American Indians •  American West •  Biography and History

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Andele, The Mexican-Kiowa Captive: A Story of Real Life Among the Indians

J. J. Methvin

Early in 1867 Kiowa chief Many Bears paid the Mescalero Apache one mule, two buffalo robes, and a red blanket to purchase ten-year-old José Andrés Martínez. Abducted near his home in Las Vegas, New Mexico, in October 1866, he became Many Bears's grandson, Andele. He quickly adapted to his new life, grew to manhood among the Kiowa, took part in Kiowa raiding parties when he turned sixteen, and three times married Kiowa women.
Confined to a reservation in Oklahoma after 1875, Andele in the 1880s sought to reclaim his former life and returned to his family in Las Vegas. But in 1889, feeling "his interests were all identified with the Kiowa, and that he had learned to love them," he returned to the reservation, taught industrial arts at the agency school, and aided the Kiowa in defense of their lands. In the 1890s Andele began serving as a resource to a generation of anthropologists studying Kiowa and Apache society. His captivity narrative, published in 1899 by the Methodist missionary J. J. Methvin, is an invaluable eyewitness description of Plains Indians. It is reissued with an introduction by ethnohistorian James F. Brooks of the University of Maryland.


James F. Brooks is a member of the research faculty and director of SAR Press at the School of American Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico.


". . . the book serves as both a compelling narrative and literary text, revealing the cultural values of Kiowas, Mexican Americans, and Protestant missionaries. . . . From this fascinating account, it seems that Andele was captured in more than one way by the Indians."


New Mexico Historical Review

". . . provides an invaluable eyewitness description of the twilight years of Kiowa life on the Plains and early reservation life."


Wagon Tracks

" Andele, the Mexican-Kiowa Captive . . . provides some important insight into the Kiowa side of the Red River War of 1874. . . . this book is recommended."


Denver Westerns Roundup

6 x 9 in. 144 pages 5 halftones, 1 maps