Roman Nose

Roman Nose

Roman Nose, a.k.a. Arched Nose (real name Woo-ka-nay or Woqini) (c. 1835 – 1868) was a Cheyenne warrior society leader and one of the most esteemed warriors of the Plains Indian Wars of the 1860s. Called Sautie (the bat) as a youth, he was given the warrior name Woqini, Arched Nose or Hook Nose, which the whites always interpreted as Roman Nose.

Considered invincible in combat, this fierce warrior struck fear into the hearts of his enemy and distinguished himself in battle to such a high degree that the U.S. military mistook him for the Chief of the entire Cheyenne nation. Following the Sand Creek Massacre in November 1864, Roman Nose became a principal figure, leading retaliatory strikes against white settlements in the Platte valley of Nebraska, western Kansas and eastern Colorado territories. The Native American author and physician, Charles A. Eastman {(Ohiyesa) 1858-1939}, once wrote of Roman Nose "Perhaps no other warrior attacked more emigrants along the Oregon Trail between 1860-1868."

Contrary to popular myth, Roman Nose was never a chief, dog soldier, or leader of any of the six Cheyenne military societies. Known to all plains Indians as a great warrior, his reputation spread among the whites who credited him with initiating most hostilities between the Cheyenne and U.S military. Physically imposing in nature, there are several historical references to his flamboyant, intimidating prowess. Isaac Coates, General Winfield S. Hancock's surgeon, observed a verbal confrontation between Hancock and Roman Nose outside Fort Larned in April 1867. Coates wrote in his journal; "of all the chiefs, Roman Nose attracted the most attention. He is one of the finest specimens, physically, of his race. He is quite six feet in height, finely formed with a large body and muscular limbs. His appearance, decidedly military, and on this occasion, particularly so, since he wore the uniform of a General in the Army. A seven-shooting Spencer carbine hung at the side of his saddle, four large Navy revolvers stuck in his belt, and a bow, already strung with arrows, were grasped in his left hand. Thus armed and mounted on a fine horse, he was a good representative of the God of War; and his manner showed plainly that he did not care whether we talked or fought..."

A member of the Crooked Lance warrior society, Northern Cheyenne, Roman Nose opposed treaties with the American government while other leaders urged peace. He was killed by American soldiers during the Battle of Beecher Island on September 17, 1868, while attempting to charge the island in the Arikaree River, and annihilate General Forsyth's command. Little is known of his personal life. His date of birth and family life have not been clearly established.

One story about his life has become legendary with its re-telling. Roman Nose possessed an elaborate warbonnet that gave him special powers. The Medicine Man White Bull (Ice), made the warbonnet and assured Roman Nose he would be impervious to the white man's bullets. As a condition to owning such a powerful headpiece, Roman Nose could not use the white man's implements. Prior to heading to the battle, he ate some meat. Unbeknown to him, a squaw had poked the meat using an iron fork. As he left for battle, he was made aware of it but did not have the time to perform the necessary cleansing ceremony. He did not participate as he normally would preferring to watch the battle from afar. He was chastised by a fellow warrior for his lack of participation. The following day, Roman Nose was shot in the back at close range during an assault on Beecher Island.


*Kenny, Maurice "Roman Nose, Cheyenne: A Brief Biography, Wicazo Sa Review, Vol 5, No. 1,Native American Literatures. (Spring 1989), pp.9-30.
*Grinnel, George. "The Fighting Cheyennes", J.G. Press, Inc., 1995.
*Eastman, Charles,
*Grimes, Richard S., "Cheyenne Dog Soldiers",
*"New Perspectives on the West: Black Kettle",
*"The Beecher Island Battle", General George Custer,
*Wyoming Tales and Trails, Indian Wars, Fort Laramie,

Further reading

*"The Cheyenne Dog Soldiers", Chronicles of Oklahoma,
*"The Peace Chiefs of the Cheyenne", Stanley Hoig, University of Oklahoma Press, 1972.
* "The Cheyenne Indians", George Bird Grinnell, University of Nebraska Press, 1972. , *"The Battle of Beecher Island"," The Beecher Island Battle Memorial Association, Wray, CO, 1996.
*"A White River Lakota Legend",
*"Butterfield Overland Dispatch" Marker, Ellis County, KS;
*"Halfbreed: The Remarkable True Story of George Bent- Caught Between the Worlds of the "Indian" and the White Man"," David F. Halaas and Andrew E. Masich, Da Capo Press, 2005.
*"Bold and Fearless" Painting, "Nah si ha di ma",
*Fort Wallace: Historical Marker, Wallace Co., KS
*Kidder Massacre: M Company, 2nd Cavalry:

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  • Roman Nose — Woo ka nay, besser bekannt als Roman Nose (* um 1830 in Colorado; † 17. September 1868) war ein Häuptling der Himoweyuhkis (Crooked Lances oder Elk Horn Scrapers), einer Kriegergesellschaft der Cheyenne Indianer. Roman Nose bekämpfte vehement die …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roman nose — Roman Ro man, a. [L. Romanus, fr. Roma Rome: cf. F. romain. Cf. {Romaic}, {Romance}, {Romantic}.] 1. Of or pertaining to Rome, or the Roman people; like or characteristic of Rome, the Roman people, or things done by Romans; as, Roman fortitude; a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Roman nose — n a nose that curves out near the top …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Roman nose — noun count a large nose that slopes straight down …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Roman nose — ► NOUN ▪ a nose with a high bridge …   English terms dictionary

  • Roman nose — n. a nose with a high, prominent bridge …   English World dictionary

  • Roman Nose —  Ne doit pas être confondu avec Henry Roman Nose. Roman Nose à Fort Laramie en 1868 Roman Nose (Nez Romain), alias Arched Nose (Nez Arqué) (Woo ka nay …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Roman nose — noun a nose with a prominent slightly aquiline bridge (Freq. 1) • Syn: ↑hooknose • Hypernyms: ↑nose, ↑olfactory organ * * * noun, pl ⋯ noses [count] : a large nose that curves outward at the top * * * ˌRoman ˈnose f13 …   Useful english dictionary

  • Roman nose — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms Roman nose : singular Roman nose plural Roman noses a large nose that slopes straight down …   English dictionary

  • Roman nose — Roman nosed, adj. a nose having a prominent upper part or bridge. [1615 25] * * * …   Universalium

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