The Karankawa

By Emily Leonard

The Karankawa

The Karankawa lived in the Gulf Coast near the Gulf Of Mexico in the Coastal Plains.Some people believe that the Karankawa tribe were cannibals.This actually is somewhat true the tribe believed in spirits so they sometimes ate the captured warriors to get the spirit of the dead warrior or leader.They didn't do this because they were hungry.

What did they eat?

The Karankawa hunted animals,fished,and gathered.They moved every few weeks because they would have used all the food sources.When they were traveling they often traveled in canoes which held all the members of the family and their belongings.

What happened

In 1528 they were the first Native Americans of Texas to meet Europeans.And about 300 years later the last of the Karankawa disappeared from the area.


Karankawa ceremonialism centered around gatherings known as "mitotes,"that were held for a bunch of reasons, each having different activities. The ceremonies often had dancing and the consumption of a beverage brewed from the leaves of the yaupon (Ilex cassine or vomitoria). The Karankawas also participated in competitive games demonstrating weapons skills or physical prowess. Wrestling was really popular among Karankawas that neighboring tribes referred to them as the "Wrestlers." Warfare was a fact of life for the Karankawas, and things that the tribe practiced a ceremonial cannibalism that involved eating the flesh of their traditional enemies. That custom,spread among Texas tribes, involved consuming bits and pieces of the flesh of dead or dying enemies as the ultimate revenge or as a magical means of capturing the enemy's courage

What did they lived in?

The Karankawa used willow saplings and animal skins to build huts.The huts were sometimes called Wikiups.


The Karankawas favorite weapon was the one that they were known for it was the long bow.The bows were good for shooting fish in shallow water and alagators.

How the leader was decided

The leader was decided on who was the best swimmer,who could run the fastest and etc.

Intresting Fact

The Karankawa tribe often smeared a mixture of shark or alligator greese on themselves to fight off mosquitos.