noun \ˈkī-ə-ˌw, -ˌwä, -ˌwā\
plural Kiowa or Kiowas

Definition of KIOWA

:  a member of an American Indian people of what are now Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas
:  the language of the Kiowa people

Origin of KIOWA

ultimately from Kiowa kɔ́ygú, a self-designation
First Known Use: 1808


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

North American Indian people living mostly in Oklahoma, U.S., on a reservation they share with Comanche and Apache. Their language is of Kiowa-Tanoan language stock. The name Kiowa may be a variant of their name for themselves, Kai-i-gwu, meaning “principal people.” In the 18th century the Kiowa moved southward from western Montana and adopted the lifestyle of the Plains Indians. They hunted buffalo on horseback, lived in large tepees, and developed warrior societies, the members of which attained rank according to their exploits in war. They believed that dreams and visions gave them supernatural power and undertook the rigours of the sun dance ceremony. They were also noted for their pictographic portrayals, or “calendar histories,” of important tribal events. They were among the last of the Plains peoples to capitulate to the U.S. Early 21st-century population estimates indicated more than 12,000 individuals of Kiowa descent.


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