Northern Cheyenne Chief
Little Wolf’s Americanized name is probably a mistranslation. His name in Cheyenne: Ó’kôhómôxháahketa, sometimes transcribed Ohcumgache or Ohkomhakit is probably more accurately translated to Little Coyote.
He was born c. 1820 and died in 1904. He was best known as a military tactician with a well-respected set of skills and knowledge.
He is best known for an 1878 escape from a reservation in Oklahoma’s Indian Territory, where he was forced to live after a defeat against the American Army. There he and fellow Cheyenne Dull Knife (Morning Star) planned and executed an escape of over 300 Native Americans who made their way back to the Northern Cheyenne territory. The escape was known as the Northern Cheyenne Exodus.
Once the group made their way past Nebraska they split up. Dull Knife and his party headed toward the Northwest counties of Nebraska where they were forced to surrender at Fort Robinson.
But Little Wolf and his party eluded the U.S. Calvary and made their way to Montana. By the time U.S. officials caught up with the Chief, a deal was worked out that allowed the Cheyenne to stay in the area.
Later in his life he became a scout for the U.S. Military. A confrontation with another man who was shot and killed over an incident with Little Wolf’s daughter, the Chief voluntary left his military service and eventually lived out his life on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, where he died in 1904.
George Bird Grinnell, an American anthropologist, historian, naturalist, and writer was said to be close friends with Chief Little Wolf. Grinnell was born in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from Yale University. He documented Little Wolf’s life, in which he said of his Cheyenne friend “he was the greatest Indian I have ever known.”
© 1997-2014 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D., Springwolf’s Kosmos. All Rights Reserved.