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Get to know the seminal Oklahoma Native American artists the Kiowa Six – Oklahoman.com

Known as the most spiritual and contemplative of the Kiowa Six, he was a talented ceremonial singer and drummer as well as visual artist. Diagnosed with tuberculosis, he died at the age of 32, leaving behind a wife and four young children.

James Auchiah (1906–1974)

Born in Medicine Park to a prominent Kiowa family, Auchiah was the last to join the Kiowa Six. Recognized as a leader in the Order of the Black-leggings Society, the Native American Church and the Kiowa community, he painted murals for the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., helped decipher carvings made by 1870s Native prisoners at Fort Marion, Florida, during his time in the U.S. Navy, and worked as a curator of ethnology and history adviser in the civil service at Fort Sill.

In the 1960s, he petitioned the government to move the remains of his grandfather, Chief Satanta, from a Texas prison to Oklahoma for a proper burial.

Spencer Asah (circa 1906–1954)

Born near Carnegie, Asah was known as Lallo, or “Little Boy,” and renowed for the detail he brought to his paintings. Also a skilled Kiowa singer, dancer, silverworker, baseball player, muralist and teacher, he participated in the peyote ceremonies of the Native American Church.

As a member of the Ohoma Society, he often sang and danced at gatherings and powwows, made multiple pilgrimages to the Gallup (New Mexico) Intertribal Ceremony and could craft or repair bustles, war bonnets and other elements of Kiowa regalia.

Stephen Mopope’s (Qued Koi) (U.S., Kiowa, 1898-1974) “Mother and Child” is included in the exhibition “Kiowa Agency: Stories of the Six,” on view at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma. [Image provided]

Qued Koi “Stephen” Mopope (1898–1974)