Amazing Life of Olive Oatman
January 12, 2018 11:25am CST
Olive Oatman looks very strange due to the blue tattoo on her chin. Olive also had tattoos on her arms. In 1851, 14-year-old Olive and her little sister were captured by Southwest Indians, possibly the Yavapais, when the wagon train with which her family traveled was attacked by the Yavapais. After a year of living with the Yavapais, Olive and her sister were part of a trade with the Mohave Indians. Both girls were adopted by the Mohave. It was common for Mojave women to wear chin tattoos and tattoos on other parts of their bodies to ensure their passage into the afterlife. “Oach." was the name given to Olive by the Mojave Indians. Olive did say in many interviews that she loved the Mojave Indians. Olive was ransomed back to the US government when she was 19 years old. Olive eventually married a rancher, a very wealthy one, and the couple adopted a child. Olive and her husband lived in Sherman, Texas. Olive did suffer from depression and severe headaches while living with her husband and child, and some authorities believe Olive was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Olive Oatman's story is an interesting one, however, stories regarding Olive's capture and life with the Mojave do vary.
35 people like this
• Daytona Beach, Florida
12 Jan 18
Thank you for sharing this fascinating story. I know I have heard of Indians kidnapping children and the children become Indians and never know they had another life. She was lucky the US government got here back.
4 people like this
12 Jan 18
I remember reading about this sometime in the past. It truly is fascinating stuff. She must have been quite the local celebrity and that in itself must have been difficult for her after what she went through, even if the Mojave did treat her quite well.
• United States
14 Jan 18
@Corbin5 I've read this before, and it's so interesting. It reminds me of Cynthia Parker, who was captured as a child and married an Indian chief, but she loved her life with the Indians and never really fit back into non-Indian society when captured. Her son was Quanah Parker.
13 Jan 18
I usually see the Indian tattoos on the forehead and under and around the eyes - this one looked rather strange. From what I have read , women who were rescued from Indian camps were not all treated well after their return home. Kidnapping in any period of time is terribly traumatic for the victim.