Dining In A Kiowa Lodge

In April 1864, Special Agent H.T. Ketcham visited Kiowa camps along the Arkansas River. He included this description in an April 10, 1864 report to H.P. Dole, Commissioner of Indian Affairs:
          “I was four days in Satana, 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 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 fire-boards, twenty inches wide and three feet long, ornamented with bright brass tacks driven all around the edges, which they use for tables; he had a brass French horn, which he blew vigorously when the meals were ready. I slept [in the teepee of] 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.. I apprehend that their successful expedition there will embolden them to make aggressions on trains passing up the Santa Fé road this spring and summer.”
          Ketchum noted that these Indians were likely to let wagon trains pass in exchange for a few gifts of food.
          In his1984 book Son of the Morning Star, Evan S. Connell writes that Satana lived in a red painted lodge, painted his body red when he road to war and carried a red shield.

Photo by William S. Soule ca. 1969-1874 courtesy National Archives and Records Administration, American Indian Select List #130

Quoted text from an undated letter from H.T. Ketcham to Colorado Territorial Governor John Evans, found in the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs 1864.

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Published in: on October 10, 2011 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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