So far we’ve talked about the state of the world in the 1500s, the first Spanish expedition in Texas in the 1530s, and we’ve touched a little on the geography and the people who were living in Texas at that time. We have talked about some of the Tribes of Texas such as, the Jumano, the Apache, the Karankawas (Care-Ran-Kaw-WA) and the Coahuiltecans (KOE-ha-HWEE-ta-kanz), the Comanche, the Kiowas, and the Tonkawas (who were affiliated with the Wichita), because they were the first groups the Spanish encountered and with whom they had extensive dealings.
Today I want to focus on two more of the original main tribes of Texas, the Caddo, the Wichita and several of their smaller bands, and a tribe I mentioned in an early episode, the Tigua.
When we think about the tribes of Texas, we often think that they are one homogeneous group, and the Europeans who encountered the first peoples certainly thought that way. Initially the term Caddo was designed to mean only one of at least twenty-five distinct but closely affiliated groups that resided around the Red River in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. The term is derived from the French abbreviation of Kadohadacho, a word meaning “real chief” or “real Caddo” in the Kadohadacho dialect. Europeans called the Caddo groups such as the Hasinai, Kadohadacho, and Natchitoches confederacies, although the “confederacies” are better interpreted as family related affiliated groups or bands of Caddo communities.
Often many tribes of Texas would join together into a confederacy, the Wichita band was one of several bands that made up the Wichita confederacy. We first find the name Wichita in the early seventeenth century in the historical records of French traders, who used the word Ousitas to identify one tribes who lived near the Arkansas River near present day Oklahoma.
The third part of this episode’s focus on the tribes of Texas is the Tigua. The Tigua (Tiguex, Tiwa, Tihua) who currently live in or near the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo of El Paso are descendants of refugees from the Río Abajo or lower Rio Grande pueblos who accompanied the Spanish to El Paso on their retreat from New Mexico during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.
Texas State Historical Association – https://www.tshaonline.org/home/
Ysleta del sur Pueblo
Transcript of this program is here