Tonkawas

By Andrew N.

Region of Texas in which they lived

the Tonkawa were a nomadic buffalo hunting people roaming from somewhere around what is now Hillsboro, Texas to the vicinity of present day San Antonio, Texas. They lived in scattered villages of tepees constructed from buffalo hides or arbors made from brush and grass.

Type of food they ate

They ate most kinds of small game, fish and shellfish. They excepted the coyote and wolf from their diet for religious reasons. They collected nuts especially pecans, herbs, acorns and fruits to supplement their meats. They even attempted some farming in the latter part of the eighteenth century.

How their food was obtained

They usually kept there food hidden from other tribes and big enough animals so they kept there food in hidden tents or up in trees they saved there food and supported everyone in there tribe because everyone had to do there part.

Type of dwelling they lived in

Their tribal culture was similar to many Plains Indian tribes, especially the Crow. Each band of Tonkawa elected a chief to lead them under an elected tribal head chief. Clan membership, determined by the mother's clan, was another important aspect of Tonkawa society. Marriage came with little ceremony, but funeral rites were extensive.

Weapons and/or tools they used

The Tonkawa were notable warriors who used bows, spears and firearms. The warriors wore protective leather jackets and caps decorated with horn and brilliant plumage. They traded tallow, deerskin's and buffalo robes to the Spanish to obtain their first firearms in the late 18th century.
Big image

Special traditions they had and/ or Religion

The Tonkawa are known to have worn breastplates, chokers and ear pendants made with hair pipes. Breech clout, leggings and moccasins completed their warm weather clothing. A buffalo robe would be added on top for cold weather.Male and female Tonkawans tattooed and painted their bodies for adornment or religious purposes.

Organization of Leadership

Each band of Tonkawa elected a chief to lead them under an elected tribal head chief. Clan membership, determined by the mother's clan, was another important aspect of Tonkawa society.

Where are they located now or what became of them

Then, loaded with loot, the war party began an unusual slow retreat to the north. Perhaps because of their numbers, the Comanches were overconfident, but this gave the Texans time to organize.
Big image

Unique Fact or characteristic

With the help of Chief Placido and thirteen of his Tonkawa scouts, Texas militia from Bastrop and Gonzales ambushed the main body at Plum Creek. John Jenkins, in "Recollections of Early Texas", tells us that after Jonathan Burleson recruited the Tonkawas, Chief Placido placed his hand on Burleson’s horse’s rump and trotted with his scouts the entire thirty miles to Plum Creek without rest. According to Noah Smithwick, the militia killed about eighty Comanche warriors and suffered no casualties.