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Wichita Indians



wic

Links:
The Wichita Indians
Handbook of Texas Online - Wichita
Wichita Indian Tribe History
Wichita Culture and History

Outline of Class Discussion

Introduction:

  • In North Central Texas including DFW area, apparently well populated in late prehistoric period
  • Today, several active sites under investigation
  • Bird Point Island near Corsicana, 1100-1200, thatched structures, diversity of diet but no corn found leading to conclude not farmers
  • Flower Mound, Texas
  • Cobb-Pool Site at Lake Joe Pool
    42 archaeological and historical sites in vicinity
    Study conducted by SMU
    Small, briefly occupied camps of hunter/gatherers; several larger reoccupied camps and small prehistoric village
    Pottery fragments dated to 900-1000 CE (AD)
    Also middens, earth pit, platforms for food drying and storage, bone fragments, mussel shells, flint flakes, flint knife, charred seeds
    Show Caddo traits
  • Like others in area, was a confederation that included Wichita, Waca, Tawakonis, Taovayas, Tawehas, Yscani, and Kichai
  • All spoke Wichita language except Kichai who had own language
  • Wichita, a Caddoan language (three plains Caddoan languages - Wichita, Pawnee, Kichai)
  • Also used bois d'arc bow; lived in thatched dome houses using cedar
  • Established traders, superior farmers, Caddo influenced pottery
  • Many tattoos - called selves "raccoon-eyed people" because of tattooing (George Catlin painted in 1834)
  • At same time, different that Caddo
    Less bureaucratic - just chief, subchief and shaman
    Taboo on eating fish
    Moved more - migrated in winter to find bison and then used tepees; considered semi-sedentary
    Women wore long dresses from chin to ankles
    Perhaps more warlike but did "count coup" although killing (stabbing) brought prestige
    These traits more like Plains Indians and allied with Comanche; enraged settlers with raiding

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