Home > PublicationsEncyclopedia >  Cutthroat Gap, Battle of

CUTTHROAT GAP, BATTLE OF.

Located to the east of Cooperton in Kiowa County, Cutthroat Gap is the site upon which the Osage killed an estimated 150 Kiowa in spring 1833. The Kiowa had been encamped at the confluence of Rainy Mountain Creek and the Washita River when an Osage presence was detected. Because the majority of their warriors were away, raiding the Ute, the Kiowa divided into groups and dispersed into the countryside. One party was led by A'date, the tribe's principal chief.

Osage from the Three Forks area hunted bison in the Kiowa domain. Coveting Kiowa horses, one Osage party trailed A'date's band south from the Washita to the headwaters of Otter Creek. There they attacked and indiscriminately slew. Some Kiowa were decapitated, and their heads were placed in brass buckets. The Kiowa calender designated the tragedy as "summer that they cut off their heads." The Osage suffered no casualties and captured prisoners, horses, and the sacred tai-me that the Kiowa used to conduct their sun dance. For failing to defend his people, A'date was replaced as chief by Dohasan.

Kiowa-Osage relations improved after a Kiowa girl who was seized during the battle was reunited with her tribe by the Dodge-Leavenworth Expedition in 1834. The Osage returned the Kiowa tai-me in 1835, and the United States negotiated a lasting peace between the tribes in 1837.

Jon D. May

See also: AMERICAN INDIANS, KIOWA, OSAGE

Bibliography

Brad Agnew, Fort Gibson, Terminal on the Trail of Tears (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980).

John Joseph Mathews, The Osages: Children of the Middle Waters (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961).

James Mooney, Calendar History of the Kiowa Indians, Seventeenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Part 1 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1898).

Wilbur S. Nye, Carbine and Lance: The Story of Old Fort Sill (3d ed., rev; Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1969).

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society. This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia and part or in whole.

Photo credits: All photographs presented in the published and online versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture are the property of the Oklahoma Historical Society and are held in the agency's Research Division Photograph Archives (unless otherwise stated).


Citation

The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Jon D. May, "Cutthroat Gap, Battle of," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed December 11, 2017).

About the Encyclopedia | Terms of Use | Using the Encyclopedia