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Apache, at the Ford River.

The following listing of the Indian Tribes of Texas is an exact quote from John R. Swanton's The Indian Tribes of North America.

Akokisa. The name Akokisa, spelled in various ways, was given by the Spaniards to those Atakapa living in southeastern Texas, between Trinity Bay and Trinity River and Sabine River. (See Atakapa under Louisiana.)

Alabama. Alabama Indians came to Texas early in the nineteenth century, and the largest single body of Alabama still lives there on a State reservation in Polk County. The Alabama Coushatta were late comers from the east and still reside in Texas. (See Alabama.)

Anadarko.The name of a tribe or band belonging to the Hasinai Confederacy.

Apache.The Jicarilla and other Apache tribes raided across the boundaries of this State on the northwest and west in early times, but the only one of them which may be said to have had its head-quarters inside for any considerable period was the Lipan.

Aranama. The Aranama were associated sometimes with the Karankawa in the Franciscan missions but were said to be distinct from them. Although a small tribe during all of their known history, they held together until comparatively recent times, and Morse (1822) gives them a population of 125. While their affiliations are not certainly known, they were undoubtedly with one of the three stocks, Karankawan, Tonkawan, or Coahuiltecan, probably the last mentioned, and will be enumerated provisionally with them. (See Coahuiltecan Tribes.)

Atakapa.See Akokisa above and under Louisiana.

Bidai.Perhaps from a Caddo word signifying "brushwood," and having reference to the Big Thicket near the lower Trinity River about which they lived. Also called: 

  • Quasmigdo, given as their own name by Ker (1816).
  • Spring Creeks, the name given by Foote (1841).  

Connections: From the mission records it appears that the Bidai were of the Atakapan linguistic stock.    

Location:On the middle course of Trinity River about Bidai Creek and to the westward and southwestward.

History: The Bidai were living in the region above given when first known to the Europeans and claimed to be aborigines of that territory. The Franciscan mission of San Ildefonso was founded for them and the Akokisa, Deadose, and Patiri. In the latter part of the eighteenth century they are said to have been chief intermediaries between the Spaniards and Apache in the sale of firearms. The attempt to missionize them was soon abandoned. In 1776–77 an epidemic carried away nearly half their number, but they maintained separate existence down to the middle of the nineteenth century, when they were in a village 12 miles from Montgomery. They have now entirely disappeared.

Population: Mooney (1928) estimates for them a population of 500 in 1690. In 1805 there were reported to be about 100.

Connection in which they have become noted. The name is perpetuated in that of a small creek flowing into Trinity River from the west and in a village known as Bedias or Bedais in Grimes County, Texas.

Biloxi.Some Biloxi entered Texas before 1828. In 1846 a band was camped on Little River, a tributary of the Brazos. Afterward they occupied a village on Biloxi Bayou in the present Angelina County, but later either returned to Louisiana or passed north to the present Oklahoma. (See Mississippi.)

Caddo Tribes.Under this head are included the Adai and the Natchitoches Confederacy (see Louisiana); and the Eyeish, the Hasinai Confederacy, and the Kadohadacho Confederacy in Texas. Primarily East Texas farmers.

Cherokee.A band of Cherokee under a chief named Bowl settled in Texas early in the nineteenth century, but they were driven out by the Texans in 1839 and their chief killed. (See Tennessee.)

Choctaw. Morse (1822) reported 1,200 Choctaw on the Sabine and Neches Rivers, and some bands continued to live for a while in eastern Texas. One band in particular, the Yowani Choctaw, was admitted among the Caddo there. All the Choctaw finally re-moved to Oklahoma. (See Mississippi.)

Coahuiltecan Tribes. South Texas hunter and gathers.

Comanche Tribes.Raiders of the south plains.

Creeks. See Muskogee, under Alabama.

Deadose. An Atakapa tribe or subtribe in south central Texas. (See Louisiana.)

Eyeish, or Haish. Meaning unknown. Also called:

  • Aays
  • Aix
  • Aliche
  • Yayecha, etc.

Connections: The Eyeish belonged to the Caddoan linguistic stock, their closest relatives probably being the Adai, and next to them the peoples of the Kadohadacho and Hasinai Confederacies, with which, in fact, Lesser and Weltfish (1932) classify them.

Location: On Ayish Creek, northeastern Texas, between the Sabine and Neches Rivers.

History: In 1542 the Eyeish were visited by the Spaniards under Moscoso, De Soto's successor. They are next noted in 1686–87 by the companions of La Salle. In 1716 the mission of Nuestra Senora de los Dolores was established among them by the Franciscans, abandoned in 1719, reestablished in 1721, and finally given up in 1773, the success of the mission having been very small. Their proximity to the road between the French post at Natchitoches and the Spanish post at Nacogdoches seems to have contributed to their general demoralization. Sibley (1832) reported only 20 individuals in the tribe in 1805 but in 1828 there were said to be 160 families. Soon afterward they joined the other Caddo tribes and followed their for-tunes, and they must have declined very rapidly for only a bare memory of them is preserved.

Population: In 1779, 20 families were reported; in 1785, a total population of 300; in 1805, 20 individuals; in 1828, 160 families. (See Caddo Confederacy, under Louisiana.)

Connection in which they have become noted.Ayish Bayou, a tributary of the Angelina River on which they formerly lived, perpetuates the name of the Eyeish.

Guasco. A tribe or band which attained some prominence from the importance attached to it in the narratives of the De Soto expedition. (See Hasinai Confederacy.)

Hainai. An important band of the Hasinai Confederacy.

Hasinai Confederacy. Hasinai signifies "our own folk." The name often occurs in the forms Assinay or Cenis.

Connections: The Hasinai Confederacy constituted one of the major divisions of the Caddo, the others being the Kadohadacho Confederacy, the Natchitoches Confederacy, and the Adai and Eyeish, the two last probably connected but not confederated. All belonged to the Caddoan linguistic stock.

Location: In northeastern Texas between the headwaters of the Neches and Trinity Rivers.

Subdivisions:The following tribes or bands were included:

  • Anadarko, northwest of Nacogdoches in the present Rusk County.
  • Guasco, position unknown.
  • Hainai, 3 leagues west of Nacogdoches.
  • Nabedache, 3 to 4 leagues west of Neches River and near Arroyo San Pedro, at a site close to the old San Antonio road, which became known as San Pedro.
  • Nacachau, just north of the Neches tribe and on the east side of Neches River.
  • Nacanish, north of the Hainai.
  • Nacao, probably part of the Nacanish.
  • Nacogdoche, at the present Nacogdoches.
  • Nacono, southeast of the Neches and Nabedache and 5 leagues from the former. 
  • Namidish or Nabiti, on Angelina River north of the Hainai.
  • Nasoni, two towns:
    (1) about 27 miles north of Nacogdoches near the Anadarko;
    (2) in the Kadohadacho Confederacy.
  • Nechaui, southeast of the Nabedache, half a league from the Nacono, and 5 leagues from the crossing of the Neches at the Neches village.
  • Neches, the main village 1 league or more east of Neches River, nearly west of the present Nacogdoches and near the mounds southwest of Alto, Cherokee County.

History: On their way west in 1542 after the death of De Soto, in an endeavor to reach Mexico overland, the Spaniards who had followed him passed through the Caddo country, and the names of the Nabedache, Nasoni, Anadarko, and Nacanish seem to be recognizable. In 1686-87 La Salle and his companions spent some time in their villages, and it was near one of them that La Salle was murdered by his own people. In 1690 the Spaniards entered their country and opened the first mission among them at the Nabedache village in May of that year. A number of missions were established in the other villages. All were abandoned in 1719 in expectation of a French attack, but they were reestablished in 1721. They did not prove successful, how-ever, and were gradually removed to the neighborhood of San Antonio. Early in the nineteenth century the Hasinai were joined by the Louisiana Caddo, and all were placed upon a reservation on the Brazos River in 1855. Threatened with massacre by some of their White neighbors, they fled to Oklahoma 4 years later, were granted new lands near the present Anadarko, and finally allotted land in severalty.

Population: Mooney (1928) estimates that in 1690 the entire Caddo population, including the Hasinai, the Kadohadacho and Natchitoches Confederacies, and the Adai and Eyeish tribes, amounted to 8,500, 700 more than the number I arrived at. He does not give figures for the Hasinai by themselves, but it is probable that he would have al-lowed between 4,000 and 5,000. The former figure is the one I suggested (see Swanton, 1942). Referring to earlier estimates, we are told that a Canadian who had lived for several years among the Hasinai stated in 1699 that they had between 600 and 700 warriors, which would indicate a population of 2,500-3,000. In 1716 Don Diego Ramon, under whom the missions were established, gave it as his opinion that they were serving a population of 4,000-5,000. When Aguayo reestablished them in 1721 he distributed presents to the inhabitants of the principal towns. His figures are evidently incomplete, but even so they suggest some falling off in the 5 years that had elapsed. At any rate it is evident that these Indians lost very heavily during the eighteenth century and that their numbers did not exceed 1,000 at the opening of the nineteenth century. A rather careful estimate by Jesse Stem in 1851 would indicate a population of about 350. In 1864 the United States Indian Office reported 150, and in 1876 and subsequent years still smaller figures appear which are evidently incomplete. The first seemingly accurate census taken by the Indian Office was in 1880, when the figure for the united Caddo people was given as 538. It varied little from this until after 1910 when it showed steady gains. In 1937, 967 Caddo were reported.

Connection in which they have become noted.The Hasinai are noted as the Indians among whom La Salle came to his untimely end, and along with the Kadohadacho and Natchitoches as makers of the beautiful Caddo pottery. (See Kadohadacho Confederacy.) Texas, a common name applied to them, was adopted as the designation of a Republic and later State of the American Union. It has been given to places in Washington County, Kentucky, and Baltimore County, Maryland; to Texas City, Galveston County, Texas; Texas Creek, Fremont County, Colo.; and in the combined form Texarkana to a city on the boundary line between Texas and Arkansas, entering also into Texhoma, Texas County, Oklahoma, and Sherman County, Texas.

Isleta del Sur. See Pueblos under New Mexico.

Jicarilla. The Jicarilla ranged into this State (Texas) at times. (See Colorado.)

Kadohadacho Confederacy. The word Kadohadacho signifies in the native language "real chiefs," kadi being the word for "chief," and it is from an abbreviation of this term that we get the word Caddo. They were also called:

  • At'-ta-wits, by the Comanche, according to Ten Kate (1907).
  • Dä'sha-i, or Táshash, by the Wichita.
  • Érawika, by the Pawnee.
  • 'H'-doum-dei-kiH, by the Kiowa.
  • Ka-löX-la'-tce, by the Choctaw.
  • Kalu-χnádshu or Kasseye'i, by the Tonkawa.
  • Kul-hül-atsǐ, by the Creeks.
  • Ma'-seip'-kia, by the Kiowa, signifying "pierced noses."
  • Ni'rǐs-häri's-kǐ'riki, another Wichita name.
  • Otä's-itä'niuw', Cheyenne name, signifying "pierced nose people" (or Utásĕta).
  • Su'-d¢ĕ, by the Quapaw.
  • Tani'bänĕn, by the Arapaho, signifying "pierced nose people."
  • Witúne, by the Comanche.

Connections: The Kadohadacho belonged to the Caddo division of the Caddoan linguistic stock, the other members being the closely related Hasinai and Natchitoches (see under Louisiana), and the more remotely connected Adai of Louisiana and Eyeish of Texas.

Location:The Kadohadacho lived in northeastern Texas and southwestern Arkansas at the Great Bend of Red River, though they are usually associated with the region around Caddo Lake which they occupied at a later period. (See also Arkansas and Louisiana.)

History: In October 1541, De Soto and his army entered a province called Tula believed to be the country of the Indians later known as Cahinnio, a tribe for whose bravery the Spaniards came to have a wholesome respect. The next encounter between these people and white men was in the summer of 1687 when, after the murder of the Sieur de la Sa1le,`six survivors of his expedition, including Joutel and Father Anastasius Donay, passed through the Kadohadacho towns on their way to the Mississippi, visiting the Nasoni, Kadohadacho, and Cahinnio. Tonti visited them also 4 years later. In November and December 1691, Domingo Teran (Castaneda, 1936) spent a miserable week in this country exploring it and taking soundings of Red River, and we owe to him the first map of the region. In 1700 Bienville undertook to reach them but got no farther than the Yatasi village halfway between the Natchitoches and Kadohadacho. In 1719 the French officer Bernard de la Harpe (1831) spent some time among them and established a trading post which endured for a considerable period. French traders quickly monopolized the Kadohadacho trade, the principal trading point being Natchitoches, but no missions were established.

This group of tribes proved to be a strong bulwark against the warlike northern Indians, particularly the Osage, but they suffered much in consequence, and late in the eighteenth century the Kadohadacho or a part of them moved to another location some miles below their ancient village. The town established in the new location, however, was also attacked by the Osages, who inflicted such losses upon its inhabitants that they removed again about 1800 and established themselves on Sodo Creek northwest of the present Shreveport. In 1824 a treaty was signed between the United States Government and the Quapaw Indians by which the latter agreed to give up their lands on the Arkansas and remove to the country of the Caddo Indians. The Quapaw removed the year following but suffered such losses on account of floods in Red River that in 1833 they surrendered these lands and removed to Oklahoma. Two years later the Kadohadacho and their allies also subscribed to a treaty by which they surrendered all of their lands within the territory of the United States. In consequence, they removed to Texas and settled near their Hasinai kindred, whose fortunes they afterward followed although the two parties remained distinct for a considerable period. Some united themselves for a time with the Cherokee under Chief Bowl. Some also took up their residence with the Chickasaw in the Indian Territory. Those who remained in Texas were fellow victims with the Hasinai of the increasing friction with their white neighbors embittered by Comanche and Apache depredations for which they were in no way responsible. We may now call these united peoples by the simple term "Caddo."

In an endeavor to end these difficulties a reservation was set apart for the Caddo on Brazos River in 1852 but trouble arose again of such a violent character that in 1859 the Caddo abandoned Texas and were assigned a new reservation in the southwestern part of the present State of Oklahoma, where their descendants still live, most of the scattered bands having been gathered into one section. Most of the Caddo sided with the Federal Government during the Civil War and went to Kansas, where they remained until it was over, though experiencing many hardships in consequence and losing many of their people in epidemics. They took considerable interest in the Ghost Dance Religion and still more in the Peyote Cult, John Wilson, a mixed-blood Caddo and Delaware, being one of the prominent leaders. The fact that they had always cultivated the ground has made their adjustment to the new economic system fairly easy. In 1902 they were allotted land in severalty.

Population: My estimate for the Kadohadacho division of the Caddo before White contact is 2,000. Bienville and La Harpe place it in 1700–1709 between 2,000 and 2,500. In 1718, however, Bienville asserts that it had fallen to 200 warriors, which would mean about 800 people, and Sibley (1832) indicates the same figures as late as 1805. In 1829 Porter gives an estimate of 450, and in 1851 Stem (1851) who is likely to be reliable, places it at 476. In 1857 Neighbors returns a partial enumeration of 235, and in 1876, the last time they were returned separately from the Hasinai, the Indian Office reported 467. It is evident, however, that this also includes part of the Hasinai and all of the Adai and Eyeish besides the remnants of the Natchitoches group. After this date the population of the united Caddo group remained around 500, but during the present century it has been steadily increasing and in 1937, 967 were reported.

Connection in which they have become noted. The Kadohadacho group is noted as containing the tribe which ultimately gave the name Caddo to the linguistic family of which it is a part. The name Caddo has been applied to a parish and lake in Louisiana; a county in Oklahoma; a creek and gap in Arkansas; to the village of Caddo Gap, Montgomery County, Arkansas; and to villages in Bryan County, Oklahoma, and Stephens County, Texas; and in Hunt County, Texas, is Caddo Mills.

Karankawan Indian Tribe. The name Karankawa is derived from one of the constituent tribes, but the significance is unknown.

Nda kun-dadehe is a Lipan name, meaning "people walking in the water." Quelancouchis, Clamcoets, names given by the French.
YRkokon kdpai, Tonkawa, meaning "without moccasins," but this name includes the coast Coahuiltecan tribes.

Connections: The Karankawan tribes are placed in an independent linguistic stock, which was connected most closely, it would seem, with the Coahuiltecan group.

Location: On the coast of the Gulf of Mexico between Trinity and Aransas Bays.

History: The Karankawan coast was skirted by a number of early voyagers but the first contact with its inhabitants worth noting was by Cabeza de Vaca and other shipwrecked members of Pamphilo de Narvaez's expedition. There is little doubt that the people among whom Cabeza de Vaca was cast away in 1528 were the Coaque or Coco. In 1685 La Salle landed in their country supposing that he was near the mouth of the Mississippi, and he built a fort (Fort St. Louis) in which the French maintained themselves for 2 years. In 1689 the region was visited by a Spanish expedition under De Leon intent upon driving the Frenchmen out of the country. Shortly afterward the Spaniards began to colonize Texas and, though few settlements were made near the coast, missions were established from time to time to gather in the Karankawan Indians. The neophytes could never be induced to remain long at these missions, however, and continued during the Spanish period in about the same condition of savagery in which they had been found, though they decreased steadily in numbers. After the American settlements had begun, the coast tribes annoyed them by constant pilfering, and the reprisals which the Karankawans suffered finally destroyed them entirely. The last are said to have perished shortly before the Civil War. The only Karankawan vocabulary of undoubted purity was recorded in 1720 by the French Captain Beranger. In 1891 Dr. A. S. Gatschet published two others, one obtained from Tonkawa Indians and the other, much longer, from a white woman named Oliver who had lived near the last band of Karankawa in her girlhood and had learned a considerable number of words. But this band is said to have been much mixed with Coahuiltecan, a contention which an examination of the material seems to confirm.

Population: Mooney's (1928) estimate of 2,800 for the Karankawan tribes in 1690 appears to me decidedly too high, but there are practically no data upon which to make a satisfactory determination.

Connection in which they have become noted.The Karankawan tribes will be longest remembered as those among which Cabeza de Vacs and his companions were cast away in 1528, and where La Salle's colony was established in 1685. The name of one Karankawan tribe (Kopano) is preserved by Copano Bay.


Kichaior (more phonetically) Kitsei.Their own name and said to mean "going in wet sand," but the Pawnee translate their rendering of it as "water turtle." Also called:

  • Gfts'ajl, Kansa name.
  • Ki-0i'-tcac, Omaha name.
  • Kietsash, Wichita name.
  • Ki'-tchesh, Caddo name.
  • Quichais, Spanish variant.
  • Quidehais, from French sources (La Harpe, 1831).

Connections: The Kichai were a tribe of the Caddoan stock whose language lay midway between Wichita and Pawnee.

Location: On the upper waters of Trinity River, and between that stream and Red River. (See also Oklahoma.)

History: It is probable that in the prehistoric period the Kichai lived north of Red River but they had gotten south of it by 1701 when the French penetrated that country and they continued in the same general region until 1855. They were then assigned to a small reservation on Brazos River, along with several other small tribes. In 1858, however, alarmed at threats of extermination on the part of the neighboring Whites, they fled to the present Oklahoma, where they joined the Wichita. They have remained with them ever since.

Population: Mooney (1928) estimates a total Kichai population of 500 in 1690. In 1772 the main Kichai village contained 30 houses and there were estimated in it 80 warriors, most of whom were young. In 1778 the number of Kichai fighting men was estimated at 100. The census of 1910 returned a total population of only 10, and that of 1930 included them with the Wichita, the figure for the two tribes, nearly all Wichita however, being 300.

Connection in which they have become noted.Their name Kichai is perpetuated in the Keeche Hills, Oklahoma; Keechi Creek, Texas; a branch of the Trinity, Keechi; a post hamlet of Leon County, Texas; and perhaps Kechi, a post township of Sedgwick County, Kansas.

Kiowa.This tribe hunted in and raided across northern Texas. (See Kansas.)

Koasati. Early in the nineteenth century bands of Koasati had worked over from Louisiana into Texas, settling first on the Sabine and later on the Neches and the Trinity. In 1850 the bulk of the entire tribe was in Texas but later, partly it is said on account of a pestilence, they suffered heavy losses and most of the survivors returned to Louisiana, where the largest single body of Koasati is living. Among the Alabama in Polk County, Texas, there were in 1912 about 10 of this tribe. (See Alabama and Louisiana.)

Lipan. Adapted from Ipa-n'de, apparently a personal name; n'de meaning "people." Also called:

  • A-tagui, Kiowa name, meaning "timber Apache"; used also for Mescalero. Cances, Caddo name, meaning "deceivers."
  • Hu-ta'-ci, Comanche name, meaning "forest Apache."
  • Huxul, Tonkawa name. (See Uxul.)
  • Na-izh ..'fi, own name, meaning "ours," "our kind."
  • Nav6ne, Comanche name.
  • Shi'Tni, former Mescalero name, meaning "summer people."
  • Tu-tsan-nde, Mescalero name, meaning "great water people."
  • Uxul, Tonkawa name, meaning a spiral shell and applied to this tribe because of their coiled hair.
  • Yabipai Lipan, so called by Garces in 1776.

Connections: T his is one of the tribes of the Athapascan linguistic stock to which the general name Apache was applied. Their closest relations politically were with the Jicarilla, with whom they formed one linguistic group.

Location: The Lipan formerly ranged from the Rio Grande in New Mexico over the eastern part of the latter State and western Texas southeastward as far as the Gulf of Mexico. (See also New Mexico and Oklahoma.)

Subdivisions: The Lipan were reported during the early part of the nineteenth century to consist of three bands, probably the same which Orozco y Berra (1864) calls Lipanjenne, Lipanes de Arriba, and Lipanes Abajo.

History: The position of the Lipan prior to the eighteenth century is somewhat obscure, but during that century and the early part of the nineteenth they ranged over the region just indicated. In 1757 the San Saba mission was established for them, but it was broken up by their enemies, the Comanche and Wichita. In 1761–62 the missions of San Lorenzo and Candelaria were organized for the same purpose but met a similar fate in 1767. In 1839 the Lipan sided with the Texans against the Comanche but suffered severely from the Whites between 1845 and 1856, when most of them were driven into Coahuila, Mexico. They remained in Coahuila until October 1903, when the 19 survivors were taken to northwest Chihauhua, and remained there until 1905. In that year they were brought to the United States and placed on the Mescalero Reservation, New Mexico, where they now live. A few Lipan were also incorporated with the Tonkawa and the Kiowa Apache.

Population: Mooney (1928) estimates that the Lipan numbered 500 in 1690. In 1805 the three bands were reported to number 300, 350, and 100 men respectively, which would seem to be a too liberal allowance. The census of 1910 returned 28.

Connection in which they have become noted.The Lipan were noted as persistent raiders into Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. Their name has been given to a post village in Hood County, Texas.

Muskogee. A few Muskogee came to Texas in the nineteenth century, most belonging to the Pakana division. Two or three individuals lived until recently near Livingston, Texas. (See Alabama.)

Nabedache, Nacachau, Nacanish, Nacogdoche, Nadaco, Namidish, Nechaui, Neches, and one section of the Nasoni. Small tribes or bands belonging to the Hasinai Confederacy.

Nanatsoho, Nasoni (Upper). Small tribes or bands connected with the Kadohadacho Confederacy.

Pakana. A Muskogee division. (See Muskogee above and also under Alabama.)

Pascagoula. Bands belonging to the Pascagoula, entered Texas from Louisiana early in the nineteenth century, and one band lived on Biloxi Bayou, a branch of the Neches, for a considerable period, together with some Biloxi Indians. All had disappeared in 1912 except two Indians, only half Pascagoula, living with the Alabama in Polk County. (See Mississippi.)

Patiri. A tribe associated with the Akokisa, Bidai, and Deadose in the mission of San Ildefonso west of Trinity River. Since related tribes are said to have been put in the same mission in that period (1748-49), it is believed that the Patiri spoke an Atakapan language. Their former home is thought to have been along Caney Creek.

Pueblos.There were two late settlements of Pueblo Indians, Isleta del Sur and Senecfi del Sur, near El Paso, Texas, composed principally of Indians brought back by Governor Otermin in 1681 after an unsuccessful attempt to subdue the Pueblo Indians of the Rio Grande. Senecii del Sur was, however, actually in Chihuahua, Mexico. The people of these pueblos are now almost completely Mexicanized. (See New Mexico.)

Quapaw.Between 1823 and 1833 the Quapaw lived with the Caddo Indians in northwestern Louisiana and northeastern Texas, and one band of them known as Imaha were reckoned as a constituent element of the Caddo Confederacy. (See Arkansas.)

Senecli del Sur.(See Pueblos above.)

Shawnee. A band of Shawnee entered eastern Texas for a brief period during the middle of the nineteenth century. They were afterward moved to Oklahoma. (See Tennessee.)

Shuman. More often known as Jumano or Humano, significance unknown. (See Shuman.)

Tonkawan Tribes. The name derived from the most important and only surviving tribe of the family. Gatschet (1891) says that Tonkawa is a Waco word, Tonkaweya, meaning "they all stay together." The synonyms are not to be confounded with those of the Tawakoni. Also called:

  • Kádiko, Kiowa name, probably a corruption of Kúikogo, "man-eating men."
  • Kariko, Comanche name, from above.
  • K`inähi-píäko, Kiowa name, meaning "maneaters" (Mooney, 1898).
  • Konkona or Komkome, early French name.
  • Maneaters, common translation of some of above synonyms.
  • Miúχsĕn, Cheyenne name.
  • Némeréχka, Comanche name.
  • Títskan wátitch, own name.

Connections: The Tonkawan tribes constitute a distinct linguistic family but with affinities for the Coahuiltecan and probably Karankawan and Tunican groups.

Location: In central Texas from Cibolo Creek on the southwest to within a few miles of Trinity River on the northeast. (See also Oklahoma.)

Subdivisions: The tribes or bands certainly included under this head were the Tonkawa, Yojuane, Mayeye, and Ervipiame, but there should probably be added the Sana, Emet, Cava, Toho, Tohaha, Quiutcanuaha, Tenu, Tetzino, Tishin, Tusolivi, and Ujuiap, and perhaps also the Nonapho, Sijame, Simaomo, Muruam, Pulacuam, and Choyapin, though the last three at least were probably Coahuiltecan.

History: Tribes of Tonkawan stock were undoubtedly encountered by Cabeza de Vaca early in the sixteenth century; certainly so if the Muruam were Tonkawan for they are evidently his Mariames. In 1691 the Tonkawa and Yojuane are mentioned by Francisco Casanas de Jesus Maria as enemies of the Hasinai (Swanton, 1942, p. 251), and in 1714 the Yojuane destroyed the main fire temple of the Hasinai. Between 1746 and 1749 the Tonkawa were gathered into missions on San Xavier (San Gabriel) River but these were given up in 1756, and 2 years later the Tonkawa assisted in the destruction of the San Saba Mission established for the Apache. From that time until well into the nineteenth century the tribe continued to reside in the same section, rarely settling down for any considerable period. In 1855 they and several other Texas tribes were gathered by the United States Government on two small reservations on Brazos River. In 1859 however, the threatening attitude of their white neighbors resulted in their removal to Washita River in what is now Oklahoma. On the night of October 25, 1862, the Tonkawa camp there was fallen upon by a body of Delaware, Shawnee, and Caddo Indians desiring to pay off old scores but pretending that the Tonkawa and their agent were in sympathy with the Southern Confederacy. Out of about 300 Tonkawa 137 were massacred, and the survivors, after some years of miserable wandering, were gathered into Fort Griffin, Tex., where they might be protected from their enemies. In 1884 all that were left were given a small reservation in northern Oklahoma, near the Ponca, where their descendants still live.

Population: Mooney (1928) estimated that in 1690 there were about 1,600 Tonkawa. A Spanish estimate of 1778 gives 300 warriors but the following year, after an epidemic of smallpox, this is cut in half. In 1782, 600 were said to have attended a certain meeting and this was only a portion of the tribe. Sibley (1832) estimated that in 1805 they had 200 men. In 1809 there were said to be 250 families and in 1828, 80. In 1847 the official estimate was 150 men. Before the massacre of 1862 there were supposed to be about 300 all told, but when they were placed on their reservation in 1884 there were only 92. In 1908 there were 48 including a few intermarried Lipan; the census of 1910 gave 42, but that of 1930 restores the figure to 48, and in 1937 there were said to be 51.

Connection in which they have become noted.The Tonkawan tribes have the following claims to remembrance:

  1. On account of the uniqueness of their language
  2. For their reputed addiction to cannibalism
  3. On account of the massacre perpetrated upon them partly in consequence of this reputation, as above described. The city of Tonkawa in Kay County, Oklahoma, perpetuates the name

Waco. The Waco were a subtribe or tribe of the Wichita group which lived near the present Waco for a limited period before removal to Oklahoma.

Wichita.The Wichita lived for a time along both sides of Red River in northern Texas. (See Oklahoma.)


 

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