line of the reservation. While it was in progress some Mexicans stole all of Sun-boy's horses. After the dance the Kiowa pursued the thieves, but their horses gave oat, and they failed to recover the stolen animals. On both calendars the event is indicated by means of figures representing horse tracks near the medicine lodge.

Dó-héñte, "No-moccasins" ("Tohaint" of Battey) had died in the preceding fall and had been succeeded as taíme priest by Set-dayá-iti, "Many-bears," who made this dance. He was the uncle of Set-dayiá-iti, who was killed by the Ute, and the cousin ("brother") of Taímete, who afterward had charge of the taíme.

WINTER 1876—77

This winter is distinguished on the Set-t'an calendar by the killing of the woman A`gábaí, "On-top-of-the-hill," by her husband Íăpa, 341 "Baby," in the Kiowa camp, which at that time was a short distance below Fort Sill. The figure shows the woman above the winter mark, with a character intended for a cliff beside a river (the wavy line) to indicate her name. Although the killing occurred in summer, it was some time after the sun dance, and hence is marked as happening in winter. The woman was sick and promised Íăpa, who was considered a doctor and was then unmarried, that if he would make her well she would marry him; he succeeded in curing her and she married him, but soon after left him, and for this he stabbed her.

Fig. 161—Winter 1876—1877—A'gábaí killed; scouts enlisted.

The incident is thus noted by Agent Haworth in his official report:

A young man in a mad fit killed his wife. On hearing of it, I called a council of Kiowa chiefs and asked them to take some action about it. I explained to them the penalties the white man's law inflicted for such terrible crimes. After a short consultation they decided they would do with him whatever I said—kill him, if I said so. They said, however, that he was young and foolish and did not know the white man's laws or road, but they would arrest him as soon as he could be found and bring him to me, and I could do with him as I desired. Two of their number, Dangerous-eagle and Big-tree, about nine oclock the same evening brought him to my house, having made the arrest themselves. I sent them on with him to the guard-house, where he was confined for several months, most of the time with ball and chain, working around the garrison in full view of his people. After his arrest they made the request that, in consideration of his ignorance of the white man's laws, his life be spared. I told them he would not be hurt, but the arrest was made without any promises of mercy being exacted or made, no soldiers being required, and done simply on my suggestion or request (Report, 94).

Fig. 162—Summer 1877—Measles sun dance.

Anko's calendar commemorates the fact that he, with about twenty other Kiowa braves, enlisted as scouts this year at Fort Sill, remaining in the service two or three years. The figure below the winter mark shows a man holding a gun and wearing a peculiar variety of hat then used by the scouts. The first Kiowa scouts were enlisted at the time of the surrender in 1875.


Dä´-mä´tánä´ P'a K`ádó, "Star-girl-tree river sun dance," or Á`gat-hódal K`ádó, "Measles sun dance." This dance took place within the present Greer county, Oklahoma, on Salt fork of Red river, called by the Kiowa the "Star-girl-tree river," from a noted tree which originated from a sapling used in a medicine sacrifice to the "Star girls" or Pleiades. On this occasion the troops accompanied the Kiowa on their buffalo hunt and afterward escorted them to the place selected for the dance. 342

This summer is noted for an epidemic of measles, which is said to have killed more children in the tribe than the measles epidemic of 1892. It is represented on both calendars by a human figure covered with red spots, above the medicine lodge. Strangely enough there is no notice of this epidemic in the report of the agent for this year, which may perhaps be accounted for by the fact that he was himself prostrated by sickness which occasioned his retirement in the following spring. From the report of the agent for the Cheyenne and Arapaho, however, we learn that the epidemic broke out among the latter tribes in April, and in spite of the best efforts of the physician, killed two hundred and nineteen children, so that almost every family was in mourning. In happy contrast to the more recent experience of the Kiowa, the government school was temporarily turned into a hospital, with the teachers for nurses, so that although seventy-four children were sick at the same time, not one died (Report, 95).

Fig. 163—Winter 1877—78—Camp at Signal mountain; hunt on Pecan creek.

WINTER 1877—78

K`op-taíde-do-tsédal-de Sai, "Signal-mountain winter." During this winter a part of the tribe camped near Mount Scott, while the remainder camped west of Fort Sill, at the foot of Signal mountain, called by the Kiowa "the mountain with a house built upon it," referring to a stone lookout station built during the last Indian outbreak. The figure on the Set-t´an calendar is sufficiently suggestive of a house upon a mountain.

Anko records the fact that he hunted buffalo this winter on Elk creek (on upper Red river), called by the Kiowa Dónä´-i P'a, "Pecan river." The rounded figure below the winter mark is intended to represent a pecan nut.

This winter is noted for an epidemic of fever, which is mentioned in the report for 1878. In the fall of 1877, under Agent Haworth, as an inducement to the Indians to abandon their roaming habit, the government built houses for ten prominent chiefs of the three tribes, including Stumbling-bear, Gaápiatañ (Heidsick), Guñsádalte (Cat), and Sun-boy, of the Kiowa, and White-man and Taha, of the Apache. These were the first Indian houses ever built upon the reservation, excepting two erected by the military. At first the new owners continued to live in the tipis, which they preferred from long usage, but by the further gift of beds and chairs they were induced to go into the houses. An attempt to get the Indians to cut the logs and do a part of the work themselves under instruction seems to have been a failure. The houses were reasonably good frame structures of three rooms, having doors, glass windows, and substantial double fireplaces and chimneys of stone; they cost $600 343 each (Report, 96). In 1886 there were nine Kiowa families living in houses (Report, 97), but a few years later most of these dwellings were vacant or occupied by white renters, the Indian owners being again in the tipis.


Fig. 164.—Summer 1878—Repeated sun dance.

Adăldä K`ádó, "Repeated sun dance." This is the second recorded instance of this kind, the first having occurred in 1842. On the Set-t´an calendar it is indicated by the figure of two adjoining medicine lodges, and in the Anko calendar by a double-forked medicine pole. The two dances were held on the North fork of Red river. Part of the Kiowa had gone to the plains on the western part of the reservation to hunt buffalo, while the others remained at home. Each party, unknown to the other, promised to make a sun dance, in consequence of which one dance was held at the regular period, after which the leaves were renewed and another dance was held for another four days. On this occasion also the buffalo hunters, who made one sun dance, were escorted by a detachment of troops as a protection and as a precaution against their committing depredations (Report, 98).

WINTER 1878—79

Fig. 165—Winter 1878—79—Ä´to-t'aíñ killed.

The event noted for this winter on both calendars is the killing of Ä´to-t'aíñ, "White-cowbird," the man to whom Set-t'aiñte had given his medicine lance five years before, thus resigning his chieftanship to him (see summer 1874). On the Set-t'an calendar it is indicated by a human figure painted red and with the red headdress, both characteristic of Set-t'aiñte, above the winter mark, and with the medicine lance or zébat in front. On the Anko calendar it is indicated by the figure of the arrow-lance below the winter mark. By a curious coincidence Set-t'aiñte himself committed suicide in a Texas prison about the same time.

Ä´to-t'aíñ was the brother of the chief Sun-boy, and on account of his relationship and the dignity conferred upon him by Set-t'aiñte, if not for his personal merits, was a prominent man in the tribe. On account of having this lance he was also known as Zébä-dó-k`ía, "Man-who-has-the-arrows," i. e., "Arrowman." He was killed by Texans while with a party who had gone, by permission of the agent and accompanied by an escort of troops, to hunt buffalo on upper Red river in what is now Greer county, Oklahoma; the Texans shot him through the body and both arms, scalped him, and cut off a finger upon which was a ring. The hunt occurred in the winter season, but the buffalo were now so nearly exterminated 344 that it was practically a failure and the Indians suffered much in consequence. The killing with its sequel is thus noted in the official report:

Captain Nolan, commanding the company of troops who were escorting the Indians while on the hunt, had, in view of the scarcity of buffalo, allowed parties, each accompanied by a squad of soldiers, to go off from the main camp to points where it was said straggling droves of buffalo could be found. While a Kiowa man was one day a short distance from the camp of one of these parties and alone he was run onto by a company of Texas state troops, shot down, killed, and scalped. A few moments after this grand military feat was performed the little Indian camp was discovered, and they were just in the act of covering themselves with additional glory by charging it and butchering the squaws and pappooses when the squad of colored troops presented themselves, mounted on the bare backs of their horses, having had no time to saddle them, and the warlike band disappeared. Upon the return of the Indians to the agency a request was made that the Texans who murdered the Kiowa should be arrested and punished by the authorities, expressing at the same time no intention of avenging his death themselves. It seems that after waiting some time and concluding that nothing could or would be done by the authorities, a party of young Kiowas, headed by the brother of the murdered man, quietly left their different camps, dashed hurriedly across the line into Texas, killed and scalped a white man they met in the road, and returned as secretly to their camps, apparently feeling that they had avenged the death of their brother and friend by this taking of one scalp.

Fig. 166—Summer 1879—Horse-eating sun dance; Boy shot.

A party of troops was sent after this avenging party immediately on learning of this last killing, but so quietly had they proceeded that no trace of them could be found or any definite information procured on which to base measures for their punishment. The white man killed was named Earle, and the agent expresses his belief that if proper satisfaction had been made in the first place by punishing the murderers of the Kiowa or making presents to his family according to the Indian custom, the avenging party would not have entered Texas on their deadly mission (Report, 99).


Tséñ-píä K`ádó, "Horse-eating sun dance." It is indicated on the Set-t'an calendar by the figure of a horse's head above the medicine lodge. This dance was held on Elm fork of Red river, and was so called because the buffalo had now become so scarce that the Kiowa, who had gone on their regular hunt the preceding winter, had found so few that they were obliged to kill and eat their ponies during the summer to save themselves from starving. This may be recorded as the date of the disappearance of the buffalo from the Kiowa country. Thenceforth the appearance of even a single animal was a rare event. The official report says:

In the month of June last a portion of each band was permitted to go to the western part of the reservation to subsist themselves awhile on buffalo, deer, etc, as the supplies for the year had been so nearly expended it was not seen how they could 345 all be fed until those for the next year were received. But again they failed to find game sufficient to feed themselves, and the Kiowa, who while out were engaged in their annual medicine dance, suffered some with hunger. I think their failures in finding buffalo the past year, and their consequent suffering while out, will have a good effect in causing them to abandon their idea of subsisting in this way and to look to their crops and stock for a support. It is a fact worthy of note that the reports of the agents show the value of the robes and furs sold by the Indians now belonging to the Kiowa, Comanche, and Wichita agency for the year 1876 amounted to $70,400; for 1877, $64,500; for 1878, $26,375; while in 1879 only $5,068 was received, showing that buffalo hunting is not a thing of profit as it once was; and, besides, the most serious drawback to the Indians is the lack of the buffalo meat which at one time helped to subsist them, and which, added to the insufficient rations furnished by the government, kept them partly comfortable. As that supply is cut off, the Indian must go to work and help himself or remain hungry on the rations furnished (Report, 100).

The Anko calendar records the fact that while the Kiowa were driving away their issue of beef cattle some mischievous boys, shooting at the cattle with their arrows, accidentally shot another boy in the shoulder, but not fatally. In giving this explanation it was evident that Anko did not want to mention the boy's name, probably because he was now dead.

Fig. 167—Winter 1879—80—Eye-triumph winter.

WINTER 1879—80

Tä´kágyä Sai, "Eye-triumph winter." The name and story furnish a curious illustration of Indian belief. Káäsä´nte, "Little-robe" (or Little-hide), with two or three others, had gone to the North fork of Red river to look for antelope. According to another story they went to look for their old enemies, the Navaho, who, it seems, although now removed to their former reservation in western New Mexico, still occasionally penetrated thus far. Among them was a man named Pódodal (a variety of bird), who claimed to understand the language of owls, a bird believed by the Kiowa to be an embodied spirit. While resting one night in camp this man warned Little-robe not to go to bed, but to round up the ponies and keep watch over them, for an owl had told him that the Navaho would try to steal them that night. During the night Pódodal fired at something in the darkness, and on looking in the morning they found the trail of a man, and blood drops, which they followed for a long distance, but at last gave up the pursuit. That night the owl again came and told Pódodal that the wounded Navaho was lying dead beyond the point where they had turned back, and that he (the owl) would go and fetch him.

On rising in the morning Pódodal saw some strange-looking object lying on the ground in the lodge, and on examining it it proved to be the eye of a dead Navaho. On the advice of Pódodal they then abandoned the hunt and returned to the Kiowa camp, on a small branch of Apache creek (Sémät P'a), an upper branch of Cache creek. They 346 carried with them the eye, hung at the end of a pole after the manner of a scalp, and danced over it as over a scalp on arriving at the camp on the small stream, since called Tä´-kágyä P'a, "Eye-triumph creek" from this circumstance.

It should be added that there were some skeptics who laughed at the whole story and declared that the eye was that of an antelope which Pódodal had secretly shot.

On the Set-t'an calendar the event is indicated by a figure intended to represent a scalp at the end of a pole, carried by a man wearing a striped robe to indicate his name, Little-robe. On the Anko calendar there is a representation of a scalp on a pole under the winter mark.


Fig. 168—Summer 1880—No dance; Päbóte died.

This summer there was no sun dance, perhaps on account of failure to find buffalo, and instead of the medicine lodge the summer is indicated on the Set-t'an calendar by the figure of a leafy tree above a square figure, which is explained as meaning that the author of the calendar stayed at home, the lines being intended to show a space inclosed in a fence after the manner of a white man's farm. A similar device is several times used for the same purpose in later years. Under date of September 1, 1881—a year later—the agent says:

Last year I was encouraged in the belief that the Indians under my charge were rather disposed to lay aside these ideas and ceremonies, from the fact that very little was heard of their medicine men during the year, and the Kiowas failed to hold their annual "medicine dance." The latter part of this year, however, from some cause, their medicine men have been unusually active, as I learn has been the case at other agencies, and the Kiowas have recently returned from the western part of their reservation, where they held their annual dance (Report, 101).

The Anko calendar records the death of a chief named Päbóte, "American-horse." He was a man of unusual height and size, hence his name, which signifies literally an animal taller than the average. He was buried in a coffin by the whites at the agency nearly opposite Fred's store. On the calendar the square figure below the picture of the man, and connected with it by a line, is intended to represent the coffin.

On first explaining the calendar, in 1892, Anko evaded the mention of this man's name, in accordance with the Kiowa custom which forbids naming the dead, but three years later consented to do so. The same objection was frequently encountered, but finally overcome in regard to other names on the calendars.

WINTER 1880—81

For this winter the Set-t'an calendar has a house over the winter mark, but he could not remember whose house it was intended to represent. In Captain Scott's notes it is said to be Paul Set-k'opte's new 347 house, but Set-k'opte did not return from the east until 1882. It is probably intended to represent a new house built for another, Paul Zoñtam, who returned from the east in 1881 as an ordained Episcopal minister.

Fig. 169—Winter 1880—81—House built; Pueblo visit.

The Anko calendar records the visit of a large party of Pueblo Indians from New Mexico, indicated by a human figure below the winter mark with the hair bunched up in Pueblo fashion. There were about a hundred of them and they stopped at various camps of the Kiowa and Apache, remaining some time. This was the last time the Pueblos ever visited these tribes. In the following fall Big-bow returned their visit.


K`ádó Sä' lä´ti, "Hot-sun dance," or Dóguătal Sáomhäpä-de K adó "Sun dance when blood came up from the young man." It was called the "hot sun dance" from the fact that it was held late in August, instead of in June as usual, the delay being due probably to the difficulty of finding a buffalo for the purpose; after a long search a solitary bull was found. The dance was held on North fork of Red river, a short distance beyond the end of the mountains.

Fig. 170—Summer 1881—Hemorrhage or hot sun dance.

The close upright lines between the forks of the medicine pole on the Anko calendar he explains to indicate the heat, probably from the Indian gesture sign for fire, made by holding the hand with thumb and fingers together pointing upward, and separating them with a quick motion, the concept being the upward motion of the sparks and smoke.

The suggestive figure on the Set-t'an calendar records an incident which gives another name to this sun dance, a young man, the adopted son of Poor-buffalo, having been attacked by hemorrhage. He was called Măsá`te, "Six," from the fact that he had six toes on each foot; his brother, Bóhé, still living, is said to have six fingers on each hand, Such instances of malformation are at least as rare among Indians as among whites.

WINTER 1881—82

Ĭmdádóá-de Saiá, "Winter when they played the dó-á medicine game." This winter is noted for a great dó-á game played under the auspices of two rival leaders, each of whom claimed to have the most powerful "medicine" for the game. The game was played in the winter camp on the Washita, near the mouth of Hog creek, the Kiowa leader being Pa-tepte, "Buffalo-bull-coming-out," alias Dátekâñ, now dead (see summer 1882), while his opponent was the Apache chief and medicine-man 348 Dävéko. The Kiowa leader was recognized distinctively as having "medicine" for this game, and it was said that he could do wonderful things with the "button," making it pass invisibly from one hand to another while he held his hands outstretched and far apart, and even to throw it up into the air and cause it to remain there suspended invisibly until he was ready to put out his hand again and catch it; in other words, he was probably an expert sleight-of-hand performer. His Apache rival, Dävéko, is known as a medicine-man as well as a chief, and is held in considerable dread, as it is believed that he can kill by shooting invisible darts from a distance into the body of an enemy. On this occasion he had boasted that his medicine was superior for the dó-á game, which did not prove to be the case, however, and as the Kiowa medicine-man won the victory for his party, large stakes were wagered on the result and were won by the Kiowa. It is said that this was a part of Pa-tepte's effort to revive the old customs and amusements on a large scale. The game was witnessed by a large concourse, all dressed and painted for the occasion. The picture on the Set-t'an calendar is very suggestive.

Fig. 171—Winter 1881—82—Dó-á game; medicine tipi.

The name dó-á signifies the "tipi game," from do, tipi or house, and a, a game, because, unlike most of their games, it is played inside the tipi, being essentially a game for the long nights when the whole tribe is assembled in the winter camp. A similar game is found among nearly all our wild tribes; it is played by both sexes, but never together. In its general features it resembles our game of "hunt the button," the players forming a circle around the fire in the tipi, one-half of them playing against the others, sitting facing them on the opposite side of the fire. The leader of one party then takes the k`íäbo or button, a short piece of stick wrapped around the middle with a strip of fur and small enough to be concealed in the hand. Putting his closed hands together, he raises his arms above his head, clasps them across his chest or puts them behind his back, endeavoring to pass the k`íäbo from one hand to another, or from his own hand to that of his next partner, without being perceived by any of the opposite party, all the while keeping time to the movements of his hands with one of the peculiar dó-á songs, in which the members of his party join.

When the opposing player thinks he has detected in which hand the other has concealed the stick, he indicates it with a peculiar jerk of his thumb and index finger in that direction, with a loud Tsoq! (Comanche for "That!"); if he has guessed correctly, he scores a certain number of points, the account being kept by means of a bundle of green-painted tally sticks. He then takes the k`íäbo and begins a similar set of movements in time to another song, in which his partners join; so the 349 game goes on far into the night, until the contest is decided and the stakes won by one side or the other. It is a most animated and interesting game, of which they are very fond, and frequently at night in the winter camp the song chorus may be heard from several games in progress simultaneously, the high-pitched voices of the women in one tipi making a pleasing contrast to the deeper tones of the men in another.

The Anko calendar notes the building of a medicine tipi by Dátekâñ, for the purpose of bringing back the buffalo (see summer 1882). The tipi is shown below the winter mark.


Fig. 172—Summer 1882—Buffalo medicine; Pätso`gáte died.

This summer Dohásän, whose hereditary duty it was to supply the buffalo for the sun dance, failed to find even one, and in consequence there was no dance. For this summer the Anko calendar notes the death of Pätso`gáte, "Looking-alike," a daughter of Stumbling-bear, noted for her beauty. In accordance with the tribal custom in regard to speaking of the dead, Anko for a long time refused to mention her name. The incident is indicated by the figure of a woman where the medicine pole is usually pictured.

The Set-t'an calendar notes the excitement caused by the efforts of Dátekâñ, or Pa-tepte, to bring back the buffalo, also noted by Anko in the preceding winter season. The figure represents the medicine-man seated in his sacred lodge, wearing his ceremonial red blanket trimmed with eagle feathers, and with a buffalo beside him.

The buffalo had now disappeared, and with it the old Indian life, the sacred sun dance, and all else that they most cherished threatened also to pass away. According to Kiowa mythology, the buffalo originally lived in a cave underground, from which they had been released by their great hero Sinti and scattered over the prairies for the benefit of his children, the Indians. Somewhat similar beliefs are entertained by other tribes. As the buffalo had disappeared with the coming of the white man, who, by reason of his superior knowledge, was rapidly dispossessing the Indian, the native tribes almost universally believed, not that the buffalo had been exterminated—a calamity too terrible for their comprehension—but that it had been shut up again underground by their enemy, the white man, in order more easily to accomplish their subjection. It was believed that by prayer and sacred ceremonial the buffalo might again be released to furnish food and life for the Indian, and in every tribe there sprang up medicine-men who undertook to effect the restoration.

Among the Kiowa this task was adventured by a young man named Dátekâñ, "Keeps-his-name-always," who announced early in 1882 that 350 he had had a vision in which he received a mission to bring back the buffalo. Accordingly, he began to make medicine and assumed the name of Pá-tépté, "Buffalo-bull-coming-out," in token of his new powers. He was already noted in other directions as a medicine-man, and had been the winner in the great dó-á contest mentioned in the calendar of the preceding winter. It is possible that his success on that occasion encouraged him to this attempt, as he began his buffalo medicine immediately afterward. He erected a medicine tipi, in front of which he set up a pole with a buffalo skin upon it, and prepared for himself a medicine shirt ornamented with blue beads, over which he threw a red blanket trimmed with eagle feathers. Thus attired, and carrying a sacred pipe in his hand, he began his mystic ceremonies within the tipi, and from time to time announced the results to the people, most of whom believed all he said and manifested their faith by gifts of blankets, money, and other property; they were further commanded to obey him implicitly, on pain of failure of the medicine in case of disobedience. His pretensions were opposed by the younger men among the returned prisoners from the east, who used all their influence against him, but with little effect. After nearly a year of medicine-making, being unsuccessful, he announced that some one had violated some of the innumerable regulations, and that in consequence his medicine was broken for the time and they must wait five years longer, when he would begin again. Before that time had elapsed, however, he died, but his claims and prophecies were revived and amplified five years later by Pá-iñgya (see summer 1888).

Fig. 173—Winter 1882—83—Bot-édalte dies; Grass leases; Camp on Pecan creek.

WINTER 1882—83

For this winter the Set-t'an calendar records the death of a woman named Bot-édalte, "Big-stomach," indicated by the figure of a woman with an abnormal abdomen above the winter mark.

The Anko calendar notes that the Indian police camped this winter on Dónä´i P'a, "Pecan creek" (Elk creek of North fork of Red river), indicated, as in 1877—78, by the figure of a pecan nut below the winter mark. The Texas cattle trail crossed at that point and the police were stationed there to keep the cattle off the reservation. Quanah, chief of the Comanche, was there also in the interest of the cattlemen, and it was through his persuasion that the allied tribes finally agreed to lease their grass lands.

Anko notes also that the Indians now "began to talk about grass leases," but that as yet there was no grass money paid. It is indicated on the calendar by three circles for dollars below the winter mark, with a +, intended for a picture of the Indian gesture sign for "cut off" or "stop," made by bringing the extended right hand downward in front of the other, as if cutting a rope with a knife-stroke. 351

On this subject the agent says, under date of August 17, 1883:

The grass question seems to be the most difficult thing I have to contend with. I find it impossible to keep trespassing cattle entirely off the reservation, and we are now crowded on all sides. It seems to do very little good to put them off, for it is found that cattle that have just been driven off will come back on the reservation as soon as the police force advances. Our Indians are not disposed to rent the grass, yet if it is used it seems they should be paid for it.... The grass should be utilized in some way that will benefit the Indians, and if it is not possible to supply them with herds sufficient to consume it, it does seem as if the grass should be rented and the Indians receive the money for it (Report, 103).

The final result was the establishment of the system of grass leases.


Fig. 174—Summer, 1883—Nez Percé sun dance.

´dalk`atói K`ádó, "Nez Percé sun dance," so called on account of a visit from the Nez Percés, called by the Kiowa the "people with hair cut off across the forehead." The figure above the medicine pole on the Anko calendar is intended to represent a man in the act of cutting off his front hair. The Set-t'an calendar has beside the medicine lodge the figure of a man wearing the peculiar striped blanket of the Nez Percés. This sun dance is sometimes known as Máp'ódal K`ádó, "Split-nose sun dance," because held on the Washita on pasture lands inclosed by a cattle man known to the Indians by that name.

On account of difficulties with the whites, the Nez Percés of Chief Joseph's band had left their homes in eastern Oregon in the summer of 1877, and after a retreat of a thousand miles were intercepted in Montana by General Miles, when within a few miles of the British border, and compelled to surrender. They were brought as prisoners to Fort Leavenworth, and thence removed, in July, 1878, to a reservation assigned to them in Indian Territory. The climate and surroundings proving entirely unsuited to them, they were returned to reservations in Washington and Idaho in 1885, their numbers in the meantime having been reduced from about four hundred and fifty to three hundred and one, about one-third of their whole number having died. It was while domiciled in Indian Territory that they visited the Kiowa and other tribes, dancing with the Kiowa and Apache at the head of Sémät P'a, "Apache creek" (upper Cache creek), and attending the Kiowa sun dance, which was held on the north side of the Washita, about ten miles above Rainy-mountain creek, near where now is Cloud Chief. This was the first time the Kiowa had ever seen the Nez Percés, although they had a dim traditional memory of them in their old northern home.

In the spring of this year the keeper of the taíme medicine, Set-dayá-ite, "Many-bears," died, and the image was taken by Taímete, "Taíme-man," who continued to hold it until his death in 1894. 352

WINTER 1883—84

For this winter the Set-t'an calendar has the picture of a house with smoking chimney beside a tipi. It appears to be a canvas house, such, as those Indians in a transition state sometimes use. Set-t'an explains it to mean that Big-tree was given a stove by the government and put it into a large tipi which he occupied; but Scott's informant, who is corroborated by Anko and others, explains it as meaning that Gákinãăte, "Ten," the brother of Lone-wolf, built a house this fall on the south side of the Washita, about opposite Cobb creek. Stumbling-bear says that he himself had received a stove as far back as 1875, two years before the government built his house.

Fig. 175—Winter 1883—84—House built; children taken; Sioux dances.

The Anko calendar records the taking of a large number of children to the Chilocco Indian school, near Arkansas City, Kansas. The heavy drafts made during the term to furnish children for Chilocco and other schools very considerably reduced the number of pupils in attendance at the reservation schools; according to the agent's statement, seventy were thus taken at one time (Report, 103). The figure below the winter mark is intended to represent two wagons filled with children.

Anko notes also that a party of Dakota came down to dance with the Kiowa, indicated by the feather dance-wand at the side of the winter mark.


Fig. 176—Summer 1884.—No sun dance; Hauled freight.

There was no sun dance this summer, and the Set-t'an calendar has only the figure of a tree to indicate summer, with a figure below intended to represent an inclosed field, implying that the owner stayed at home. Concerning this the agent says, under date of August 28:

The Kiowas have danced less this year than usual, and they seem to have given up their annual medicine dance, for as yet they have said nothing about it. The holding of this dance has always been a great occasion and considered one of their most important ceremonies, for they have believed it absolutely necessary to secure their health and success in all their undertakings, either at war or in the chase. They have generally gone out on the plains from 40 to 60 miles from the agency and been absent from five to six weeks. On several occasions since the buffalo disappeared, they have suffered very much with hunger while out, and I hope we have heard the last of the dance (Report, 104).

The calendar of Anko for this summer notes the hauling of government freight by the Kiowa, including himself, indicated by a figure of a wagon where the medicine pole would otherwise be. This was in agreement with a plan inaugurated several years before, by which those 353 Indians who had suitable teams and wagons—the latter furnished by the government—were permitted to haul supplies for the agency and were paid for their labor as an inducement to get them to adopt the white man's industries. As there was no railroad near at that time, most of the freight had to be hauled overland from Caldwell, Kansas, a distance of 150 miles. For such labor during this year the Indians received nearly $8,000, and performed the work cheerfully and in a satisfactory manner (Report, 105).

Fig. 177—Winter 1884—85—Winter camp; Tón-ak`á's elopement.

WINTER 1884—85

The Set-t'an calendar has a house above the winter mark, which is interpreted to mean that the Kiowa camped all winter on the Washita near Set-k`opte's house, just above the agency. This was the fact, but another informant suggests that the original intention was to record the event that the Kiowa about this time began to build houses for themselves. On this subject the agent says at this time:

These Indans retain much of their roving disposition, and except during the cropping season do not camp long in one place, but do not go far from their fields. Few of the Kiowas, Comanches, and Apaches have houses, and most of them live in tents. This will probably be the last of their savage customs to be abandoned (Report, 106).

In 1886 it is officially stated that only nine Kiowa families were living in houses, all the rest being in tipis (Report, 107).

The Anko calendar records the stealing of another man's wife by Tón-ak`á, "Notched-tail," i. e. "Water-turtle," a noted medicine-man, for which the woman was whipped and a number of Tón-ak`á's horses were killed by the injured husband. The turtle below the winter mark indicates the event.

Fig. 178—Summer 1885—Little Peninsula sun dance; Grass payment.


Píhó K`ádó Sän, "Little Peninsula sun dance," so called because it was held in a peninsula formed by a bend of the Washita about twenty miles above the agency; the same place where another dance, the Píhó K`ádó, had been held in 1839. The figure on the Set-t'an calendar shows the medicine lodge within the bend (see summer 1839). The figure on the Anko calendar is intended to represent the medicine pole with the buffalo head fastened below the forks.

On this occasion Dohásän had to go to the Staked plain to find a buffalo for the purpose. This dance was the first held by Taímete, the successor of Set-dayá-ite. On this point the agent has to say:

I mentioned in my last report the fact that the annual medicine dance of the Kiowa would not be held that year, and I expressed the hope that they had abandoned 354 it; but their old medicine man has since died, and his successor, unfortunately a young man of little ability or character, ordered that another be held this year. The Comanche have no such ceremonial as an annual dance, and the other tribes of the reservation have no medicine dance, but the Caddoes frequently meet together and dance for enjoyment, as white people do (Report, 108).

Fig. 179—Winter 1885—86—Camp burned.

The Anko calendar notes that the Comanche received their first grass money this summer, shown by the circles for dollars below the medicine pole, but with nothing to indicate the tribe. The Kiowa did not make leases until a year later. For some reason, perhaps on account of a change of agents which occurred about this time, there is no notice of this payment in the official report.

WINTER 1885—86

Fig. 180—Summer 1886—No sun dance; Policemen; Grass payment.

For this winter both calendars record a prairie fire which destroyed all the tipis and much of the other property of T'ébodal's and Â'dal-pepte's camps, northwest of Mount Scott, while most of the tribe had gone to the agency for rations. The Set-t'an calendar indicates the event by means of the picture of a tipi, streaked with red for the fire, above the winter mark. The Anko calendar has below the winter mark a peculiar symbol, which he explains to mean the rising flames.


Fig. 181—Winter 1886—87—Peyi commits suicide.

There was no dance this summer, owing to the failure to find a buffalo for the purpose, consequently everybody remained at home—indicated on the Set-t'an calendar by the figure of a leafy tree, for summer, above an inclosure, intended to represent a field.

As there was no dance, the Anko calendar for this summer lacks the medicine pole, while by means of a star and several circles he records the fact that he enlisted in the agency police force, and also that there was another payment of grass money by the cattlemen, this time to the Kiowa, being the first they had received.

WINTER 1886—87

For this winter both calendars note the suicide of Peyi, "Son-of-the-sand," nephew of the great chief Sun-boy. Having taken a horse without the owner's permission, he was reproved for it, which so hurt his feelings that, saying, "I have no father, mother, or brother, and no one cares for me," he 355 went out and shot himself with a revolver. Indians are very sensitive to reproof or ridicule, and suicides among them from this cause are more frequent than is generally supposed.

Fig. 182—Summer 1887—No sun dance(?); Grass payment.

The Set-t'an calendar has above the winter mark the figure of a man holding a pistol, and with a wound in his side, the blood gushing from his mouth. The Anko calendar has a pistol below the winter mark. Two circles (dollars) above the winter mark have evidently been placed there inadvertently.


K`adóliä P'a K`ádó, "Oak creek sun dance." According to the Set-t'an calendar, there was no sun dance this summer and everybody remained at home—indicated as before by the figure of a leafy tree above a square inclosure. This, however, is a mistake. The agent states that "the Kiowas held this year a sun dance with my permission, but with a distinct understanding that it should be the last, and (it) was not of a barbarous nature" (Report, 109). The dance was held near the mouth of K adóliä P'a, "Oak creek," a small southern tributary of the Washita above Rainy-mountain creek, and takes its name from the stream on which it was held. As the wild buffalo had now been exterminated, the animal for this occasion was bought from a ranchman named Charles Goodnight, who had a small herd of domesticated buffalo in northern Texas.

Fig. 183—Winter 1887—88—Cattle payment.

The Anko calendar has several circles, for dollars, below the medicine pole, to indicate another payment of grass money, of which again there is no official record.

The name of the creek on which the dance was held was originally Do`gótä P'a, "Oak creek," but in consequence of the death of a woman named Do`gótä about 1891, the name was tabooed according to tribal custom, and the stream is now known as K adóliä P'a, from an old word which conveys the same idea.

WINTER 1887—88

This winter the Indians received a large number of cattle from the stockmen in part payment for their grass leases; the remainder was paid in money. These were the first cattle received from that source. A number of the Indians refused to accept them and insisted on money, while quite a large number refused to have any part in the leases, believing it to be a plot to deprive them of their lands. The event is indicated on both calendars by the figure of a cow's head in connection with the winter mark. 356


By a mistake Set-t'an depicts a medicine lodge for this summer instead of for the one preceding. No sun dance was held this year, owing to the opposition of the new agent. In his official report he states that early in May the chiefs and head men of the Kiowa had called to request permission for the holding of the dance at the regular season, but that on investigation he became convinced that it should not be allowed and so informed the Department, which instructed him to prevent it, even by calling on the military if necessary. He says:

On receipt of this information I at once communicated the fact to the Indians, but could not get them to promise to abandon it. I informed them that on the slightest intimation that any preparation was being made for the celebration of the dance I would be compelled to call on the military and cause the arrest of every Indian who expressed a determination to participate in the same. Many of the young men, belonging to the worst element, privately declared their intention of holding the dance, but as yet nothing has been done in that direction. I am firmly of the opinion I will be able to prevent it without the aid of the troops (Report, 110).

Fig. 184—Summer 1888—Sun dance (?); Pá-iñgya's prophecy.

The Anko calendar records for this summer the preaching of the prophet Pá-iñgya. It is indicated by a figure intended to represent a flying bullet, referring to his claim of invulnerability.

Pá-iñgya, "In-the-middle," had commenced preaching during the previous winter, reviving the doctrine of the return of the buffalo, which had been taught by Pa-tepte several years before (see summer 1882). He continued to preach and make medicine for several months, adding to his predecessor's prophecies another of the invulnerability of his followers and the speedy destruction of the whites, so that for a while the excitement assumed a dangerous form. In the official report for 1887 the agent briefly notes that—

The Kiowas were troublesome in the early spring, owing to the bad advice of their medicine-men and chief Lone-wolf, and refused to plant their seed and took their children from school. Later on they went to work, but would have made a much better showing in their crops had they planted earlier (Report, 111).

According to Pá-iñgya's pretensions, he was the legitimate successor of Pa-tepte, with all of his predecessor's powers and considerably more of his own. He predicted the near approach of a mighty whirlwind, which would blow away the whites and all Indians living among them or following their customs. After the whirlwind would come a great prairie fire, which would burn for four days and consume the agency buildings, schools, and all that the white man had established in the country, together with any whites left by the whirlwind. Having thus cleared the way, he would then restore the buffalo and game, with all the old Indian life. His followers were commanded to resume at once their aboriginal dress and weapons, with all the old habits. He made 357 a sacred new fire with the block and stick, according to the primitive Indian method, and gave the fire thus made to all his disciples to be used instead of that procured from matches or flint and steel; he refused to give any of this sacred fire to those chiefs and others who were regarded as being on the white man's side, including Stumbling-bear and Sun-boy. He established his headquarters on upper Elk creek, near Lone-wolf's camp, in the western part of the reservation, to which he commanded all the faithful to repair in order to escape the destruction which was to come upon the whites and their renegade supporters, and appointed ten assistant priests, to whom he delegated a share of his powers and duties. To quiet any fear of interference by the authorities, he claimed to have a medicine which would render his followers invulnerable, while he himself was not only invulnerable but could kill soldiers or other enemies by his mere glance, as by a lightning stroke, as far as he could see them.

His preaching roused great excitement among the Kiowa, nearly all of whom—excepting those of Stumbling-bear's and Sun-boy's bands—abandoned their homes and repaired to the appointed place on Elk creek, the parents taking their children from the schools in order that they might not be involved in the general conflagration and destruction. In the summer the prophet's son died, and he promised to raise him from the dead in the fall, but when the time came his medicine unaccountably failed.

The unrest among the Indians, for which no apparent cause could be assigned, greatly alarmed the whites, who feared that the Indians meditated an outbreak. As a precaution, the agent, Captain Hall, summoned a detachment of troops, and taking with him a small escort, went to the neighborhood of the prophet's camp and sent Stumbling-bear and Sun-boy to him to bring him and some of the prominent chiefs in order to discuss the matter. The result was that the Kiowa agreed to go home and await developments. As the time fixed for the fulfillment of the prophecy came and passed without event, they became convinced that they had been deceived and the excitement died out. In the meantime Pá-iñgya, who had before been poor and obscure, had become rich by the horses and blankets which he had received from the faithful; there were even those who were so uncharitable as to say that it was for this he had been working. Nothing was done to punish the prophet, who still lives, and when the news of the messiah came a few years later, he claimed it as the fulfillment of his prophecy. He has more recently assisted to revive the ghost dance at his home on the Washita.

WINTER 1888—89

The Set-t'an calendar records that the Kiowa were encamped during this winter on the Washita, near the house of Ä´tä lä´te, "Feather-headdress", indicated by the figure of a tipi near a house above the winter mark. 358

Fig. 185—Winter 1888—89—Winter camp; Sun-boy died; Split rails.

The Anko calendar notes the death of the chief Paí-tälyí, "Sun-boy," shown by the figure of a man in a coffin, with a circle for the sun upon his breast. He died at Eoñte's camp, northwest of Mount Scott. Anko records also the fact that he split rails for himself this winter, shown by the figure of an ax immediately below the winter mark.


This summer there was no sun dance and everybody remained at home on his farm, the fact being indicated as before on the Set-t'an calendar by means of the figure of a leafy tree above a square inclosure intended to represent a field.

Fig. 186—Summer 1889—No sun dance; Grass payment.

Anko records a receipt of grass money, indicated by several circles intended for dollars where the medicine pole is usually shown; also the death of a son of Stumbling-bear, indicated by the figure of a man wearing an eagle feather in his hair.

WINTER 1889—90

For this winter the Set-t'an calendar has only the figure of a tipi above the winter mark, to show that the Kiowa spent the season in their winter camp on the Washita.

Fig. 187—Winter 1889—90—Winter camp; Grass payment; Íâm dance.

The Anko calendar notes another grass payment, indicated by the circles representing dollars, and also a visit by the Kiowa to the Comanche to perform the Íâm, dance, indicated by the feathered dance-staff below the winter mark.

The name of this dance, Íâm Guan, is derived from i, "child or offspring," and âm, the root of the verb "to make," for the reason that one of its main features is the formal adoption, by the visiting dancers, of a child of the other tribe. The performance and dress somewhat resemble those of the Omaha dance, but only two men dance, while the rest sit around as spectators. There is an exchange of horses by the visited tribe for presents placed on the ground by the visitors, and at the end of the ceremony the boy adopted is formally restored to his people. This dance is found also among the Wichita and Pawnee and perhaps other tribes.


Ä´poto Etódă-de K`ádó, "Sun dance when the forked poles were left standing." This summer the Kiowa were preparing to 359 hold the sun dance, when it was stopped by agent Adams, backed by military force. It has not been held since in the tribe. Both calendars tell the same story in the figure of the medicine pole standing outside the completed medicine lodge and decorations. Set-t'an has also the square inclosure to indicate that he remained at home, while Anko, by means of a row of circles, notes the occurrence of another grass payment.

Fig. 188—Summer 1890—Unfinished sun dance.

The Kiowa had decided to celebrate their usual annual sun dance at the Piho or bend in the Washita, where they had already held it twice before, when the agent determined to prevent it. They were not disposed to yield, and had assembled in their great tribal circle of tipis, with the center pole of the medicine lodge already erected, having an old buffalo robe in lieu of a buffalo head and skin at the top, when word came that the troops were on their way to stop the dance, having been sent from Fort Sill for that purpose by request of the agent. The news was brought to Stumbling-bear, who had remained at home on account of the death of his son, by Quanah, chief of the Comanche, who advised him to send word to the Kiowa to stop, as the soldiers would kill them and their horses if they persisted. Stumbling-bear thereupon sent two young men to the sun dance camp to tell the Kiowa to disperse and go home, which, after considerable heated discussion, they finally did, leaving the unfinished medicine lodge standing. In the meantime the troops had arrived at the agency, but the Indians having gone home, they returned to their post.

Fig. 189—Winter 1890—91—Sitting-bull comes; Ä´piatañ; Boys frozen.

Concerning this affair the agent says in his annual report:

There has been nothing of special note during the year, with the exception of the excitement raised in connection with the proposed sun dance. That matter having been fully laid before the department, it is hardly necessary to say more (Report, 113).

On the same subject the report of the Secretary of War says:

The commanding officer at Fort Sill reported July 19 that the Indian agent had notified him of the intention of the Indians to hold a medicine dance, and had asked for troops to prevent them from doing this. He was directed to be guided by instructions of last year on the subject, and consequently three troops of cavalry proceeded to Anadarko, Indian Territory, on July 20,... but the Indians having abandoned the plan of holding their dance upon the arrival of the troops, the latter, after remaining at the point for a few days, were withdrawn (War, 7).

WINTER 1890—91

Pá-ä´ngya Tsän-de Sai, "Winter that Sitting-bull came." This refers to the first coming among the Kiowa of Sitting-bull, the Arapaho prophet of the ghost dance, in the fall of 1890. The human figure 360 above the winter mark is intended for Sitting-bull. The first Kiowa ghost dance was held on this occasion on the Washita at the mouth of Rainy-mountain creek, and was attended by nearly the whole tribe. Even the progressive chief Stumbling-bear attended and encouraged the dance, in the hope and faith, as he says, that by so doing his youth would be renewed. About the same time the Kiowa sent Ä´piatañ, "Wooden-lance," to visit the northern tribes and the messiah himself for the purpose of investigating the truth of the reports. The event is recorded on the Anko calendar by means of the figure of a man wearing a head feather and a shell breastplate, as Ä´piatañ did when he started on his journey. He returned in February, 1891.

As the whole subject of the ghost dance has been exhaustively treated by the author in his report on "The ghost-dance religion" in the Fourteenth Annual Report, it is unnecessary to give here more than the reference by the agent in his report for 1891:

Ghost dance.—This has been a disturbing occurrence throughout most of the year. This form of dancing has been indulged in mostly by the tribes north of the river. The Kiowas sent some of their number to the north to investigate the matter. Ah-pe-ah-tone, the leader in this journey, returned in the early spring and brought such a report with him as thoroughly convinced the Kiowas of the falsity of the so-called messiah. They have danced little or none since his return. The Wichitas and Caddos have clung to the superstition and danced until spring. They were led to greater excess by the visit of Sitting-bull, the Arapaho prophet from the north, who is becoming rich in stock through the gifts of his followers. He has been absent in the north, but has now returned to the Cheyenne and Arapaho agency and will probably repeat his performances of last year. Our Wichitas have already commenced to dance again and the Comanches seem to be feeling the craze, and unless decided measures are taken, we will probably have a repetition of last year's scenes (Report, 113).

For the same winter, but above instead of below the winter mark, the Anko calendar records the death of three schoolboys, indicated by the picture of a boy in civilized dress holding a book. Their names were Sétä, "Small-cow-intestines;" Ká-ikonhódal, "Dragonfly," and Mótsä-tsé, from the Spanish muchacho, "boy," his mother being a Mexican captive. They were attending the government Kiowa school, and one of them had been whipped by a teacher, in consequence of which the little fellow, with the two others, ran away from school and attempted to reach their homes, some 30 miles out in the mountains. The same night a terrible blizzard came on, and after they had struggled painfully along nearly the entire distance they sank in the snow, exhausted by fatigue, cold, and hunger, and all were found a few days later lying together, frozen stiff, on the bleak slope of a mountain, by a search party of Indians. This occurrence nearly precipitated an outbreak, and for a time it was thought that troops would be necessary to quell the disturbance, but through the judicious management of Captain H. L. Scott, who was sent from Fort Sill to investigate and report on the situation, the Indians were quieted without resort to force. 361

In his official report, Captain Scott says:

It was learned that three Kiowa boys had run away from the Kiowa school on the 9th [of January, 1891], on account of a whipping the eldest one had received from one of the teachers, Mr Wherrit. They had been overtaken by a snowstorm, the most severe this country has seen for years, and had been frozen to death. The body of the eldest, "Sailor" [from Setä?], about 14 years old, had been found, and they were still searching for the other two. They had been trying to reach the Kiowa camp on Stinking creek. The talk about the threatening attitude of the Kiowas being inquired into, it was resolved into this, that some of the school children had said that "Mother Goodeye," a one-eyed Kiowa woman, related to one of the dead children, had said that if she caught Mr Wherrit she would stick a knife into him. This, coupled with the fact that the woman afterwards denied having said it, would not seem to demand the presence of two troops of cavalry. It was said that Mr Wherrit had hid himself the day before, and had fled the agency during the night to escape the coming wrath (From report of Captain H. L. Scott to Post Adjutant, January 18, 1891; copy in Indian Office, 5070—1891).

On the same subject the agent says:

Fig. 190—Summer 1891—P'ódalä´ñte killed; Visit Cheyenne.

The loss of the three boys who ran away from the Kiowa school and were frozen to death in the snow, was an occurrence which might have been productive of most serious results. It speaks well for the Kiowa Indians that it not only was passed without such consequences, but seems to have left no prejudice against the school. It has been most gratifying to me on several occasions during the year to note the growing spirit of self-control among these people, and their desire to stand by lawful authority (Report, 114).

SUMMER, 1891

There was no sun dance, and consequently, instead of the medicine lodge, the Set-t'an calendar has the square inclosure to show that he stayed at home.

The event of the summer was the killing of P'ódalä´ñte (abbreviated P'olä´ñte], "Coming-snake," in Greer county, Oklahoma. He was shot by a young white man in self-defense, as it was claimed, while endeavoring to recover a horse which he said had been stolen from him; he had sent a boy after the animal, but the holders had refused to give it up except to the owner. P'ódalä´ñte himself then went after it and a dispute followed, resulting in his death. It is said he was shot as he was loosening his gun from its scabbard at the saddle. The Kiowa claim not to know the particulars, as no other Indian was with him at the time, but say that he was notoriously quarrelsome and rough in his manner. The shooting occurred opposite the mouth of Elk creek. It is indicated on the Set-t'an calendar by means of a human figure, with blood flowing from a wound in the side, standing above the square inclosure, with a snake behind it to show the name. Anko records it for the following winter, q.v.

The Anko calendar records for this summer a visit made by the Kiowa to the Cheyenne, indicated in the usual place for the medicine lodge by 362 the figure of a tipi (i. e., camp), connected with which is a line with several cross marks, intended as a pictorial presentment of the tribal sign for "Cheyenne," made by drawing the right index finger several times across the left.

WINTER 1891—92

Fig. 191—Winter 1891—92—Soldiers enlisted; P'ódalä´ñte killed.

The Anko calendar records here the killing of P'ódalä´ñte, as just described for the preceding summer, the discrepancy arising perhaps from the fact that it occurred after the middle of summer. It is indicated below the winter mark by means of the figure of a man, with a bullet wound in his side, lying in a coffin or grave, and with a snake above the winter mark to show his name.

The Set-t'an calendar records the enlistment of the Indian troop at Fort Sill in the spring and summer of 1891. It was composed chiefly of Kiowa, and was organized as troop L of the Seventh cavalry, under command of Lieutenant (now Captain) H. L. Scott. It is indicated by the figure of a soldier above the winter mark.


The event of this summer was the measles epidemic. The Set-t'an calendar indicates it by means of a human figure covered with red spots, and beside it the leafy tree and square inclosure to show that it occurred in the summer, when there was no dance and everybody remained at home. The Anko calendar has a similar red-spotted figure.

Fig. 192—Summer 1892—Measles; Grass payment.

The epidemic broke out early in spring and continued through the summer; it began in the Kiowa school, and its terribly fatal consequences were due largely to the course pursued by the superintendent, who insisted on sending the sick children back to the camp, where it was impossible for them to receive necessary attention, instead of caring for them in the school. The result was that the infection spread throughout the Kiowa and Apache tribes, and as the Indians, in their ignorance, endeavored to wash out the blotches by drenching the children in cold water, nearly every case was fatal. Watching and anxiety brought fevers and other sickness to the parents, so that there was not a family in the two tribes that did not suffer the loss of a near relative. The feeling already existing among the Kiowa against the superintendent, on account of the death of the schoolboys the year before, was now so intensified that he was obliged to leave the country.

When the author returned to the Kiowa in the early summer of that year, the epidemic had nearly spent its force, although deaths were still occurring every day or two. The condition of the Indians was pitiable in the extreme; nearly every woman in the tribe had her hair cut off 363 close to her head and her face and arms deeply gashed by knives, in token of mourning, while some had even chopped off a finger as a sign of grief at the loss of a favorite child. The men also had their hair cut off at the shoulders and had discarded their usual ornaments and finery. On one occasion, while driving near the camp, the author's attention was attracted by a low wail, and on looking for the cause he saw, sitting in the tall grass near the roadside, a bereaved father stripped to the breech-cloth, with his hair cropped close to the head and the blood dripping from gashes which covered his naked body; he did not look up or turn his head as the wagon passed, but continued the low wail, with his eyes cast to the ground. Wagons, harness, tipis, blankets, and other property were burned, and horses and dogs shot over the graves of their owners, to accompany them to the world of shades, the destruction of property in this way amounting to thousands of dollars. Every night and morning the women went into the hills to wail for their lost ones, and returned to camp with the blood dripping from fresh gashes in their faces and arms; this continued for weeks and months, far into the fall.

The responsibility for this terrible calamity rests upon the school superintendent, who sent the infected children into camp, and upon the agent who permitted it. The superintendent of the Comanche school, so soon as the disease appeared on the reservation, suspended teaching, turned the school into a temporary hospital, with the teachers as nurses, and stationed a guard of police to keep the parent from interfering with or withdrawing the children. The result was that not one died in his school and only one was affected. The census of the Kiowa and Apache tribes for this year shows a decrease from the preceding year of two hundred and twenty-one, or 15 per cent, among the two tribes, due almost entirely to this epidemic. The agent reports, after noting the mortality:

The above deaths occurred chiefly among the infants and young children, and can be attributed to the fact that in most every case they invariably immersed their sick in the water, thereby causing death in every case thus treated (Report, 115).

Dr J. D. Glennan, attending surgeon to the Indian troop at Fort Sill, had already distinguished himself at Wounded Knee two years before by his bravery and coolness in attending to the needs of the wounded and dying while bullets were flying thick around him. Now, when the epidemic broke out among the Kiowa, he gave his services with the same quiet devotion to duty, with such good result that, although for months the hospital camp was crowded with stricken Indians, whose relatives outside were dying all over the reservation, only six of those under his care died, and these not from the prevailing epidemic, but from a complication of diseases. In recognition of his services the Kiowa soldiers afterward raised a sum of money with which to purchase a horse for him, but as the doctor already had a horse, the testimonial took the form of a valuable piece of silver. 364

The Anko calendar has also a row of circles, representing dollars, to indicate a large payment of grass money by the cattlemen this summer. As by this time the Indians had learned that the leasing of their surplus grass lands was very much to their advantage, they held a council in February, 1892, to select delegates to go to Washington for the purpose of negotiating leases for the whole reservation; also to secure some back payments due from previous leases. Quanah, Lone-wolf, and White-man were chosen on behalf of the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache, respectively, and proceeded to Washington, where they received the desired permission, under which authority leases were negotiated producing for the three tribes an average income of about $100,000. On their return they received through a special agent nearly $70,000 due under the new and old leases. This large payment gave occasion for general rejoicing and marked an era in their history. A large part of the money was invested in lumber for building permanent houses; so that in this way, and with the additional help of a small appropriation for the hire of carpenters, the agent reports about sixty houses built within the year, and says:

With the assistance of the Indian Office as to the pay of carpenters, together with the revenues from their grass leases, I see no reason why in the near future the tepee should not be banished and comfortable houses he substituted in their stead (Report, 116).

Here end the yearly calendars. The subsequent events, including the unratified treaty negotiations and the present condition of the tribes, will be found noted in the preliminary tribal sketch. 365




The Kiowa distinguished only four seasons, unlike some of the agricultural tribes of the east, who distinguished five, separating the autumn season into early, when the leaves change color, and late, when the leaves fall, but assigning entirely different names to each. The Kiowa begin the year with the beginning of winter as fixed by the first snowfall. This seems to have been the case also with the Pawnee and perhaps with other prairie tribes. To an agricultural people the renewal of vegetation would seem a more natural starting point.

The first season is called Saígya or Säta, abbreviated Saí, which is considered to begin on the first fall of snow. In western Oklahoma this is generally about the first or middle of December, although on one occasion, about ten years ago, this occurred as early as October. Cold weather and frost may come, but it is not called Saígya until snow falls.

Next comes Áségya, spring. This is an archaic term which cannot be analyzed. It is sometimes called by the more modern name of Són-páta, "grass springing." It is considered to begin when the grass and buds sprout and the mares foal (about first of March), and is known to be near at hand when the breasts of the eagles begin to turn white and when the panther whelps are born. The old men say that one half of the month Ka`gúăt P'a Sän belongs to Saígya and the other half to Áségya.

The third season is Paígya or Paíta, abbreviated Pai, summer. The name seems to have a connection with the word for sun, pai. It begins after the grass has ceased sprouting (sónpáta) and is considered to continue until fires are needed in the tipis at night, i. e., from about June to September. During this season the fires are made outside the tipis, or, rather, outside the leafy arbors under which the people sit and sleep during the hot weather.

Next comes the fourth and last season, Paóngya or autumn. The term is archaic and seems to refer to the thickening of the fur (pa) of the buffalo and other animals as the cold weather approaches. It is sometimes called Aídeñ-gyägúădal-ómgyä-i, the time "when the leaves are red." The season is supposed to begin when the leaves change color and fires become comfortable in the tipis at night, that is, about the first of September. 367

In addition to these recognized divisions the summers or warm weather periods, as distinguished from the winters, were usually counted by k`ádós or sun dances, which were commonly held once a year, the time being fixed by the whitening of the down on the cottonwoods, about the beginning of June.

The following table is a good approximation of the manner in which the Kiowa divide the year, beginning about October 1:





Autumn seems to be less definitely noted than the other seasons.


While the Kiowa note the changes of the moon and have a fixed name for each moon or lunar month, it is not to be supposed that their system could have the exactness of the calendar systems of the more cultivated nations of the south, or perhaps even of the sedentary tribes of the east, whose interests so largely depended upon noting carefully the growth and ripening of crops, the appearance of the various species of fish in the streams, etc. Nevertheless, they have a system, imperfect though it be, and it can not be said of them, as Matthews says of some northern tribes, that "they have no formal names for the lunar periods." In this, as in other matters of tribal lore, they defer to the superior knowledge of certain old men who assume the position of experts on the subject. 368

The Kiowa recognize twelve or more moons or months, beginning the year, according to one authority, with the first cold weather, about the end of October, or according to other authority, with the first snowfall, about a month or more later. They have seven distinct moon or month names, and some of these are duplicated and distinguished as great, small, or of summer, to make the full number for the year. These moons of course do not coincide closely with our calendar months, and as the system is necessarily imperfect, there is a discrepancy of authorities, some recognizing twelve moons while a few count as many as fourteen or fifteen, the additional names being a further duplication of some of the others, as already explained; all authorities agree on the first eight as here given, and all but one agree on the ninth, after which there is a discrepancy. The author has made no arbitrary attempt to harmonize conflicting statements, as the result would be artificial and not aboriginal; and we must expect a certain amount of uncertainty and disagreement on such a complicated subject, among primitive people. Our own calendar system has been of slow growth, and more than one hundred million Europeans still refuse to accept it. The list here given is that obtained from Anko, the best calendar authority in the tribe, and is that generally accepted by the Kiowa. By means of tally dates from his picture calendar their periods can be pretty closely assigned, although, as will be noticed, even he varies a month in some instances in the course of three years. Some of the old men put another moon, Pai Ka`gúăt P'a Sän (see number 5), between Pai Gáñhíña P'a and T'águñ´ótal P'a Sän.

1. Gákiñăt'o P'a—"Ten-colds moon." It is so called because the first ten days of it are cold, a premonition of winter, after which it grows warm for a time; this moon is about equivalent to late September and early October. It is the first and last moon of the Kiowa year, the old year and the summer being considered to end with the full moon of this period, after which the winter and the new year begin; by the time this moon ends the leaves are off the trees; in talking with Anko on September 23 (1895) he said: "This is Gákiñăt'o P'a, but it is still summer. After the moon is full and again begins to wane, then winter has begun, and we are in the winter half of Gákiñat'o P'a." Snow sometimes comes in this moon.

2. Ȧ gâ´nti or Ä`ga´ntsänha (does not take p'a), from ä`gâ´ntsän—"wait until I come," or "I am coming soon." According to Kiowa folklore, this moon says to his predecessor, "You went, but did nothing. Hítugŭ´ ä`gâ´ntsän—wait, and I'll go, and I'll show what I can do in the way of storms and cold weather." This moon includes parts of October and November. A tally date is the lunar eclipse of November 4, 1892, which is noted on the Anko calendar as occurring in this moon. Some authorities speak of it also as sä-kop p'a, "midwinter moon," i. e., midway between two consecutive sun dances, which would seem to bring it nearer to December.

3. Tépgañ P'a, "Geese-going moon," so called because the geese now begin to pass overhead on their migration southward; it may bo considered to include parts of November and December, and is sometimes called Bonpä P'a, "sweat-house moon," for some unexplained reason. (See number 9, Pai Tépgañ P'a.)

4. Gañhíña P'a, "Real-goose moon," so called because in this moon the great southward migration of wild geese occurs; it may be considered to comprise parts of December and January, although some put it later, as one old man 369 talking on the subject on January 25, said: "We are now in the beginning of Gañhíña P'a."

5. Ka`gúăt P'a Sän, "Little-bud moon." This may be considered to include late January and early February; in this moon the first buds come out, especially those of the elm, called by the Kiowa tá-ä, or gádal-ä, "saddle-wood," or "buffalo-wood." The first part of this moon is regarded as belonging to winter (saígya), the latter part to spring (áségya). Anko says that the mares foal in this moon and that the white men (in Oklahoma) usually begin to plow. A tally date from his calendar makes a February event occur in this moon.

6. Ka`gúăt P'a, "Bud moon." It is sometimes distinguished from the preceding by adding edal, "great;" the buds are all out and it is now full (áségya), spring; it is considered to include parts of February and March.

7. Aideñ P'a, "Leaf moon." The leaves are all out by the end of this moon, which approximately comprises late March and early April. Anko remarks that the moon names already given, with the two T'aguñótal P'a, are all old recognized names, but that this moon has no proper name. It is here also that the discrepancy begins on the other lists; a tally date on the Anko calendar gives April 19 as belonging to this moon.

8. Pai Ȧgâ´nti, "Summer Ägâ´nti" (see number 2). This moon is so named because, in Kiowa folklore, it says to its predecessor, "Just watch me; pretty soon I'll make it hot. Spring (áségya) ends and summer (paígya, pai) begins after this moon is full and begins to wane; it maybe considered approximately to include late April and early May, but a tally on the Anko calendar puts an event of June 14 within this period.

9. Pai Tépgañ P'a, "Summer Tépgañ moon" (see number 3). It is possible that this moon is so called on account of a northward migration of wild geese, although it seems too late in the season. According to the testimony of white observers on the Kiowa reservation, wild geese appear first in October, stay all winter in the lakes and ponds, and go north again in March and April. The wild ducks, in the rivers, remain all the year. The name may have kept this place as part of the series from the time when the Kiowa lived in the far north, where the seasons are of course later. It usually comprises parts of May and June, although in one place Anko puts the 4th of July in this moon; in other places he puts the same date in the next or second moon following. It is one of the summer moons.

10. Pai Gañhíña P'a Sȧn, "Summer Gañhíña moon" (see numbers 4 and 9). This is also a summer moon, approximating June-July. Tallies from the Anko calendar put events of July 4 and July 20 within this moon, to which also he says belongs the time of school closing, about June 20.

11. Táguñótal P'a Sȧn, "Little-moon-of-deer-horns-dropping-off," because the deer now begin to shed their horns. This is another summer moon, equivalent to July-August, and was considered to begin after the annual sun dance. Tallies from the Anko calendar give to it an event of July 29, and in one instance the celebration of July 4.

12. Táguñótal P'a (Edal), "(Great-) Moon-of-deer-horns-dropping-off," because when it is at an end, all the deer have shed their antlers. This moon comprises August-September; summer ends and fall (páongya) begins in the middle of this moon. It is sometimes also called Aídeñgúak`o P'a, "Yellow-leaves Moon," because the leaves now begin to change color.


Some extracts from standard authorities on other wild tribes may be of interest in connection with the moons or months of the Kiowa. 370

Hidatsa and Mandan—"Many writers represent that savage Indian tribes divide the year into twelve periods corresponding to our months, and that each month is named from some meteorological occurrence or phase of organic creation observable at the time. Among others, Maximilian presents us with a list of twelve months; 'the month of the seven cold days,' 'the pairing month,' 'the month of weak eyes,' etc.; he introduces this list in one of his chapters descriptive of the Mandans. He does not say it is their list of months, but publishes it without comment, and yet it is presented in such a manner as to lead the reader to suppose that it is the regular and original Mandan calendar. Other authors present lists of Indian months in much the same way. As the results of my own observations, I should say that the Mandan and Minnetaree are generally aware that there are more than twelve lunations in a year, that they as yet know nothing of our manner of dividing the year, and that although, when speaking of 'moons,' they often connect them with natural phenomena, they have no formal names for the lunar periods. I think the same might be said of other tribes who are equally wild.

"The Hidatsa recognize the lapse of time by days, lunar periods, and years; also by the regular recurrence of various natural phenomena, such as the first formation of ice in the fall, the breaking of the ice in the Missouri in the spring, the melting of the snowdrifts, the coming of the wild geese from the south, the ripening of various fruits, etc. A common way of noting time a few years ago was by the development of the buffalo calf in utero. A period thus marked by a natural occurrence, be it long or short, is called by them the kadu, season, time, of such an occurrence. Some long seasons include shorter seasons; thus they speak of the season of strawberries, the season of service-berries, etc., as occurring within the season of warm weather. They speak of the seasons of cold weather or of snow, of warm weather, and of death or decay, which we consider as agreeing with our seasons of winter, summer, and fall; but they do not regularly allot a certain number of moons to each of these seasons. Should you ask an interpreter who knew the European calendar what were the Indian names of the months, he would probably give you names of a dozen of these periods or natural seasons, as we might call them, corresponding in time to our months. In a few years, when these Indians shall know more of our system of noting time than they now do, they will devise and adopt regular Hidatsa names for the months of our calendar" (Matthews, 4).

Pawnee.—"They had no method of computing years by calendric notation. Occasionally a year that had been marked by some important event, as a failure of crops, unusual sickness, or a disastrous hunt, was referred to as a year by itself, but at a few years' remove even this mark became indistinct or faded altogether away. Any occurrence ten or twelve years past was usually designated as long ago. Their great use of the past was not as history, but simply as a storehouse of tradition, 371 and this tendency soon enveloped the most important events with a semi-traditional glamour. When time was computed by years, it was done by winters. The year comprised alternately twelve and thirteen moons or months.... The intercalary month, ŭsarĕr´ăhu, was usually inserted at the close of the summer months. The regular months were grouped as with us by threes, the first three constituting winter (pi´c̀ĭkŭt), the second three spring (ora´rĕkaru), the next three summer (li´ŭt), the last three autumn (lĕtskukĭ). The year was also divided into two seasons (kŭt´ĭharu), a warm and a cold. As may be readily anticipated, there was much confusion in their system of reckoning by moons. They sometimes became inextricably involved and were obliged to have recourse to objects about them to rectify their computations. Councils have been known to be disturbed, or even broken up, in consequence of irreconcilable differences of opinion as to the correctness of their calculations."

"As an aid to the memory, they frequently made use of notches cut in a stick or some similar device for the computation of nights (for days were counted by nights) or even of months and years. Pictographically a day or daytime was represented by a six or eight pointed star, thus, *, as a symbol of the sun. A simple cross, thus X (a star), was a symbol of a night; and a crescent, thus ☾, represented a moon or lunar month" (Dunbar, 1).

Dakota, and Cheyenne.—"The Dakota count their years by winters (which is quite natural, as that season in their high levels and latitudes practically lasts more than six months), and say a man is so many snows old, or that so many snow seasons have passed since an occurrence. They have no division of time into weeks, and their months are absolutely lunar, only twelve, however, being designated, which receive their names upon the recurrence of some prominent physical phenomenon. For example, the period partly embraced by February is called the 'raccoon moon'; March, 'the sore eye moon;' and April, that in which the geese lay eggs. As the appearance of raccoons after hibernation, the causes inducing inflamed eyes, and oviposition by geese vary with the meteorological character of each year, and as the twelve lunations reckoned do not bring them back to the point in the season where counting commenced, there is often dispute in the Dakota tipis toward the end of winter as to the correct current date" (Mallery, 4).

"Some tribes have twelve named moons in the year, but many tribes have not more than six; and different bands of the same tribe, if occupying widely separated sections of the country, will have different names for the same moon. Knowing well the habits of animals, and having roamed over vast areas, they readily recognize any special moon that may be mentioned, even though their name for it may be different. One of the nomenclatures used by the Teton-Sioux and Cheyenne beginning with the moon just before winter is as follows:

1. The moon the leaves fall off.

2. The moon the buffalo cow's fœtus is getting large. 372

3. The moon the wolves run together.

4. The moon the skin of the fœtus of buffalo commences to color.

5. The moon the hair gets thick on buffalo fœtus; called also "men's mouth" or "hard mouth."

6. The sore-eyed moon; buffalo cows drop their calves.

7. The moon the ducks come.

8. The moon the grass commences to get green and some roots are fit to be eaten.

9. The moon the corn is planted.

10. The moon the buffalo bulls are fat.

11. The moon the buffalo cows are in season.

12. The moon that the plums get red" (Clark, 16).

Klamath and Modok.—Their months "do not coincide with the months of our calendar, for they extend from one new moon to the next one, and therefore should be more properly called moons or lunations. Twelve and a half of them make up the year, and they are counted on the fingers of both hands. The first moon of their year begins on the first new moon after their return from the wokash harvest [about the end of August], at Klamath Marsh, which is the time when all the provisions and needful articles have been gathered in for the winter. They have now generally discarded the former method of counting moons upon fingers, and instead of it they reckon time by the seasons in which natural products are harvested (Gatschet, 1).

Bannock.—They distinguish the earlier moons thus: First, "running season for game;" second, "big moon;" third, "black smoke" (cold); fourth, "bare spots along the trail" (i. e., no snow in places); fifth, "little grass, or grass first comes up." They have no names for moons after the season gets warm (Clark, 17).




THE ANKO MONTHLY CALENDAR (August, 1889—July, 1893.)

Fig. 193—T'águñótal P'a Sän.

Fig. 194—T'águñótal P'a.

T'águñótal P'a Sän. The calendar begins about the first of August, 1889. The figure above the crescent (moon or month) is intended for the antler of a deer, in allusion to the name of this moon. No event is noted.

T'águñótal P'a. The same symbol is used for the month. No event is recorded, because, as Anko explains, this part of his original calendar was accidentally burned.

Gákiñăt'o P'a. The name means "Ten-colds moon," indicated by the ten strokes below the crescent. When this moon was one day old, a woman falsely accused of being with another man was whipped by her husband; indicated by the figure of a woman with a rod touching her head and one stroke below.

Ä`gâ´nti. The first syllable of the name, ä, signifies a feather. Anko has therefore indicated the moon in its serial order by the figure of a feather above the crescent. No event is recorded. The three strokes show that he drew the picture on the third day of the moon.

Fig. 195—Gakiñat'o P'a—Woman whipped.

Fig. 196—Ä`gâ´nti.

Fig. 197—Tépgañ P'a—Wagon stalled.

Tépgañ P'a. The name means "Geese-going moon," and the crescent lines inverted above the regular moon crescent is intended for a conventional representation of a double line of flying geese (see next figure). The rest of the picture means that his wagon was stalled on the second day of this moon. 374

Fig. 198—Gañhíña P'a—Annuity issue.

Gañhíña P'a (January? 1890). "Real-goose moon," the name being indicated by the picture of a double line of flying geese; the single stroke and the boot record the fact that the issue of annuity goods for the year began on the first day of this moon.

Fig. 199—Ka`gúăt P'a Sän—Mares foal.

Ka`gúăt P'a Sän. The name, "Little-bud moon," is indicated by the figure of a budding tree above the crescent. The mares foal now; shown by the picture of a horse. He says the whites usually begin to plow now. It was drawn on the first day (one stroke) of the moon.

Ka`gúăt P'a, "Bud moon." Indicated by a tree with red buds. The rude figure of an ax sticking in the tree shows that he began to split rails in this moon.

Aideñ P'a, "leaf moon." The name is indicated by the figure of a tree with green leaves. He lost his horses, hunted, found them, and drove them home; shown by the representation of horses and horse tracks.

Pai Ä`gâ´nti. There is nothing to indicate the name of the moon. In this moon (about May, 1890) the Kiowa, having first heard of the ghost-dance messiah, went and camped with the Arapaho and Cheyenne to learn more about it from them. It is indicated by pictures of the three tipis above the crescent.

Fig. 200—Ka`gúăt P'a—Split rails.

Fig. 201—Aideñ P'a—Horses lost.

Fig. 202—Pai Ä`gâ´nti—Visit Cheyenne.

Fig. 203—Pai Tépgañ P'a—Ghost dance.

Pai Tépgañ P'a. There is nothing to indicate the name of the moon. They went again to the Cheyenne when the moon was two days old 375 (two strokes) and danced the ghost dance with them for the first time. The picture shows two persons wearing the head feather and holding hands as in the ghost dance.



Pai Gañhíña P'a (July, 1890). There is nothing to indicate the name of the moon. In this moon, on July 20, 1890, the agent sent troops to prevent the sun dance, as already related (see summer 1890); there was also a payment of grass money by the cattlemen on the third day of the moon. The record is made by means of the picture of the decorated medicine pole, the three circles for dollars, and the three strokes for the time. This ends his first year of moons.

Fig. 204—Pai Gañhíña P'a—Sun dance stopped; Grass payment.

Fig. 205—T'águñótal P'a Sän.

Fig. 206—T'águñótal P'a—Ä´piatañ.

T'águñótal P'a Sän. No event is recorded. The name of the moon is indicated by means of a figure intended to represent the antlers of a deer.

Fig. 207—Gákiñăt'o P'a—Sitting-bull.

T'águñótal P'a. The artist has tried to indicate the name of the moon, as before, by a picture of the branching antlers of a deer, under the human figure, intended for Ä´piatañ, who went during this moon to visit the ghost dance messiah, as already narrated. (See winter 1890—91.)

Fig. 208—Ä`gâ´nti.

Gákiñăt'o P'a. The moon name is indicated as before. In this month Sitting-bull, the Arapaho apostle of the ghost dance, came to teach the doctrine to the Kiowa, and a great ghost dance was held on the Washita; this was about October, 1890 (see winter 1890—91). The human figure beside the buffalo indicates the name "Sitting-bull."

Ä`gâ´nti. The moon name is indicated as before. No event is recorded. 376

Fig. 210—Gañhíña—Annuity issue.

Tépgañ P'a (January, 1891). It is indicated in the regular way. In this moon the three schoolboys were frozen to death, as already related (winter 1890—91); they ran away from the school on January 9, 1891, and are represented by the figures as wearing hats and holding out a book. Anko drew only two figures, but explains that "everybody knows there were three."

Fig. 209—Tépgañ P'a—Schoolboys frozen.

Gañhíña P'a. The moon is indicated as before. The annuity issue was made in this moon, shown by the pictures of a boot and a blanket. This was about the end of January, 1891.

Ka`gúăt P'a Sän (February, 1891). The moon is indicated in the regular way, and the rude human figure is intended by the artist for Ä´piatañ, who returned this month (February, 1891) from his visit to the Indian messiah (see winter 1890—91). The two strokes show that he returned, or that the picture was drawn, on the second day of the moon.

Ka`gúăt P'a. It is indicated as before by means of a budding tree. The agent issued wire for fencing, shown by a reel of wire upon the tree, with a single stroke for the date.

Aídeñ P'a. It is indicated as before by a tree in foliage. No event is recorded.

Fig. 211—Ka`gúăt P'a Sän—Ä´piatañ.

Fig. 212—Ka`gúăt P'a—Wire issue.

Fig. 213—AídeñP'a.

Fig. 214—Pai Ä`gâ´nti—Treaty sale.

Pai Ä`gâ´nti (June, 1891). There is nothing to indicate the name of the moon. About this time a commission came to negotiate with the Caddo and Wichita for a sale of their reservation; an agreement was reached in June, 1891 (Report, 117). The figure shows a white man and an Indian beside a sectional figure to represent the allotments of lands, with circles above for the purchase money.

Pai Tépgañ P'a (July, 1891). There is nothing to distinguish the moon. In this moon occurs the Fourth of July, on which occasion there are always great gatherings of the 377 Indians for races at Fort Sill and Anadarko. Anko ran races with the rest, but lost his bet. The figure shows a quirt and a dollar, for the race and the bet.

Pai Gañhíña P'a. There is nothing to show the name of the moon. A young man "stole" the wife of Paul Sétk`opte, indicated by the picture of a woman beside a man wearing a pair of buffalo horns, Sétk`opte when a boy having been known as "Buffalo-horns." This ends the second year of the calendar.

Fig. 215—Pai Tépgañ P'a—Races.

Fig. 216—Pai Gañhíña P'a—Woman stolen.

T'águñótal P'a Sän. The figure at the extreme top is intended for a deer antler, to indicate the name of the moon. The Kiowa visited the Cheyenne to dance the "Pueblo dance," which they obtained originally from the Pueblo Indians, and received in return several war-bonnets as presents; in this dance the men carry rattles in their hands, and the women follow behind. The picture shows a man wearing a war-bonnet and holding out a rattle, while a woman follows him.

T'águñótal P'a. The moon is distinguished as before by a picture of a deer antler above the principal figure, which, although rudely drawn, is intended for a man with a snake near his head; this records the killing of P'odalä´ñte, "Coming-snake," as already related (see summer 1891).

Fig. 217—T'águñótal P'a Sän—Pueblo dance.

Gákiñat'o P'a. The moon is distinguished as before by the ten strokes below the crescent. In this moon T'enétaide, "Bird-chief," alias P'ató, was sick, and they made "medicine" for his recovery, indicated by the picture of the sacred pipe; in this moon also Anko cut wood for the government, noted in the figure of a man with an ax beside a tree. The two strokes within the crescent may refer to the date either of one of the events noted or to the day on which the picture was drawn.

Fig. 218—T'aguñótal P'a—P'odalä´ñte killed.

Fig. 219—Gákiñat'o P'a—Made medicine; Cut wood.

Ä`gâ´nti (November, 1892). The name of this moon is indicated as 378 before by the picture of a feather above the crescent; the crescent itself is filled in with black between the horns to note the fact of the total lunar eclipse of November 4, 1892, as recorded by the Nautical Almanac.

Tépgañ P'a. The name of the moon is indicated as in the first instance. No event is recorded. The two strokes may mark the date of the drawing.

Fig. 220—Ä`gâ´nti—Lunar eclipse.

Fig. 221—Tepgañ P'a.

Fig. 222—Gañhíña P'a—Annuity issue.

Gañhíña P'a. There is nothing to indicate the name of the month. The annuity issue of clothing, etc, about the beginning of the year 1892, is recorded as before by means of conventional representations of a boot and a blanket.

Ka`gúăt P'a Sän. The moon is distinguished as before, and the issue of wire for fencing, which occurs usually in early spring and soon after the annuity issue, is indicated as before by a reel of wire upon the tree.

Ka`gúăt P'a. The moon is distinguished in the regular way. In this month he removed from the winter camp near the agency to his home camp near the mountains; the tipi picture records the fact. In the same moon came a late frost which killed the springing vegetation; the cross notes the fact, being a pictorial representation of the gesture sign for "cut off," "stopped," or "ended."

Fig. 223—K'agúăt P'a Sän—Wire issue.

Fig. 224—Ka`gúăt P'a—Move camp.

Fig. 225—Áideñ P'a—Immigrants arrive.

Fig. 226—Pai Ä`gâ´nti—Íatäkía dies; Grass payment.

Aíden P'a (April, 1892). The moon is distinguished as before by the figure of a tree in full foliage. The picture of the wagons records the appearance of emigrants in the Cheyenne country, which was formally opened for settlement on April 19, 1892.

Pai Ä`gâ´nti. There is nothing to distinguish the moon. A Ute captive named Íatäkía, "Ute-man," died, and the fact is noted in the picture of a man with his hand pointing downward; in accordance with 379 the tribal custom, Anko for a long time refused to pronounce the name of the dead man. In this moon also began a grass payment, indicated by means of circles for dollars.

Pai Tépgañ P'a. There is nothing to distinguish the moon. He notes the great measles epidemic of the spring of 1892 (see summer 1892), and the finishing of the grass payment, by pictures respectively of a human figure with red blotches and of circles for dollars. Two strokes may indicate the date of the drawing.

Pai Gañhíña P'a (July, 1892). There is nothing to distinguish the month. The picture of a man and horse records the occurrence of the Fourth of July races.

Fig. 227—Pai Tépgañ P'a—Measles; Grass payment.

Fig. 228—Pai Gañhíña P'a—Fourth of July races.

Fig. 229—T'águñótal P'a Sän—Cheyenne dance.

T'águñótal P'a Sän. The moon is distinguished by the figure of a deer antler above the principal picture, which is intended to record the visit of a large party of Cheyenne and Arapaho in full dress, for dancing purposes; they arrived on July 29,1892, and remained about two weeks. 380 381

























So far as at present known, the Kiowa language has no affinity with any other, but it is possible that closer study and more abundant material will establish its connection with some one of the linguistic stocks on the headwaters of the Missouri and the Columbia, the region from which the tribe has migrated to the south. All of the language that has hitherto been printed is comprised in a list of one hundred and eighty words collected by Bartlett in 1852 ("Personal Narrative," 1854), and in fifteen songs of the ghost dance, published by the author in 1896 in the Fourteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. To these may be added a few words and sentences printed in phonetic type in a little paper called "The Glorious Sun," published at irregular intervals in 1895 at Anadarko by Lewis D. Hadley. There is also in possession of the Bureau an extended manuscript vocabulary with texts collected on the reservation by Albert S. Gatschet in 1880.

Although the Kiowa language is really vocalic, nearly every syllable ending in a vowel and there being but few double consonants, yet the frequency of the explosive or aspirated sounds renders it unpleasing to the ear and unfitted for melodious musical composition, such as we find in the Arapaho and Caddo songs. It has, however, a forcible effect in oratory on account of the strong distinct enunciation of nearly every vowel and syllable, the vigor of the gutturals and dentals, and the redundance of the sonorous o. The distinct emphasis put upon nearly every syllable gives to sentences the effect of a chant or recitation, while the frequent rising inflection lends a querulous tone to an ordinary conversation.

The language lacks f, v, and r. In attempting to pronounce English words, p, b, and l are substituted, respectively, for these sounds, while ch is changed to ts. The diphthong au is also wanting, and short û occurs only in a few words of foreign origin. With the exception of ă short or obscure, the vowels are generally long. D has a slight explosive sound and approximates t. Before l it is softened or sometimes even entirely elided, the vowel being lengthened to supply the hiatus. Thus in Bartlett's vocabulary we find ol, k'ul, and kol for âdal, k`odal, and gadal. The same change is made by the Kiowa in pronouncing English words of like character, as sā̈̈l for saddle. The most common vowel sounds are a, ä, e, and o; â with certain speakers becomes o, and e is weakened to i. Nasal vowels are frequent. There are several aspirated or medial sounds and a strong explosive k`. Below is given the list of sounds according to the Bureau system, nasals being indicated by ñ. A frequent rising inflection at the end of words, represented 390 by some authors by means of a final h, is here indicated by the accent ´.

Like all other living languages, the Kiowa is undergoing a process of gradual change, and many archaic forms and expressions are used by the old men, particularly in reciting myths, which are unknown or difficult of interpretation by the younger people. The same fact has been noted among other tribes (Matthews, 5). The changes are more rapid in Kiowa on account of the tribal custom, already mentioned, of substituting new words for any which suggest the name of a person recently deceased. Even such common words as dog, bird, and moccasin have thus been entirely changed within a few years, and some old men remember as many as three different words used at different periods for the same object. As this process has been going on for an indefinite length of time, it of course adds difficulties to the work of investigating the linguistic affinities of the language. In most, if not all cases, however, the new word is not an actual new creation, but a new combination of old root forms.

In most tribes we find the priests using in their ceremonial rites a peculiar dialect, full of archaic forms and figurative expressions unintelligible to the common people. This is probably true also of the Kiowa.

Traces of dialectic forms appear in the language, and from this fact and from statements of the old people, it is probable that some at least of the six recognized Kiowa tribal divisions previously described, were originally distinct, but cognate and allied, tribes, speaking different dialects. The extinct K`uăto particularly are said to have spoken the language in a peculiar manner.

A few words from other Indian languages, occurring in the text, are also included in the glossary. Corrupted popular forms of Indian words are printed in capital letters.