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Kaw (or Kanza) - Oklahoma (U.S.)

Native American

Last modified: 2017-08-22 by rick wyatt
Keywords: kaw | kanza | oklahoma | native american |
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[Kaw (or Kanza) - Oklahoma flag] image by Donald Healy, 10 January 2008



See also:


The Band

[Kaw (or Kanza) - Oklahoma map]
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy

Kaw (or Kanza) - Oklahoma

The Kaw Nation of Oklahoma gave its name to the Kansas River and thus to the state of Kansas (ENAT, 108-109). Kaw means "People of the Wind"; Kanza means "People of the South Wind". The Kaw people of today still call themselves the people of the wind.

In 1873 the federal government moved the Kaw people from their homelands in Nebraska and Kansas to a small reservation in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). The Kaw live there today, next to their kinsmen, the Osage. In 1887 the Tribe divided the reservation into privately held parcels, with the Tribe retaining only a 20-acre "Historic Trust Area".

Donald Healy 2008


The Flag

The Kaw Nation's flag is white, with the tribal seal in the center (Letter, JoAnn O'Bregon, Kaw Executive Council, 11 Nov. 1994). The seal bears a full-color representation of two Kaw warriors on horseback on the Great Plains, their traditional homeland. One of the warriors, with hands outstretched, holds a medicine bundle and prays to the "Great Spirit". The other holds an upright lance. The seal sometimes depicts three warriors, not two. Arching over the top of the seal is "SOVEREIGN NATION OF THE KAW", and below, "KANZA", all in black.

A Kaw was elected to the highest office ever held by a Native American. From 1929 to 1933, Charles Curtis, a Kaw, served as vice president of the United States under President Herbert Hoover. Earlier, he had been credited with helping to pass the Citizenship Act of 1924, which granted U.S. citizenship to all Native Americans.

Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 10 January 2008