c. 1868 White Bear (Set-t'ain'-te), called Satanta, Kiowa War Chief, by W.S. Soule, Fort Sill, I.T., 1868. Erroneous ink inscription in Soule's hand, verso: "Satanta, Arapahos." Albumen cabinet card.

    In Kiowa estimation, Set-t'ain'-te (c. 1820-1878) was the beau ideal of tribal manhood. Recognized as a leader at an early age, he was among a select group of chiefs who traveled to Washington, D.C., in the midst of the Civil War in 1863, to meet with President Lincoln, when he was photographed in the White House. Seen here five years later, the chief wears the army-surplus jacket of a cavalry officer with shoulder bars, and the peace medal he had received from Lincoln's hand. Famous as an orator, he helped to negotiate and signed both the treaties of the Little Arkansas (1865) and Medicine Lodge (1867). Falsely condemned as one of the leaders of the Battle of Adobe Walls in 1874, Set-t'ain'-te was imprisoned at Huntsville, Texas and worked at chain-gang labor for nearly five years. Despairing of ever being released, on October 11, 1878, he leapt head-first to his death from an upper story of the prison hospital.

    Dimensions: image 4 x 5 ½ inches

    White Horse (Isa-tah), Kiowa War Chief, by W.S. Soule, Fort Sill, I.T., 1868. Ink inscription in Soule's hand, verso: "White Horse, Kiowa Chf." Albumen cabinet card.

    This is the earliest portrait of White Horse (1845-1892), at about the age of twenty-three. He wears a simple cotton shirt and a breastplate made of shell hairpipes strung between straps of harness leather. His earrings are also made of cut hairpipe strung on brass chain. He was an adventurous leader of war parties, which made him a figure of evil to army authorities. One of the Kiowa exiled for three years to Fort Marion, Florida, 1875-1878, White Horse organized the only jail break attempted by the Indian prisoners, spending six weeks in irons for his efforts. He was also an artist of considerable talent whose work is featured in Karen Daniels Petersen's Plains Indian Art from Fort Marion (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971).

    Dimensions: image 4 x 5 ½ inches

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    12th Saturday
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