Heritage, Volume 3, Number 4, Spring 1986 Page: 15
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bama and Coushatta came to Choctaw and
then the Cherokee, Delaware, Kickapoo,
Quapaw, and Shawnee, followed later by
Chickasaw and Seminole. Although many of
these groups were undoubtedly equal in sophistication
to the Anglo frontier settlers, the
Indians were ultimately forced from their
settlements in northeast Texas across the Red
River into Oklahoma, especially as propelled
by the stem anti-Indian policies of Mirabeau
B. Lamar begun in 1839. In addition to
the Alabama-Coushatta, one other Indian
group returned to Texas. The Kickapoo, originally
from southern Wisconsin, moved
through Texas in the early 1820s and eventually
found a home in Chihuahua. Recent
xenophobic pressures against such groups as
Mennonites and Mormans in Chihuahua have
included the Kickapoo. A large group from
this tribe were found living under a bridge
abutment in Eagle Pass a decade or more ago.
Private donations have secured them a modest
parcel of land, and the Kickapoo hope to be
recognized as Texas' third Indian Reservation.
The 40,000 American Indians of Texas are a
small part of our total population; however,
the value of their experience with Texas' landscapes
undoubtedly exceeds their proportion
in our society. It was these people who have
7 1 '7
faced the environments of Texas for the last
35,000 years or more. The ancestors observed
the end of the Ice Age in Texas and the
change in climate from a brisk Canadian
range of humid and dry climates to the current
pattern of hot, sub-tropical environments.
Moreover, these people over the thousands of
years since the retreat of the ice made adaptations
to this environment that may make more
sense than our current patterns in the long
run. Although I would not predict that we
will end up facing the mugginess of Houston
as naked as the Karakawan males, I would predict
that we will eventually drop the white
shirt, coat, and tie that is still standard business
dress. Even the most superficial examination
of our own culture reveals that we are still
overwhelmed with our European cultural baggage.
The process of adapting more comfortable
and realistic living systems for our Texas
environment has not really yet begun. The Indians,
who faced this environment for thousands
of years, may have valuable clues for us.
John Coffman is a Professor of Economics
(Geography Program) at the University of
Claiborne, Robert. The First Americans. New
York: Time-Life Books, 1973.
Fagan, Brian M. World Prehistory. Boston:
Little, Brown and Company, 1979.
Newcomb, W. W., Jr. The Indians of Texas:
From Prehistoric to Moder Times. Austin: University
of Texas Press, 1961.
Patterson, Thomas C. America's Past: A New
World Archeology. Glenview, 11.: Scott, Foresman
and Company, 1973.
Wenke, Robert J. Patterns in Prehistory: Mankind's
First Three Million Years. New York: Oxford
University Press, 1980.
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HERITAGE - SPRING 86
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 3, Number 4, Spring 1986, periodical, March 1, 1986; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45441/m1/15/: accessed May 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.