The Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society is a twentieth-century revival of the Tonkongya, one of several military societies active among the Kiowa in the nineteenth century. In 1958, a group of Kiowa veterans reactivated the Tonkongya to recognize the contemporary military service of community members. The organization has prospered over the ensuing half a century to become a recognized force in contemporary Kiowa society and the Society's ceremonials have become an important arena for expressing Kiowa identity. The revival of the Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society reflects the ongoing importance of the warrior tradition in Plains Indian communities and the resurgence of interest in Native identity in the late twentieth century. The Society celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its revival in 2008. A central component of the celebration was the decision by the officers of the organization to commission a new iteration of their painted Battle Tipi. The Sam Noble Museum of Natural History developed a collaborative relationship with the Black Leggings Society to document this public art initiative. This article explores the issues of artistic interpretations, community discourse, and intellectual property associated with the production of the new tipi and its dedication during the anniversary celebration.
- Intellectual property
- Kiowa indians