Events Leading Up To the Cutthroat Gap Massacre

Published on February 17, 2013 by Carol

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Cutthroat Gap Massacre

The Cutthroat Gap Massacre occurred in 1833, the “The Year the Stars Fell” in Oklahoma. A group of Osage warriors charged into a Kiowa camp and brutally slaughtered the women, children and elderly there. Most of the warriors of this group of Kiowas, headed by Chief A’date or “Islandman” had left to raid a band of Utes or had gone buffalo hunting. The camp was left mainly unguarded and when the Osage came, the Kiowas had no choice but to flee. The Osage killed approximately 150 Kiowa people and took their sacred Tai-me medicine bundle and two children captive

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A few days before the Osage raid, the Kiowa tribes from all over the Plains met near the Rainy Mountain Creek to discuss the annual Sun Dance ceremony, the most important religious ceremony of the Plains tribes, and hold a tribal council. An Osage arrow was found on the ground during this meeting and as a result, the different bands of the Kiowa scattered and ran from the threat of what was their biggest enemy. However, the Sun Dance was an extremely important event to all the Native Americans, where the normally independent tribes all gathered to reaffirm their basic beliefs about the universe and the supernatural so it was already an unspoken agreement that all the tribes would come back together before the ceremony.

One particular group, headed by the Chief Islandman left the creek and travelled southwest to find better grazing land and natural resources. They stopped west of the mountain, thinking they were safe and set up camp. Most of the men left to raid a Utes camp and to hunt buffalo. However, what the Kiowas didn’t know was that they had been followed by a band of Osage from Three Forks that had been hunting bison in Kiowa domain. They wanted the Kiowa’s horses and had been stalking Islandman’s band ever since they left the meeting.

The day of the massacre, a young boy had been outside of the camp grazing his family’s horse when he saw an Osage warrior hiding behind some rocks. He hurried back to raise the alarm and the Osage attacked.

Source: Legendsofamerica Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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