The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898 Page: 28
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28 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
The Comanches, more numerous and powerful than all other
tribes combined, roamed the great plains, from Oregon southeast-
ward nearly to the Gulf of Mexico. Their language is a dialect of
the Shoshone, spoken by the Bannocks of Montana and the Piutes
of Southern California. They were ferocious savages, but their
tribe was particularly well organized.
Three tribes of the thirty spoke, each, a language peculiar to it-
self, in which no connection can be traced with any other tongue.
The first and worst of these was the Carankawa, inhabiting along
the coast from Galveston westward--a tribe of cannibals, noted for
their gigantic stature and hideous aspect. All of them were over
six feet in height, and each man carried a bow as long as himself,
from which they shot arrows with great force and precision. Their
language was an almost inarticulate guttural, impossible of imita-
tion, and the lowest form of human speech.
The second of the three tribes, unconnected with any other stock
by affinity of speech, was the Tonkaway, ranging from the Brazos
to the Nueces, and from near the coast to the mountains. They
were friendly with the white people, and often joined in expeditions
against the Comanches, with whom they were always at war. They
were in alliance with the Lipans, though there was no affinity of
speech between them.
The other solitary tribe was the Kioways, roaming the great
plains with the Comanches, with whom they were in alliance,
though there was no resemblance between their savage tongues.
The rest of the thirty tribes were small and obscure; many of them
perished before any vocabulary of their languages was secured.
The first mention in history of any of our tribes is in 1530, when
a Spanish officer reports capturing, near the Rio Grande, one of the,
Texas nation, whom he made his servant.
About 1536, Cabeza de Vaca, with several companions, members
of a Spanish expedition which was shipwrecked on the coast, spent
six years among the aboriginees in Texas. De Vaca has left a nar-
rative of their somewhat severe experience. He names several
tribes, none of which we are able to recognize. His dscription of
the country, however, and some incidents, indicate some of the
same tribes we know; one of these is mention of the extemporaneous
fortification, which we know as the rifle-pit, used by the Tawa-
kanas, which I supposed was a modern invention of that tribe, who-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898, periodical, 1897/1898; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/m1/39/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.