KIOWA

(Ka'-i-gwu)

 

Geographical region : plains, prairie

This tribe lived in plains tipis

Language (group) : uto-atztec

 

Camp

 

Kiowa (from Ga'-i-gwu, or Ka'-i-gwu, 'principal people,' how they call themselfes).

Native North Americans, whose language is thought to form a branch of the Aztec-Tanoan linguistic stock.

The Kiowa, a nomadic people of the Plains area, had several distinctive traits, including the worship of a stone image, the taimay.

The Kiowa are noted for having kept a written history.

This historical record was kept in the form of a pictographic calendar painted and updated twice a year, in winter and summer, on buffalo skins.

In the 17th cent. they occupied W. Montana, but by about 1700 they had moved to an area S.E. of the Yellowstone River.

The Kiowa once lived near the upper Yellowstone and Missouri.

Spanish records do notify this tribe the first time in the year 1732.

Their oldest tradition, which agrees with the concurrent testimony of the Shoshoni and Arapaho, locates them about the junction of Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin forks, at the extreme head of Missouri river, in the neighborhood of the present Virginia City.

Here they came into contact with the Crow, who gave the Kiowa permission to settle in the Black Hills. Later they moved down from the mountains and formed an alliance with the Crows.

While living there, they acquired (c.1710) the horse, probably from the Crow. Their trade was mainly with the Arikara, the Mandan, and the Hidatsa.

From this place they were driven by the Cheyenne and Arapaho southward along the base of the mountains.

After the invading Cheyenne and the Sioux drove the Kiowa from the Black Hills, they were forced to move south to Comanche territory.

In 1840 the Kiowa finally made peace with these two tribes.

The Sioux say that it was their tribe who drove the Kiowa out of the Black hills.

In 1805 the Lewis and Clark Expedition found them living on the North, Platte.

When the Kiowa reached the Arkansas river, they found their passage opposed by the Comanche, who claimed all the country to the south.

A war followed, but finally peace was signed, when the Kiowa crossed over to thes.

In 1790, after a bloody war, the Kiowa reached a permanent peace with the Comanche, and formed a confederation with the Comanches which continues until today.

Together with the Comanche they carried on a constant war upon the frontier settlements of Mexico and Texas.

Among all the prairie tribes they were noted as the most predatory and blood thirsty. It it said that they have probably killed more white men in proportion to their numbers than any of the other prairi tribes.

They signed their first treaty with the Government in 1837, and were put on their present reservation together with the Conlanche and Kiowa Apache in 1868.

Their last out break was in 1874-75 together with the Comanche, Kiowa Apache, and Cheyenne.

While probably never very numerous, they have been greatly reduced by war and disease.

Their last terrible dying was in the springtime of the year 1892, when measles and fever destroyed more than 300 of the three confederated tribes.

It was the second time they were hit my an epidemic disease.

The first on was in 1877.

 

The tribal divisions are :

 

Kata

Kogui

Kaigwu

Kingeo

Semat

Kongtalyui

 

Although brave and warlike, the Kiowa are considered inferior in most respects to the Comanche.

They occupied the same reservation with the Comanche and Kiowa Apache, between Washita and Red rivers, in southwest Oklahoma.

In the year 1875 only 1070 Kiowa were alive.

1037 in the year 1895 and still only 1195 in the year 1905.

In 1970 2692 members of the Kiowa were counted and in the year 1985 about 4000 Kiowa were registered.

 

The Kiowa are noted for having kept a written history. This historical record was kept in the form of a pictographic calendar painted and updated twice a year, in winter and summer, on buffalo skins.