Kiowa Indians

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Indians of Montana > Kiowa Indians
Indians of Oklahoma > Kiowa Indians

Alternative Names and Spellings: Kiowa, Kioway, Kaigwa, Gaigwa
Ancestral Homeland:
Cultural area: Great Plains - western Montana, migrated to Wyoming and western South Dakota
Linguistic group: Kiowan

Federal Status: recognized

Kiowas Societies: Buffalo Doctor Society; Owl Doctor Society; Sun Dance Shield Society; Eagle Shield Society; only men were members of these societies. There was one society of a select older group of women known as Bear Women Society.

Pictoral history of the tribe known as winter and summer counts

Population: 1990: 10,000

Tribal Headquarters

Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma
P.O. Box 369
Carnegie, OK 73015
Phone: 1.580.654.2300
Fax: 1.580.654.2188


A French explorer, Rene-Robert Caavelier, Sieure de La Salle, in the late 1680's was the first to record an encounter with the Kiowa Indians.

Smallpox epidemics in 1781, and 1801 caused a depopulation of the Kiowa tribe

Inter tribal conflict with the Cheyenne - Arapho and Sioux pressed the Kiowa to move from the Black Hill area in to the Great Plains area. In the 1790's they migrated with the Comanche into what is now New Mexico.

In 1805 the Lewis and Clark Expediton encountered some Kiowa living along the North Platte River in Nebraska, in 1806 this group mirated to southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma.  The Northern Kiowa and Southern Kiowa reunited in 1806

The Osage Indians attackd a Kowa camp killing may, this became known as the Cut-Throat Massacre.

In 1849 many of the tribe suffered and died due to Cholera epidemic; more than half the tribe were died.

In the 1860's a campaign of extermination aginst the Indains was promoted by Governor John Evans.

The Sand Creek Massacre, on November 29,1864 occured when the Colorado militia under the command of Colonel John Chivington attact a friendly group of Kiowa; Black Kettle's camp where an American Flag flew.  The tribe had been promised protection as long as the flag flew over their camp.

Kit Carson led troops in 1864,against the Kiowa and Comanche in the Texas Panhandle area destroying 176 tipis and utilizing the scorched earth policy.

A treaty in 1865 at the Little Arkansas River assiged the Kiowa and the Comanche to a reservation in Indian Territory and proposed that a census be take at the time of annuity payment in the spring of each year.

Winter attacks in November 1868 were directed by General Sheridan, the attacks were lead by Major Andrew W. Evans, Eugene A.Carr and Colonel George Amstrong Custer against the Indians along the Canadian and Washita Rivers.

In 1868 the Kiowa moved with the Comanche to Indian Territory.

A Measle epidemic killed more than 300 Kiowa,Comanche and Kiowa-Apache

Brief Timeline

  • 1682: Rene-Robert Caavelier, Sieure de La Salle a French explorer encountered the Kiowa
  • 1781: a smallpox epidemic killed an estimated 2,000 Kiowa
  • 1785: Left the Black Hills area due to conflict with Cheyenne-Arapaho and Sioux
  • 1790: Southern Kiowa move with Comanche to what is now New Mexico.
  • 1801: Smallpox epidemic -- loss of nearly half of the tribe
  • 1805:
  • 1833: Cut-Throat Massacre: Osage Indians attacked Kiowas camp killing many
  • 1835: Treaty at Fort Gibson
  • 1849: Cholera killed more than half of the tribe
  • 1853: Treaty at Fort Atkinson, Kiowa, Comanche and Apache indians . "...annuity to be given annually in July in the vincinity of Beaver Creek, the govenment may establish farms for the benefit of the tribes."
  • 1860's: Governor John Evans encouraged a campaign of extermination against the Indians in the territory.
  • November 29, 1864: Sand Creek Massacre -- Colorado militia under the command of Colonel John Chivington engaged in battle against a friendly group of Kiowa - Black Kettle's camp where an American Flag flew over the camp. The tribe had been promised protection as long as the flag flew over their camp. More than 100 Kiowa were killed.

1864:' Kit Carson led troops against the Kiowa and Comanche Adope Walls in the Texas Panhandle destroying 176 tipis and employing the scorched earth policy.

  • 1865: Treaty at Little Arkansas River placed Kiowa and Comanche on a reservation in Indian Territory . " accurate census of the Indians entitled shall be taken at the time of anuity payment in spring of each year.
  • November 27, 1868: General Philip Sheridan directed winter attacks by Major Anderew W. Evans, Major Eugene A. Carr and Colonel George Armstrong Custer to attack the Indians along the Canadian and Washita River valleys.
  • 1868: removed to Indian Territory with the Comanche and Kiowa-Apache
  • 1892: Measles killed more than 300 of the Kiowa, Comanche and Kiowa-Apache

Additional References to the History of the Tribe

  • Alice Marriott. The Ten Grandmothers, Norman, OK, University of OK. Press., 1968. FHL Book: 970.3 K627ma



Census Records

Tribe Agency Location of Original Records

Post-1885 Census M595 RG 75 Rolls 693

Roll Number


Film Number

Kiowa Kiowa Agency,   1864-1962 Fort Worth Rolls 211-23 576900-912
Kiowa Apache Kiowa Agency/Anadarko, 1864-80 Washington D.C. and Fort Worth Rolls 211-23 -


Tribe Agency Location of Original Records

Pre - 1880 Correspondence

M234 RG 75 Rolls 962

Roll Number




Kiowa Upper Platte Agency, 1846-55 Washington D.C. Roll 889 -

Upper Arkansas Agency,      1855-64

Fort Worth Roll 878 -
Kiowa Kiowa Agency, 1864-1962 Fort Worth Rolls 375-86 -
Kiowa Apache Kiowa Agency / Anadarko 1864-80 Washington D.C. and Fort Worth Rolls 375-86 -


  • 1832 March 26, Kiowa, Ect.
  • 1853 July 27, 1853 Fort Atkinson, Comanche, Kiowa and Apache
  • 1865 October 18, Comanche and Kiowa
  • 1867 October 21,
  • 1867

Vital Records

Important Web Sites




  • Carlson, Paul H. The Plains Indians. College Station, Texas: Texas A and M University Press, c1998. FHL book 970.1 C197p


  • Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives; Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906 Available online.
  • Klein, Barry T., ed. Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, New York: Todd Publications, 2009. 10th ed. WorldCat 317923332; FHL book 970.1 R259e.
  • Malinowski, Sharon and Sheets, Anna, eds. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. Detroit: Gale Publishing, 1998. 4 volumes. Includes: Lists of Federally Recognized Tribes for U.S., Alaska, and Canada – pp. 513-529 Alphabetical Listing of Tribes, with reference to volume and page in this series Map of “Historic Locations of U.S. Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Canadian Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Mexican, Hawaiian and Caribbean Native Groups” Maps of “State and Federally Recognized U.S. Indian Reservations. WorldCat 37475188; FHL book 970.1 G131g.
Vol. 1 -- Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
Vol. 2 -- Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America
Vol. 3 -- Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau
Vol. 4 -- California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands
  • Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols., some not yet published. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978– .
Volume 1 -- Not yet published
Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- WorldCat 255572371
Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
Volume 16 -- Not yet published
Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
Volume 18 -- Not yet published
Volume 19 -- Not yet published
Volume 20 -- Not yet published