T'ENE-ANG'OPTE (Kicking Bird)

Kicking Bird, who had been so long a leader of the peace element among his people, died suddenly May 5, 1875. It was suspected at the time and believed by others still many years later, that he had been poisoned by his enemies of the war party. It was investigated but never proven.

He was of mixed heritage, his father had been a Crow captive, taken as a boy, that had been adopted into the tribe. As a young man, Kicking Bird had a commanding influence among his people. He was a man of fine Native ability and knew well the tradition and ceremonials of his people.

Kicking Bird recognized early the chances that came with the white man and deliberately abandoned the war path to try to prepare his people to meet the new conditions. His voice and example were always on the side of peace, which drew the hatred of the conservative and the war party who called him coward and traitor. When peace or war came to issue in 1874, his powerful influence held more than 2/3 of the Kiowa from the warpath, and by his exertions after, he secured the best possible terms for the defeated hostiles.

Kicking Bird's gravesite
Fort Sill Cemetery, Lawton OK

Information from "The Ten Grandmothers" by Alice Marriott, published by University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 1945; and "Calender History of the Kiowa Indians" by James Mooney, published by Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. from reports, 1895-1896.

Copyright, 1998-2008


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