The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American)


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Characterized by mild winters and ample grazing, the region teemed with bison and feral horse herds, and the Kiowa developed an equestrian, bison-hunting culture. The Kiowa and Plains Apache initially skirmished with the more populous Comanche before creating a confederation between and , and by the Kiowa had forged alliances with the Lakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Osage.

Supreme Court decision Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock In the year more than four thousand out of approximately 12, Kiowa lived near the towns of Anadarko, Fort Cobb, and Carnegie, in Caddo and Kiowa counties, Oklahoma. The modern version of the Kiowa creation myth relates that their ancestors lived underground until Saynday, or Trickster, mutated the people into ants, then summoned them to emerge to the earth's exterior through a hollow cottonwood log. Because a pregnant female became lodged in the opening, about half of the Kiowa remained subterranean dwellers, explaining why the nineteenth century Kiowa, the T'epda, or "Coming-out" People, never numbered more than one thousand to sixteen hundred.

During the prereservation era of the early and mid-nineteenth century the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache alliance dominated the southwestern plains. Fully transformed into southwestern plains equestrian hunter-gatherers, the Kiowa captured mustangs in the Staked Plains and then trained them for specific purposes in hunting, warfare, and transportation. Additionally, close proximity to the Spanish settlements south of the Red River in Texas and Mexico was conducive to the development of a raiding economy and social differentiation based on the acquisition of plunder, captives, and horses.

Combined Kiowa-Comanche raiding parties heading south frequently skirmished with Mexican and Texan enemies, whereas Kiowa war parties traveling west fought against the Ute and Navajo, oftentimes stopping to trade with the easternmost Pueblo peoples in New Mexico. Other enemies included the Pawnee, who came from the north to steal horses from the three horse-rich allies and from the eastern tribes that had been relocated into eastern Kansas and Oklahoma in the s and s.

By this time the Kiowa bands had aggregated into large winter and summer encampments for mutual protection. Nineteenth-century Kiowa practiced bilateral maternal and paternal lines descent and utilized a generational kin classification system similar to Hawaiian kinship systems, in which relatives are differentiated by sex and generation. With exceptions, collateral relatives in the grandparents' generation were recognized as grandparents, a person's cousins were "brothers" and "sisters," siblings' children were "sons" and "daughters," and great-grandparents and great-grandchildren reciprocally addressed one another as siblings.

Kin terminology included using the same word for parents' siblings: mother and mother's sister were called "mother," father and father's brother were called "father," whereas mother's brother and father's sister were "uncle" and "aunt. During the height of the horse and buffalo culture, circa to , Kiowa society was comprised of ten to twenty bands, or kindreds, extended family groups led by the eldest brother. A typical kindred was comprised of a man, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters, their spouses and children, and often his parents and their brothers.

Upper echelon, ondedw or "rich" kindreds, were comprised of wealthy families called do'oi "family of many tipis," signifying that wealthy kindreds attracted a large following.

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Every nuclear family inhabited a tipi, and where polygyny, typically sororal, was practiced, each wife occupied her own; younger, unmarried men shared a bachelors' tipi. After marriage, residence with the father's family was preferred, though bilocality often resulted from residing with the wealthier of the two kindreds.


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Ondedw kindreds ten percent of the total population were led by high-ranking men who possessed dw'dw' , supernatural "power" that contributed to their success as great warriors and owners of tribal or personal medicine bundles. Solidarity within ondedw kindreds was achieved by recruiting kwwn "poor" families that needed protection and the advantages of cooperative hunting. Next were Ondegupa , or "second rank" kindreds thirty to fifty percent represented by lesser-ranked leaders, and below them were the kwwn ten to fifty percent , the dapom , "bums," or "no-accounts," and the go.

Sharp contrasts between rich and poor characterized Kiowa society, but social mobility was occasionally achieved through the accumulation of war honors.

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In the mid-nineteenth century each of the ten to twenty kindreds was led by a "main chief," or dopadok'i , a term related to topadoga, "band"; the kindreds are not to be confused with the five Kiowa "bands" or "subtribes" of the coalesced sun dance circle. Average band size ranged from twelve to fifty tipis, and the bands were distributed into northern and southern groups. Army officials identified the aggregated bands as "hostiles," or "out" Indians who defied reservation boundaries to raid south into Texas and northern Mexico. After the Red River War and the cessation of Indian-white warfare in the southwestern plains, Kiowa band leaders were relegated to "beef chiefs" who oversaw the distribution of beef annuities to the remnant bands scattered north of the Wichita Mountains.

In the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache began leasing reservation pasturage to Texas cattlemen for "grass money," though ironically, forced allotment resulted in smaller per capita payments after Before World War II the largely rural Kiowa peoples lived in poverty as a result of federal Indian policies that fostered dependency.

Nineteenth-century Kiowa religious beliefs centered around the animistic beings who represented in various degrees the animatistic, orenda-like power force dw'dw' that permeated the universe and became manifest in natural phenomena thunder, lightning, whirlwind, the four directional winds and in birds and animals. In accordance with Kiowa hierarchy, spirit beings possessed varying degrees of dw'dw' transferable to humans through the vision quest.

The ten nineteenth-century keepers maintained Kiowa spiritual integrity and negotiated conflict resolution; today, gifts and prayers are still offered to the sacred bundles. Large portions of north central and northwest Kansas formerly were included in the territory of the Pawnee. While claiming extensive areas of Kansas, the valley of the Platte River, Nebraska is the heart of Pawnee land.

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Historically powerful in terms of numbers and voracity, the Pawnee nonetheless suffered terribly from diseases introduced by the swelling white population. Especially severe was the cholera epidemic of , which reduced nearly all the Plains tribes, in some cases by two-thirds their former size. The Pawnee traditionally maintained tribal cohesion by two key means: intricate ceremonies and an influential tribal council. The Pawnee conducted tribally orchestrated buffalo hunts and were also successful growers of corn, pumpkins and beans, corn being a sacred crop with them.

Pawnee arts included basketry, pottery and weaving. Their homes were an earth lodge constructed with painstaking care and exquisite attention to religious meaning. The Pawnee are exceptional for their well developed and cogent sacred ceremonies. Linguistically they are related to the Osage and Quapaw, from whom they separated during migrations along the Missouri River.

The Kansa continued their travels along the Kansas River, intermittently building and abandoning settlements, until finally settling at Council Grove, Kansas. Their experiences in Kansas include fierce warfare with the Cheyenne, Pawnee and Sauk as well as with the Kiowa, Comanche and others. By treaty in , they ceded two million acres of their reservation to the United States and a new reservation was established for them at Council Grove, along the Neosho River. There, Methodist followed by Quaker missionaries worked among them with a successful conversion tally of one person, according to a teacher who lived with the Kansa from to Of more immediate interest to the Kansa were the whites who were overrunning their reservation.

In conditions had deteriorated so greatly that the Kansa were removed to Indian Territory and located next to the Osage. The Kansa were skilled buffalo hunters and cultivated small crops to some extent. They lived in earthlodges in their semi-sedentary villages, and inhabited tipis and occasionally bark-covered lodges while on the march.

In the seventeenth century this primal group comprised a people who would separate to become the Kansa, Quapaw, Ponca and Osage. The Osage eventually rose to dominate a homeland covering the greater part of Missouri and Oklahoma, as well as northwest Arkansas. Their Kansas territory was roughly bounded by a line from present Kansas City west to Great Bend, and thence south to Caldwell, Kansas. Osage life was a combination of eastern woodland and plains culture types. They lived in wooden framed longhouses fixed in villages, raised crops and hunted bear, deer, buffalo and antelope.

War was a constant occupation for the Osage and they were feared rivals of the Pawnee, Wichita, Kiowa and Caddo tribes. They maintained peace, however, with the United States, often serving as valuable military scouts. Osage intentions were to keep open trading connections they had fostered since the days of French and Spanish occupation in North America. The United States returned Osage goodwill with forced land cessions in , and , enormously reducing the Osage land claim from its formerly staggering proportions.

Following bouts of smallpox, cholera and other epidemic diseases, coupled with the drain of incessant warfare, the Osage were compelled to give up their remaining villages along the Verdigris River and were placed onto a reservation. Michael Marchand was a graduate student in American history when he gathered this information. Center for Great Plains Studies. Marchand Kansas, a word readily recognizable as derived from the Native American tribal name Kansa, or "Wind People," is a state possessing a rich Indian heritage spanning from the time of Paleo-Indians, perhaps 14, years ago, to the very present.

October 1993

Grinnell, George Bird. The Fighting Cheyenne. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, Hyde, George E. Hoig, Stan. The Cheyenne. New York: Chelsea House, Arapaho Like the Cheyenne, the Arapaho are from the great Algonquian family.

Apache - Wikipedia

Kroeber, Alfred L. The Arapaho. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, Fowler, Loretta. Wedel, Waldo R. Prehistoric Man on the Great Plains. Gunnerson, James H. Adamson Hoebel. Hagan, William T.


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  8. Quanah Parker, Comanche Chief. Rollings, Willard H. The Comanches. Mooney, James. Calendar History of the Kiowa Indians. Washington, D. Mayhall, Mildred P. The Kiowas. Wunder, John R. The Kiowa. Bittle, William E. Brant, Charles S. New York: Dover, McAllister, J. Boatright Ed. Newcomb, W. Austin: University of Texas Press, Paige, John C. Elam, Earl H. Blaine, Martha Royce. Pawnee Passing: Pawnee Indians.

    The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American) The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American)
    The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American) The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American)
    The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American) The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American)
    The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American) The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American)
    The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American) The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American)
    The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American) The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American)
    The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American) The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American)
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    The Autobiography of a Kiowa Apache Indian (Native American)

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