Kicking Bird was one of the greatest leaders of the Kiowa nation in the 1860s and 1870s. He was an outstanding warrior and a master tactician. But mostly, Kicking Bird was a peacemaker, trying to settle differences between the Kiowa and the whites. He understood that the tribes could not win a military conflict.
That position wasn’t popular with all of the Indians and it probably led to his death. On May 3, 1875, Kicking Bird died after drinking a cup of coffee. Some suspected poison. Others said a rival put a hex on him.