Texas Almanac, 1943-1944 Page: 53
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
TEXAS INDIAN TRIBES 53
and extending westward across the black and
grand prairies into middle West Texas. Their
domain extended up the Red River as far as
present Wichita and Wilbarger Counties.
More nearly than any other Indian people
they may be considered the original Texans.
One of their tribes, the Tejas, lent their
name to Texas. Furthermore, they were a
relatively civilized people, living in perma-
nent or semipermanent abodes, cultivating
crops of corn and vegetables and maintain-
ing usually amicable relations with their
Among the Caddo tribes were the Tejas,
Adaes (who lent their name to the early
Texas capital, Los Adaes), Anadarkos, Ayish,
Hasinais, Huacos, Keechies, Nacogdoches,
Tehuacanas, Wichitas, and Yalase.
It was among these people that the Fran-
ciscans established their first missions in
East Texas. While the Caddoes gave some
trouble at times, they never were guilty of
the murderous attacks characteristic of the
Indians of the western part of the state.
The Caddo tribes in Texas dwindled rap-
idly, partly due to pestilence and partly due
to removal northward into the old Indian
Territory, where some of them were settled
Apaches and Lipans.
Another of the three larger groups con-
sisted of the Apaches and their kinsmen, the
Lipans or Lipan Apaches. They were of the
Athabascan stock. The Apaches extended into
Texas only as far east as the Pecos, but the
kindred Lipans made their home over the
region now known as the Edwards Plateau.
The Apaches and Lipans were a ferocious
people and gave much trouble, keeping San
Antonio in constant fear during its early
existence. Not only was there conflict be-
tween the Apaches and whites, but the Co-
manches and Apaches were often at war.
Pressed on the north and east by the whites
and Comanches, the Apaches and Lipans grad-
ually retired westward and southward, many
crossing the Rio Grande into Mexico. A por-
tion of them, however, remained in Texas
and, together with raiders from across the
border, made trouble until about 1875.
Comanches and Kiowas.
The Caddoes probably were the most popu-
lous of the Indian tribes when white men
first came to Texas, but after the decline of
the Caddoes with the settlement of East
Texas. the Comanches were far superior in
numbers to all other tribes. There are some
estimates that the Comanches had two thirds
of the Indian population at the time of Amer-
ican colonization of Texas.
They were a nomadic people, extremely
fond of warfare. It was the Comanhe that
gave the white settlers most of the trouble
His excellent horsemanship made it possible
for him to strike suddenly and at long range
and retire with swiftness to the illimitable
plains, where he was hard to discover
Some authorities deny that the Comanches
were inhabitants of present Texas at the time
of the coming of the Spanish missionaries,
contending that this tribe invaded Texas from
the north about 1700 and in a series of con-
flicts drove the Apaches, who had previously
extended to the Red River, into Southwest
Texas. On the other hand, there is good
evidence that the Comanches inhabited the
plains country of Texas at the time of the
'isit of Coronado. making their headquarters,
as they did in later years, in the Palo Duro
and other canyons of that region. It is cer-
tain. however, that there was a southward
migration of the Comanches between 1700 and
1730, which made inroads on the northern
Apache and Lipan territory.
Just when the Kiowas entered Texas. if
they were not aboriginal stock, is not known.
The Comanche is usually listed as a member
of the Klowa group.
The Jumanos mentioned by early explores
of the plains might or might not hate been
the Comanches. Mystery still surrounds their
existence. Shrouded in mystery also is the
existence of a Pueblo-like race that dwelt
along the Canadian canyon and the breaks at
the edge of the plains Apparently they had
ceased to live in this territory when Coronado
explored it in 1541-43
The range of cultural status among the
aboriginal tribes of Texas was approximately
as wide as the range of culture of the Indians
of the North American continent, excluding
consideration of the Aztec, Maya and other
cultures of Mexico. No Indian of North
America was more ruthlessly opposed to the
advancing white man than was the Comanche,
nor was there a better example of the nomad
The Caddo represented the opposite extreme
in way of life. While the Comanches were
a less "civilized" people than the Caddoes,
they had a relatively high order of intelli-
gence as indicated by their aptness in utiliz-
ing the horse and in their sign writing. Al-
most equaling the Comanches in ferocity, the
Karankawas lived at the lowest cultural level
among Texas Indians.
Karankawas and Attakapas.
On the Texas coast at the dawn of historic
times were several fish-eating tribes with a
distinctly coastal culture The Kai ankawas
were the most powerful, extending southwest-
ward from the Brazos River. possibly as far
as the Rio Grande. It was among these
Indians that Cabeza de Vaca and his com-
panions spent their first years of wandering
and slavery in Texas. They were indolent
ferocious and of low intelligence By all
accounts they were cannibals. Though rela-
tively small in numbers they gave much trou-
ble to the Spanish and, later the colonies of
DeWitt and Austin. Always a small tribe,
their number was greatly diminished in a
battle with the Spanish in 1744, but they per-
sisted In making trouble as late as 1834, when
only fifteen or twenty families were left.
The Attakapas were a relatively small tribe
living along the coast east of the Karan-
kawas. Some authorities class them in the
same llngulstlc group as the Karankawas,
but this is not ce aln. They were a fish-
eating tribe, of mu lower intelligence than
the Caddoes and apparently cannibalistic.
Below San Antonio, extending southwest-
ward into the Rio Grande Valley and possibly
as far southeastward as the Gulf coast below
Corpus Christi, lived the Coahuiltican tribes
when the Franciscan fathers first entered
Texas. It was among these Indians that the
Catholic fathers had considerable success in
gaining converts to the Christian religion.
They were weak tribes, however, and were
driven southward by the Lipan Apaches when
the latter were pressed by the Comanches.
These small tribes lingered along the lower
Rio Grande for some years, filtering into
Some authorities have put the Coahuiltican
tribes in the same racial group with the
Karankawas and Attakapas, but there is little
to substantiate this opinion, according to best
accounts of the Coahuilticans, who were not
primarily a coastal tribe, were not cannibal-
istic, and were decidedly peaceful A safer
assumption is that the Coahuilticans were
related to tribes living beyond the Rio
Living in Central Texas in the %icmity of
present Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe. Hays,
Bastrop, Travis. Williamson Bell and Mc-
Lennan Counties, were the Tonkawas They
were a peaceful people, having many of the
characteristics of the Caddoes. thouh appar-
Here’s what’s next.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
Texas Almanac, 1943-1944, book, 1943; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117165/m1/55/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.