Kiowas, Or Kioways, a tribe of North American Indians belonging to the Shoshonee family. They were first brought to notice by Lewis and Clark. Their skin lodges and hunting grounds were then on the Paducah, and with the Kaskaias they occupied the head waters of the Platte and Arkansas. They raised horses and traded with the Ricarees, Mandans, etc. They had obtained horses at an early period from the Spaniards, and committed frequent depredations, being great warriors and tine horsemen, though awkward on foot. They were at war with many northern tribes, especially the Pawnees, Ietans, and Sioux. They were noted for the long hair of the men, often reaching to the knees, but done up in three or four plaits, while the women were cropped short. They long hunted on the Platte, and in summer pursued the buffalo between the North fork of the Canadian and the Arkansas, but in autumn and winter pastured their immense herds on the rich grassy bottoms of the Red river. As late as 1819 they used the bow and arrow, lance and war club, and carried shields. They lived in leathern lodges, transported as they moved. The early estimates of their numbers were low, but about 1840 they were 1,800 strong.
In 1839 a delegation visited St. Louis. In 1843 government made several attempts to negotiate with them, especially to liberate the white captives in their hands. There was, however, little intercourse with them till the treaty of Fort Atkinson, July 27, 1853, when for a ten years' annual payment of $18,000 they agreed to refrain from all hostilities. They, however, resumed their depredations, and in 1858 Tohan-son, or Little Mountain, defied the whites to punish them. In 1859 the Texans drove them out, and they retired between the Canadian and Arkansas rivers. The government withheld the annual payments in 1859 - '60, but they made raids on Texas in retaliation. In October, 1805, a new treaty was made with the Co-manches and Kiowas, Tahanson, Santanta or Sitting Bear, Black Eagle, and Lone Wolf being the principal chiefs. They claimed all the territory from the North fork of the Platte to Texas. The object was to induce them to give up their lands and take a reservation on receiving an annual payment proportioned to their numbers.
The treaty of August, 1869, assigned to them and some Comanches and Apaches 3,549,440 acres in the southwest of Indian territory, on lands leased from the Chickasaws. They numbered at this time 1,928, but were restive, complained of being fed on Indian corn, and took no interest in agriculture, trampling down their own corn fields. In 1870 they killed several whites near the agency, and invaded Texas. The next year, in May, Santanta led a war party to Texas, which captured a train, killing many. Government then acted decisively. Santanta and Big Tree were arrested, and sent to Jacks-borough, Texas, where they were convicted of murder and sentenced to death. This was commuted to imprisonment for life. The tribe, humbled at first, gave up horses and mules; but recovering somewhat, they threatened new raids if Santanta was not restored. At the request of the federal government Texas pardoned the chiefs, but their hostility continued unabated. Under the treaty of 1867 they have 25 instalments of $30,000 and $7,500 for clothing, seeds, blacksmith, etc.; but they are very turbulent and unsettled.
Their number was reported in 1873 as 2,000, and their property was estimated at $200,000.