or Kǎ'-i-gwŭ, 'principal people,' their own name).
A tribe at one time residing about. the upper Yellowstone and Missouri,
but better known as centering about the upper Arkansas and Canadian
in Colorado and Oklahoma, and constituting, so far as present knowledge
goes, a distinctl inguistie stock. They are noticed in Spanish records
as early, at least, as 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, Mont. They afterward moved down from the mountains
and formed an alliance with the Crows, with whom they have since continued
on friendly terms. From here they drifted southward along the base
of the mountains, driven by the Cheyenne and Arapaho, with whom they
finally made peace about 1840, after which they commonly acted in
concert with the latter tribes. The Sioux claim to have driven them
out of the Black hills, and in 1805 they were reported by Lewis and
Clark as living on the North, Platte.
According to the Kiowa account, when they first, reached Arkansas
river they found their passage opposed by the Comanche, who claimed
all the country to the south. A war followed, but peace was finally
concluded, when the Kiowa crossed over to thes. side of the Arkansas
and formed a confederation with the Comanche, which continues to the
In connection with the Comanche they carried on a constant war upon
the frontier settlements of Mexico and Texas, extending their incursions
as far south, at least, as Durango. Among all the prairie tribes they
were noted as the most predatory and blood thirsty, and have probably
killed more white men in proportion to their numbers than any of the
They made their first treaty with the Government in 1837, and were
put on their present reservation jointly with the Conlanche and Kiowa
Apache in 1868. Their last out break was in 1874-75 in connection
with the Cormanche, Kiowa Apache, and Cheyenne. While probably never
very numerous, they have been greatly reduced by war and disease.
Their last terrible blow carne in the spring of 1892, when measles
and fever destroyed more than 300 of the three confederated tribes.
The Kiowa do not have the gentile system, and there is no restriction
as to intermarriage among the divisions, of which they have six, including
the Kiowa Apache associated with their, who form a component part
of the Kiowa camp circle. A seventh division, the Kuato is now extinct.
The tribal divisions in the order of the camp circle, from the entrance
at the east southward, are:
Semat (i. e., Apache)
Although brave and warlike, the Kiowa are considered inferior in most
respects to the Comanche. In person they are dark and heavily built,
forming a marked contrast to the more slender and brighter complexioned
prairie tribes farther north.
Their language is full of nasal and choking sounds and is not well
adapted to rhythmic composition.
Their present chief is Gui-pägo,
'Lone Wolf,' but his title is disputed by Apiatan. They occupied the
same reservation with the Comanche and Kiowa Apache, between Washita
and Red rivers., in southwest Oklahoma; but in 1901 their lands were
allotted in severalty and the remainder opened to settlement. Pop.
1,165 in 1905.