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Lone Wolf (Kiowa)

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Lone Wolf (Kiowa)

Lone Wolf the Elder (Gui-pah-gho) (ca.1820–1879) was the last Principal Chief of the Kiowa tribe. He should not be confused with Lone Wolf II, a nephew named Mamay-day-te, nor Lone Wolf III, a young Kiowa boy whom he adopted. The "Indian Territory"—or the place called "Oklahoma"—is where the great Kiowa Chief named Lone Wolf, the Elder (Gui-pah-gho), lived. Prior to his death, Chief Dohauson (To-hauson), who unified and ruled the Kiowa for 33 years named his nephew Guipahgo (Lone Wolf) as his successor to become the Principal Chief of the Kiowa people. Lone Wolf the Elder belonged to the Ka-it-senko Koitsenko, the highest-ranking society consisting of ten men picked for bravery and was the most elite warrior society of the Kiowa. None was more respected or influential than Chief Lone Wolf, The Elder, better known to his people as Guipagho.[1]


During this time was a period of freedom when the Kiowas roamed the Texas plains before they were forced into reservation life. In 1807 the Kiowa became allied with the Comanche as the result of a treaty facilitated by the Spanish at Las Vegas, NM. In 1863 Lone Wolf, The Elder (Guipahgho), accompanied Yellow Wolf, Yellow Buffalo, Little Heart, and White Face Buffalo Calf; two Kiowa women Coy and Etla; and the Indian agent, Samuel G. Colley, to Washington D. C. to establish a policy that would favor the Kiowa, but it was a futile attempt.[2]

In the Treaty of the Little Arkansas of 1865 Dohasan the last Chief of the unified Kiowa signed the peace treaty along with Lone Wolf the Elder and other chiefs. Dohasan scorned the peace policy because he knew there would be no more buffalo in Kiowa hunting grounds and Lone Wolf the Elder (Guipahgho) also knew the Kiowas could not live without buffalo hunts.[3] In the following years Guipago, along with Satanta (White Bear), old Satank (Sitting Bear) the leader of Koitsenko Warrior Society, Zepko-ete (Big Bow), Manyi-ten (Woman's Heart), Set-imkia (Stumbling Bear), Tsen-tainte (White Horse), Ado-ete (Big Tree) led many raids in Texas and Oklahoma, and in Mexico too, playing his very important role as political antagonist of Tene-angopte (Kicking Bird)'s appeasement politics.

October 21, 1867, Guipago did not sign the Medicine Lodge Treaty. The Medicine Lodge Treaty led to the United States taking possession of 2,001,933 acres of the Kiowa, Comanche, and Plains Apache Reservation. This does not include the 23,000 acres of the Fort Sill Military Reservation. The Medicine Lodge Treaty placed the Kiowa on a reservation in western Oklahoma and the government supervised the activities of the Kiowa. In 1868 General Sheridan planned to wipe out the Plains Indians, thus, Custer moved onto the valley of the upper Washita River in December 1868.

Political career

In the winter of 1866 Dohasan, leader of the Kiowa for more than 30 years, died. Guipago (Gui-pah-gho, Lone Wolf, the Elder), was chosen by the Kiowa people to represent them in Washington, DC. Guipago (ready to fire his gun) tried to prevent their arrest, but Satank, Satanta and Ado-ete in 1871 were sentenced to Huntsville prison because of an assault against a wagon-train. After a long and hard dealing with the U.S. Government officers (finally Guipago told the Commissioner that he must consult with Satanta and Ado-ete), in 1872 (Sept. 29) Guipago was allowed to meet his friend Satanta and the young war chief Ado-ete in St. Louis, and only after this he accepted to go to Washington with some other Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Wichita and Delaware chiefs and talk about peace with President Ulysses S. Grant; after Satanta and Ado-ete were temporarily paroled, Guipago led the Kiowa delegation to Washington in September 1872, and got Indian Commissioner E.P. Smith's promise to release the two captives; Guipago was told in Washington the Kiowa had to camp ten miles near Fort Sill by December 15, 1872; so Guipago gained the release of Satanta and Ado-ete by promising that his tribe would remain at peace; Guipago returned a hero. Satanta and Ado-ete were definitively released only in September 1873, Guipago having made clear to Indian agent James M. Haworth that his patience was now at its end.[4]

Death and legacy

That same year his son and nephew were killed by a party of raiding Texans. Tau-ankia was the only son of Guipago(Lone Wolf, the Elder), and was considered an On-de (favored) by his family. Guitan, a boy of 15 tried to save Tau-ankia but both were killed. Long Horn returned to secretly hide the bodies and news of the deaths reached the Kiowa camps January 13, 1874. The tribe mourned the loss of the two popular young men. Guitan was the son of Red Otter and Guipago's favorite nephew.

Before his death in 1879 Guipago (Lone Wolf) passed his name to a younger warrior named Mamay-day-te, who became the Elk Creek Lone Wolf. The younger Lone Wolf and his followers lived in the more isolated northern part of the reserve, near Mt Scott of Lone Wolf the elder, and along Elk and Rainy Mt creeks.[5] He subsequently led Kiowa resistance to government influence on the reservation [6] Lone Wolf the Younger led a group of warriors to recover the bodies and to avenge their deaths.

During 1873 Guipago (Lone Wolf, the Elder), became feared throughout the Southern Plains; he joined Quanah Parker and his Comanche in their attack on Anglo buffalo hunters at Adobe Walls and fought the Army to a standstill at the Anadarko Agency on August 22, 1874.[7] He fought the Texas Rangers at Lost Valley, and the U.S. Cavalry at Palo Duro Canyon. With the buffalo gone he and his people surrendered in February 1875. In 1875 upon surrendering with his band, Guipago (Lone Wolf, the Elder) was among a group of 27 Kiowa singled out by the U.S. Army for incarceration at Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida, where he would remain until 1879. He was found guilty of rebellion and sentenced to confinement in the dungeons of old Fort Marion at St. Augustine, Florida, and vulnerable to malaria and measles. Lone Wolf contracted malaria during his imprisonment at Fort Marion and was sent home in 1879 to live out his days. He died in 1879. Guipago (Lone Wolf the Elder) is buried in the Wichita Mountains in an unknown location.[8]

Guipago's demise as the leading warrior in the words of ethnologist James Mooney, "is the end of the war history of the Kiowa." About the same time other Kiowa war leaders also died crippling the leadership at a crucial time in Kiowa history.[9]

Lonewolf Song 1st Gourd Dance Song

Kooey pah' gaw
Daw onh daw-geath
Day tay dow tigh dow
Koy keah kom' bah
Naw daw tigh dow
Tay dow tigh dow hey

Chief Lonewolf gave us this one song,
It's with all of us,
That song is with all the Kiowas,
It's for all of us.[10]


In 1996 the Old Chief Lone Wolf Descendants created a historical organization in honor of Old Chief Lone Wolf, Gui-pah-gho, The Elder, to remember him as a man of peace, a recognized council leader, an elite warrior, a Sun Dancer, a Kiowa father, and a great Chief of the Kiowa people who fought for the Kiowas' homeland. A memorial bust of Old Chief Lone Wolf-Guipahgo was dedicated at the Kiowa Tribal Complex in Carnegie, OK, on May 27, 2000. The bust is on display at the Ft. Sill Army Museum at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.[11]


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