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Wichita Language
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September 2014
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Wichita Tribes Blog
  • Rock Spring Indian Baptist Church Celebrates 140 Years
    August 21, 2014 8:36 PM

  • SCC-Job Posting
    August 21, 2014 5:42 PM

  • Sugar Creek Casino-Job Posting
    August 13, 2014 9:36 PM

  • Community Building Viewing
    August 13, 2014 8:28 PM

    Saturday, August 16, 2014-We realize there will be many of our people that travel out of state to attend our annual dance. The Community Building is not complete but we will have it open from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday so that tribal people can walk through. It’s a walk through only so […]

  • Vacancy Announcement-ICW Caseworker
    August 7, 2014 7:22 PM

    The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes has an opening for a Family and Children Services Caseworker. Assists the Director in carrying out the proposed goals and objectives of the P.L. 93-638 Indian Child Welfare Contract; Assists in finding placement for children in State and/or Tribal custody; Appear at scheduled hearings involving children; Transports clients as needed; […]

  • Vacancy Announcement-VOCA Victims Advocate
    August 7, 2014 7:20 PM

    The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes has an opening for a VOCA Victims Advocate. Ensures goals are met for the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant; Develops a coordinated tribal and community response for victims of violence; and Provides accompaniment and advocacy through medical, law enforcement, social system, and court proceedings. Will be On-Call 24 hours […]

  • Vacancy Announcement-Special Diabetes Program Director
    August 5, 2014 10:15 AM

    The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes has an opening for a Special Diabetes Program Director. Directly responsible for the administration, management, and coordination of all activities associated with or related to the Special Diabetes Program for Indians and the Fitness Center. Duties: Ensures goals and objectives are met; Client services and case management; Data entry and […]

  • Arts and Crafts Contest
    August 3, 2014 9:31 PM

    The Wichita Cultural Education Program will be sponsoring an Arts and Crafts Contest for enrolled Wichitas and Wichita descendants. There will be youth and adult categories. The age groups are 7 and under, 8 to 12, 13 to 17, and 18 and over. Artwork and craftwork will be combined into single categories. Prizes will be […]

    August 3, 2014 9:27 PM

    The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes will distribute bracelet tickets for the American Indian Expo on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for ages 4-16 at the Administration Building. Tickets will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis. A brief application and CDIB will be required. A signed note from […]

  • July 28, 2014 6:03 PM

In the Beginning: 1540-1750

"Wichita Memories" portrays the culture and history of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, whose ancestors have lived in the Central and Southern Plains since prehistoric times. These once numerous people are known to historians as the Wichitas, Wacos, Taovayas, Tawakonis, and Kichais.

"After the man and woman were made they dreamed that things were made for them, and when they woke they had the things of which they had dreamed . . . The woman was given an ear of corn . . . It was to be the food of the people that should exist in the future, to be used generation after generation." - Tawakoni Jim in The Mythology of the Wichita, 1904

Wichita legends tell us that the history of their people forms a cycle. With the world's creation, the gifts of corn and the bow and arrow were bestowed upon the people by the spirits of the first man and woman, Morning Star and the Moon. The cycle is complete with the days of darkness, when the earth becomes barren. Just as disaster seems eminent, the cycle begins again and the world is renewed through the new creation.

Archaeologists believe that the heritage of the Wichitas may be traced back at least 800 years to the Washita River culture of central and western Oklahoma. Living along fertile valleys, these people resided in small villages of rectangular, mud plastered houses. Nearby were small gardens where women tilled and weeded corn, beans, and squash with hoes of buffalo leg and shoulder bones. Buffalo, elk, deer, and small game were hunted. Wild plants were collected for foods, medicines, and rituals. Tools were made from readily available stone, wood, bone, and antler. Between A.D. 1350 and 1450, some Washita River people began to build larger villages with circular grass houses, some of which were fortified. Others apparently moved northward to the Great Bend of the Arkansas, a land known to later Spanish explorers as Quivira.

When first encountered by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in 1541, the Quiviran ancestors of the Wichitas were following a way of life that continued into the eighteenth century. Near their large grass house villages, women tilled their gardens while the men hunted buffalo and other game. Trade was extensive and included commodities such as glazed paint pottery, turquoise pendants, and shell beads from the Puebloan villages of New Mexico as well as bois d'arc and engraved pottery from Caddo settlements of northeastern Texas.

With the Spanish settlement of New Mexico and the arrival of French hunters and traders in the Mississippi Valley, the lives of the Wichita were profoundly affected. By acquiring horses from the Spanish colonies, the Wichitas were to follow herds of buffalo over a much wider range and to hunt them more efficiently. From the French towns in Louisiana, metal hoes, guns, and buckets reached the Wichitas. In some cases, these goods were used by the Wichitas in their own daily tasks. However, others were used to maintain or establish trading ties with such recently arrived Southern Plains peoples as the Comanches.

Next: People of the Grass House