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DOHASAN (?-1866)

Dohasan (Dohate, Little Bluff) was principal chief of the Kiowa from 1833 until 1866. He replaced A'date as Kiowa leader following the Battle of Cutthroat Gap. Dohasan was the fourth head chief of the tribe dating from a Kiowa-Comanche peace that was negotiated circa 1790. He greeted the Dodge-Leavenworth Expedition of 1834 and was sketched and painted by expedition member George Catlin. The first treaty between the Kiowa and the United States was signed by Dohasan at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, on May 26, 1837. He also added his mark to the Fort Atkinson Treaty of 1853.

Kiowa society centered on warfare. Dohasan defied threats of U.S. military retaliation against Kiowa raids in 1858. In response to Kiowa aggression, New Mexico volunteers under Col. Christopher "Kit" Carson attacked Dohasan's village at Adobe Walls in the Texas Panhandle on November 26, 1864. In October 1865 Dohasan signed the Little Arkansas Treaty that relegated the Kiowa to southwest Oklahoma and northwest Texas. He died on the Cimarron River in 1866.

Dohasan's death caused a power struggle that divided the Kiowa into factions. Among those vying for leadership roles were Lone Wolf, Satanta, and Kicking Bird. Anthropologist James Mooney believed Dohasan's passing "began the rapid decline of the Kiowa tribe."


BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. Allen Anderson, "Dohasan," in The New Handbook of Texas (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996). Mildred P. Mayhall, The Kiowas (2nd ed.; Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971). James Mooney, Calendar History of the Kiowa Indians, Seventeenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Part 1 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1898).

Jon D. May

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