Interactive Project Wichita Tribe
By Tess Miller, 3rd Period
The first white men to ever see and record a meeting with the Wichita were Coronado and the men of his expedition. Do you know who Coronado is? Francisco Vazques de Coronado was a Spanish explorer. He explored the American Southwest in the early 1500s looking for riches. Coronado came across the Wichita in 1541 in the Great Bend area of the Arkansas River in what is now south-central Kansas. That was a long time ago--over 450 years. Coronado says of these people: "There are not more than twenty-five towns, with straw houses, in it, nor any more in all the rest of the country that I have seen and learned about . . . All they have is the tanned skins of the cattle they kill, for the herds are near where they live, at quite a large river. They eat meat raw like the Querechos [the Apache] and Teyas [the Jumano]. They are enemies of one another...These people of Quivira have the advantage over the others in their houses and in growing of maize ." From Coronado s description we can find out some very important things about the Wichita. For example, what did we learn of the houses they lived in? Can you picture them? What are the cattle they hunted, ate raw, and tanned the skins of? Did they live totally off of the meat they hunted? Can you picture the kinds of clothes they wore? What kind of neighbors did they have? Could they travel to visit friends in other towns like we do? What was the name of the town they lived in? Were they like other people living in the area? The written accounts of early explorers can tell us a whole bunch about how the native people lived. Don t you think so?
Wichita Indian Festival-July 2014
Where they live?
They live in the plains. Buffalo and Bison and large animals usually thrive in the plains area, so it makes sense.
How they prepare food?
They make handheld tools like rocks with holes in them to grate plants and sharp rocks to break up meat and lots of weapons made out of rocks and wood and whatever was available!!!
They had to follow normal US rules.
They had little ritualistic religion