About This Place
Medicine Lodge is the most populous city in and the county seat of Barber County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,009.
The particular medicine lodge, mystery house or sacred tabernacle from which the Medicine Lodge River received its name was in reality an arbor-like shelter of tree trunks and leafy branches which was erected by the Kiowa people for the celebration of their annual sun dance in the summer of 1866. It was located in the valley of the Medicine Lodge River, several miles below the present town of Medicine Lodge, which is at the mouth of Elm Creek. In their own language, the Kiowa people called this stream A-ya-dalda P’a, meaning "Timber-hill River." The Kiowa had considered the site sacred due to the high content of Epsom salts in the river.
The Medicine Lodge Treaty was a set of three treaties signed between the United States of America and the Kiowa, Comanche, Plains Apache, Southern Cheyenne, and Southern Arapaho in October 1867. The site of the Peace Council camp was about three miles above that of the future town and on the same side of the river. A Peace Treaty Pageant, first presented in 1927 in an outdoor amphitheater on a quarter section of Kansas prairie, commemorates this significant event in Western history.