Upcoming Events
  • Native Youth Preventing Diabetes Camp
    DUE by June 1, 2015

    For more information see the flyer to the left. For registration packet, see here.

  • Wichita Travel Plaza Cashiers Needed

    The Wichita Travel Plaza is hiring part-time entry level cashiers.  Applicants must possess a valid Oklahoma drivers' license, have reliable transportation and be able to work flexible schedules.  Apply in person at The Wichita Travel Plaza 1 mile North of Anadarko.  Applications are available onsite.  Indian preference applies.

  • BIA TREES Pathways Program
    Apply by June 2015

    Tuition assistance, internships, and job placement, available to Native American and Alaska Native forestry and natural resources students. More information can be found in this flyer

  • 2015 Annual General Council Meeting
    July 18, 2015

    2015 Annual General Council Meeting will be held on Saturday, July 18, 2015. More details to be posted later. 

  • Annual Dance
    August 13 – 16, 2015

    The Annual Dance this year will be August 13 - 16, 2015. More details to come.

  • Texas Archeological Society Scholarship Program
    June 13-19

    The Texas Archeological Society (TAS) cordially invites you to participate in the annual field school to be held at Tait-Huffmeyer 7T6 Ranch site near Columbus, Texas, on June 13-19. Activities at this year's field school will focus on excavation, pedestrian survey, and artifact processing. Additional information about this year's field school can be found on the attached flyer or at the following URL: http://www.txarch.org/Activities/fschool/fs2015/.

     

    The TAS Native American Scholarship Program is offering up to two representatives from each tribe financial assistance to attend the field school (no previous experience required!). Since 2003, the TAS Native American Program has provided over 90 scholarships to members from 17 Native American Tribes to attend the annual field school. These scholarships are sponsored by donations from members of the TAS and other local archeological societies, the Council of Texas Archeologists, archeological contracting firms, foundations, and others. The scholarship program increases the level of understanding among the many people who have called Texas home. The program allows our members to meet, talk with, and learn from the native peoples whose traditions and lifeways are tied to Texas archeological sites. Additional information about the Native American Scholarship Program can be found at the following URL:   http://www.txarch.org/scholarships/native.html.

Wichita Language
sicʔa
grapes
More Wichita Words
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Wichita Tribes Blog
  • White House to Host Tribal Youth Gathering
    May 12, 2015 12:23 PM

    WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday, July 9, 2015, the White House will host the first-ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, DC, to provide American Indian and Alaska Native youth from across the country the opportunity to interact directly with senior Administration officials and the White House Council on Native American Affairs. The Tribal […]

  • Summer Youth Program NOW ENROLLING
    May 12, 2015 11:05 AM

    The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes Juvenile Services Program will be hosting a Summer Youth Program for enrolled tribal members and descendants (descendants must provide proof of eligibility for example father/mother CDIB card or other documentation).  The program will focus on those between the ages 6 – 15 years old.  It will be hosted at the […]

  • Texas Archeological Society Scholarship
    May 12, 2015 8:22 AM

    The Texas Archeological Society (TAS) cordially invites you to participate in the annual field school to be held at Tait-Huffmeyer 7T6 Ranch site near Columbus, Texas, on June 13-19. Activities at this year’s field school will focus on excavation, pedestrian survey, and artifact processing. Additional information about this year’s field school can be found on […]

  • Wichita Food Distribution Program Demos
    April 10, 2015 11:46 AM

  • Oklahoma Inter-tribal Diabetes Coalition Golf Scramble
    April 10, 2015 11:45 AM

  • WDEP Hosts Great American Clean-Up
    April 10, 2015 11:43 AM

  • Tribal Princess Birthday Honor Dance
    April 10, 2015 11:42 AM

  • Job Application Class today!
    February 12, 2015 9:45 AM

  • Informational Meeting for Elders in the Community
    January 13, 2015 4:01 PM

  • Seeking Tribal Administrator
    January 13, 2015 12:15 PM

    The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes has an opening for the position of a Tribal Administrator. Under the supervision of the Wichita Executive Committee, position is responsible for the daily administration and overall operation of Tribal Programs. DUTIES: Responsible for the efficient operation of all tribal programs, submission of proposals for funding and implementation of the […]

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