Texas Trail: A practical joke on a Kiowa warrior turned deadly

"For all the noble and admirable traits that many of the great war chiefs and medicine men of the native tribes might have possessed, a sense of humor was not always among them. A practical joke played on these men could be deadly.

As a case in point we need look no farther than Kiowa chief and medicine man Satank, which is loosely translated as Sitting Bear. Satank was a proud and noble warrior at a time when it was hard for the Kiowa to be proud, noble or even warriors. Intertribal relations were at a low ebb, but Satank managed to rise through the ranks to become a member of the prestigious Kiowa warrior society known as the Koitsenko.

Membership in the Koitsenko was based on a warrior's success in warfare and Satank was well known for his raids on the Cheyenne, Saca and Fox. When the Anglo settlers arrived on the scene he raided them, too. A murderous raid near Menard in the Hill Country was widely attributed to Satank and his warriors.

Satank also played a significant role in organizing peace among the Kiowa, Arapaho and Cheyenne in order to unite against the white invaders. As the number of settlers continued to increase at alarming rates, no matter how many they killed, Satank tried another approach. He tried to ingratiate himself to George Peacock, a Kansas rancher and trader, in the spirit of a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" philosophy."

Get the Story:
Texas Trails: Satank's Reputation Lost in Translation (The Country World 9/6)
Texas Trails: Told It Like It Wasn't (The Country World 9/6)

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