Wichita Tribes

By: Will Shadle

The Wichita Way

The Wichitas lived in the Great Plains of Texas. A lot of the food that they ate were a lot of crops and meat such as...... Corn, squash, pumpkin, and plums. The meat that they ate were a lot of buffalos and that was really all of the meat that they ate. The Wichitas often built their houses in a field so they were close to all of their food and they could get there quicker if their was a problem. Their homes were made of layers of grass and they had thin wooden poles to shape the structure, with earth bound things all around the base of the homes. The Wichitas used bows and arrows that were made of buffalo tendons, their spoons, forks, knives and other utensils were made out of stone. The Wichita had a large population in the time of Coronado and Oñate. One scholar estimates their numbers at 200,000. Certainly they numbered in the tens of thousands. They appeared to be much reduced by the time of the first French contacts with them in 1719, probably due in large part to epidemics of infectious disease to which they had no immunity. In 1790, it was estimated there were about 3,200 total Wichita. By 1868, the population was recorded as being 572 total Wichita. By the time of the census of 1937, there were only 100 Wichita officially left. Today, there are 2,501 enrolled Wichitas, 1,884 of whom live in the state of Oklahoma. Enrollment in the tribe requires a minimum blood quantum of 1/8. The Wichitas had a head chief and a subcheif! They Wichita Indian killed their food with Bows and Arrows and other materials. They had special traditions of doing Horn Dances and Gift Dances. The Wichita Indians believed in Christianity.

Unique Facts

1) Wichita men were hunters and sometimes went to war to protect their families. Wichita women were farmers and also did most of the child care and cooking. Only men became Wichita chiefs, but both genders took part in storytelling, artwork and music, and traditional medicine.

2) The Wichitas often traded goods with other tribes such as the Caddo and they Comanche tribes.

3) They also fought wars with other tribes.

4) They were known for their pottery, beadwork and hide paintings.