Kiowa Indian Chiefs and Leaders
Dohasan (Dohásän, ‘little bluff’; also Dohá, Doháte, ‘bluff’). The hereditary name of a line of chiefs of the Kiowa for nearly a century. It has been borne by at least four members of the family, viz:
- The first of whom there is remembrance was originally called Pá-do‛gâ′-i or Padó‛gå, ‘White-faced-buffalo-bull’, and this name was afterward changed to Dohá, or Doháte. He was a prominent chief.
- His son was originally called Ä′anoñ′te (a word of doubtful etymology), and afterward took his father’s name of Doháte, which was changed to Dohasan, Little Doháte, or Little-bluff, for distinction. He became a great chief, ruling over the whole tribe from 1833 until his death on Cimarron River in 1866, since which time no one has had unquestioned allegiance in the tribe. His portrait was painted in 1834 by Catlin, who calls him Teh-toot-sah, and his name appears in the treaty of 1837 as ” To-ho-sa, the Top of the Mountain.”
- His son, whose widow is Ankímä, inherited his father’s name, Dohásän. He was also a distinguished warrior, and died about 1894. His scalp shirt and war-bonnet case are in the National Museum.
- The nephew of the great Dohásän II and cousin of the last mentioned (3) was also called Dohásän, and always wore a silver cross with the name “Tohasan” engraved upon it. He was the author of the Scott calendar and died in 1892. Shortly before his death he changed his name to Dánpä′ , shoulder-blade, from dán, shoulder (?), leaving only Ankímä’s husband (3) to bear the hereditary name, which is now extinct. Dohasan II, the greatest chief in the history of the Kiowa tribe, in 1833 succeeded A‛dáte, who had been deposed for having allowed his people to be surprised and massacred by the Osage in that year. It was chiefly through his influence that peace was made between the Kiowa and Osage after the massacre referred to, which has never been broken. In 1862, when the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, Kiowa, and Kiowa Apache were assembled on Arkansas River to receive annuities, the agent threatened them with punishment if they did not cease their raids. Dohasan listened in perfect silence to the end, when he 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: “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 my self. 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.” In addition to the treaty of 1837 Dohasan was also a signer of the treaty of Ft Atkinson, Ind. T., July 27, 1853, and treaty of October 18, 1865, on Little Arkansas River, Kansas. See Mooney in 17th Rep. B. A. E., pt. 1, 1898.
Lone Wolf. A Kiowa chief, one of the 9 signers of the treaty of Medicine Lodge, Kansas in 1867, by which the Kiowa first agreed to Kiowa first agreed to be placed on a reservation. In 1872 he headed a delegation to Washington.
The killing of his son by the Texans in 1873 embittered hint against the whites, and in the outbreak of the following year he was the recognized leader of the hostile part of the tribe. On the surrender in the spring of 1875 he, with a number of others, was sent to military confinement at Ft. Marion, Fla., where they remained 3 years. He died in 1879, shortly after his return, and was succeeded by his adopted son, of the same name, who still retains authority in the tribe.
Sleeping wolf (proper name Gui-k̉ ati, ‘Wolf lying down’). Second chief of the Kiowa, a delegate to Washington in 2872 , and a prominent leader in the outbreak of 1874-75. He was shot and killed in a quarrel with one of his own tribe in 1877. The name is hereditary in the tribe and has been borne by at least 5 successive individuals, the first of whom negotiated the permanent peace between the Kiowa and Comanche about 1790.
Adoeette (ado ‘tree,’ e-et ‘great,’ te personal suffix: ‘Big Tree’). A Kiowa chief, born about 1845. In consequence of Custer’s vigorous campaign on the Washita in the fall of 1868 the Kiowa and confederated tribes had been compelled to come in upon their reservation, in what is now south west Oklahoma, but still kept up frequent raids into Texas notwithstanding the establishment of Ft Sill in their midst. In May, 1871, a large party of warriors led by
Satanta (properly Set-t ‘aiñ-te, White Bear), and accompanied by Satank (properly Set-ängyä, Sitting Bear), and Big Tree, attacked a wagon train, killing 7 men and taking 41 mules. For their part in this deed, which they openly avowed, the three chiefs named were arrested at Ft Sill to stand trial in Texas. Setängyä made resistance and was killed by the guard. The other two were confined in the Texas penitentiary until Oct., 1873, when they were released on promise of good behavior of their tribe. Satanta was subsequently rearrested and committed suicide in prison. During the latter part of the outbreak of 1874-7 Big Tree, with other chiefs believed to be secretly hostile, were confined as prisoners at Ft Sill. Since that time the tribe has remained at peace. Big Tree is still living upon his allotment on the former reservation and is now a professed Christian.
- Mooney, Calendar Hist. Kiowa Inds., 17th Rep. B. A. E., 1898.
Satanta (properly Set-taiñ’-te, ‘White Bear’). A noted Kiowa chief, born about 1830; died by suicide in prison, Oct. 11, 1878. For about 15 years before his death he was recognized as second chief in his tribe, the first rank being accorded to his senior, Setängyä, or Satank, and later to Lone Wolf, although probably neither of these equaled him in force and ability. His eloquence in council gained for him the title of “Orator of the Plains,” while his manly boldness and directness and his keen humor made him a favorite with army officers and commissioners in spite of his known hostility to the white man’s laws and civilization. He was one of the signers of the Medicine Lodge treaty of 1867, by which his tribe agreed to go on a reservation, his being the second Kiowa name attached to the document. The tribe, however, delayed coming in until compelled by Custer, who seized Satanta and Lone Wolf as hostages for the fulfillment of the conditions. For boastfully avowing his part in a murderous raid into Texas in 1871, he, with Setangya and Big Tree, was arrested and held for trial in Texas. Setangya was killed while resisting the guard. The other two were tried and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Texas State penitentiary. Two years later they were released, conditional upon the good behavior of their people, but in the fall of 1874, the Kiowa having again gone on the warpath, Satanta was rearrested and taken back to the penitentiary where he finally committed suicide by throwing himself from an upper story of the hospital.
In appearance Satanta was a typical Plains warrior, of fine physique, erect bearing, and piercing glance. One who saw him in prison in 1873 describes him as “a tall, finely formed man, princely in carriage, on whom even the prison garb seemed elegant,” and meeting his visitor “with as much dignity and grace as though he were a monarch receiving a foreign ambassador.” His memory is cherished by the Kiowa as that of one of their greatest men.
- Mooney, Calendar History of the Kiowa Inds., 17th Rep. B. A. E., 1898.
Setangya (Set-äbgyä, ‘Sitting Bear’) A noted Kiowa chief and medicine man, and leader of the principal war society of the tribe. commonly known to the whites as Satank. He was born in the Black Hills region about the year 1810, his paternal grandmother having been a Sarsi woman. He became prominent at an early age, and is credited with having been a principal agent in negotiating the final peace between the Kiowa and the Cheyenne about 1840. His name heads the list of signers of the noted Medicine Lodge treaty of 1867. In 1870 his son was killed by the whites while raiding in Texas. The father went down into Texas, gathered the bones into a bundle and brought them back, thenceforth carrying them about with him upon a special horse until himself killed about a year later. On May 17, 1871, in company with Settainte he led an attack on a wagon train in Texas, by which 7 white men lost their lives. On making public boast of the deed to the agent at Ft Sill, in the present Oklahoma, shortly afterward, he and two others were arrested by military authority to be sent to Texas for trial. Setangya, however, refused to be a prisoner, and deliberately inviting death, sang his own death song, wrenched the fetters from his wrists, and drawing a concealed knife sprang upon the guard and was shot to death by the troops surrounding him. He was buried in the military cemetery at Ft Sill.