Monroe Tsatoke

public profile

Is your surname Tsatoke?

Research the Tsatoke family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Monroe Tsatoke

Birthplace: Oklahoma, USA
Death: February 03, 1937 (32)
Oklahoma, USA (Tuberculosis)
Place of Burial: Saddle Mountain KCA Intertribal Cemetery, Mountain View, Kiowa County, Oklahoma, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Old Man “Tsa-Toke” Hunting Horse and Pah To Mah
Brother of Cecil Arthur “Tsotoke” Hunting Horse; Romanea Horse; John Willie Horse Tsatoke and James Randlett Tsatoke
Half brother of Mamie “Ahbottone” Johnny (Horse)

Occupation: Kiowa Six, Painter, Bead Worker and Singer.
Managed by: William Owen "Bill" Irwin
Last Updated:

About Monroe Tsatoke

Member of the Kiowa Six

Monroe Tsatoke (1904-1937): Monroe Tsatoke was a gifted painter, as well as a bead worker and singer.

As the Kiowa Five's fame grew, it was increasingly obvious that Tsatoke and Mopope were the most prolific artists of the group.

Unfortunately, as his painting skills grew stronger Tsatoke was developing tuberculosis and was increasingly sick.

During this time, Tsatoke joined the Peyote faith. He became a member of the Native American Church and began a series of paintings that depicted his religious experiences.

Tsatoke continued to work through his sickness, refusing to let the tuberculosis get the better of him. In 1934, he was commissioned by the Oklahoma Historical Society to paint a series of murals, in which he featured numerous personal images, including religious symbols, and two of his family shields.

He worked on these murals until his death from tuberculosis in 1937 when he became the first member of the Kiowa Five to pass away. In 1950, Oscar Jacobson produced a portfolio featuring the best of the Native American art, including art be Tsatoke, to whom the portfolio was dedicated.

TSATOKE, MONROE (1904–1937).
A Kiowa painter from Oklahoma, Monroe Tsatoke (Tsa To Kee, or Hunting Horse) brought acclaim and recognition to other Indian artists and to his home state. He was born near Saddle Mountain, Oklahoma Territory, on September 29, 1904, the son of Tsa To Kee (Hunting Horse), a Kiowa scout for Gen. George Armstrong Custer. Tsatoke's grandmother was a white captive. Tsatoke married Martha Koomsa in 1924, and they had four children; Jewel, Lee Monette (also an artist), Ross Maker, and John Thomas.

Tsatoke's father nourished him on Kiowa culture. He passed along to his son knowledge that resulted in culturally specific paintings such as Dog Soldiers. He was instructed in painting in the classes offered by Kiowa Field Matron Susie Peters and, later, by art teacher Willie Baze Lane. He also attended classes at Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and at the University of Oklahoma, studying under professors Edith Mahier and Oscar B. Jacobson.

In addition to his painting Tsatoke was passionate about music and was chief singer for Kiowa ceremonials for a number of years. He memorized songs from many different tribes. He was also fascinated by symbols. After he became a member of the Native American Church, his paintings recorded many of the ceremonies' symbols. Recognized as part of that of the early Oklahoma Indian masters, his works are held in the collections of the Gilcrease Museum, the Philbrook Museum of Art, the Heard Museum in Phoenix, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Museum of the American Indian in New York. A victim of tuberculosis, he died on February 3, 1937.

Mary Jo Watson

view all

Monroe Tsatoke's Timeline

September 29, 1904
Oklahoma, USA
February 3, 1937
Age 32
Oklahoma, USA
Saddle Mountain KCA Intertribal Cemetery, Mountain View, Kiowa County, Oklahoma, USA