Upcoming Events
  • School Supplies
    July 25, 2014

    School supplies will be given out on July 25, 2014.  

  • Grade Incentive Award Deadline
    July 31, 2014

    Parents of children in grades 6th-12th may apply for the grade incentive award until July 31, 2014.  Please click here for more information.

  • Kitikiti'sh Scholarship Deadline
    July 31, 2014

    The deadline for the Kitikiti'sh Scholarship is July 31, 2104.  Please contact the Higher Education Program for more information. 

  • Elder Lawn Mowing Program
    All Summer

    Applications for the Elder Lawn Mowing Program are currently available.  Please click here for more information. 

Wichita Language
Wahki:s
Christian
More Wichita Words
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Wichita Tribes Blog
  • REFERENDUM ELECTION NOTICE AND DOCUMENTS INCLUDING SAMPLE BALLOTS & ELECTION PROCEDURES
    July 18, 2014 8:05 PM

    On Saturday July 19, 2014, a Referendum Election will be conducted at the Wichita Tribal Complex, 1 ¼ miles North of Anadarko, Oklahoma on Highway 281. The polling place will be located in the Museum area of the Wichita Tribal Cultural and Administration Building. Voting hours will be from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The […]

  • REFERENDUM ELECTION NOTICE AND DOCUMENTS INCLUDING SAMPLE BALLOTS & ELECTION PROCEDURES
    July 16, 2014 3:35 PM

    On Saturday July 19, 2014, a Referendum Election will be conducted at the Wichita Tribal Complex, 1 ¼ miles North of Anadarko, Oklahoma on Highway 281. The polling place will be located in the Museum area of the Wichita Tribal Cultural and Administration Building. Voting hours will be from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The […]

  • Wichita Tribe to Offer Transportation for Referendum Election
    July 16, 2014 2:51 PM

    The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes will be offering transportation to and from the Wichita Tribal Complex to allow enrolled tribal members 18 and over, who do not have transportation in the Gracemont/Anadarko area, the ability to vote in the Referendum Election. Children and non-enrolled individuals will not be allowed to accompany you in order to […]

  • Sugar Creek Casino-Job Posting
    July 14, 2014 8:07 PM

  • Oral Histories Panel-07/12/2014
    July 9, 2014 11:43 PM

    The Wichita Cultural Education Program has scheduled an Oral Histories Panel discussion to be held at 1:00pm, July 12, 2014. The panel will convene at the Administration On Aging Building, Wichita Tribal Complex which is located one mile north of Anadarko on HWY. 281 and one half mile west on Wichita Lane. The Panel will […]

  • REFERENDUM ELECTION NOTICE AND DOCUMENTS
    July 3, 2014 8:58 AM

    REFERENDUM ELECTION NOTICE AND DOCUMENTS INCLUDING SAMPLE BALLOTS & ELECTION PROCEDURES On Saturday July 19, 2014, a Referendum Election will be conducted at the Wichita Tribal Complex, 1 ¼ miles North of Anadarko, Oklahoma on Highway 281. The polling place will be located in the Museum area of the Wichita Tribal Cultural and Administration Building. […]

  • Wichita Tribal Newsletter-Will be Available July 7, 2014
    July 3, 2014 8:55 AM

    Due to various activities coming up that need to be in the newsletter such as the Annual Meeting, Referendum Election, Annual Dance Flyer and with this being a holiday week, the newsletter will not be out via email until Monday, July 7, 2014 and will be mailed out next week. Thank you for your understanding.

  • Tribal Offices Closed for Employee Picnic & Holiday
    July 3, 2014 8:54 AM

    The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes will be closed on Thursday, July 3, 2014 for the Employee Picnic. The offices will also be closed on Friday, July 4th for the 4th of July holiday. The AoA Program will be open on Thursday for our elders. The Wichita Child Development Center will also be open on Thursday.

  • Referendum Election Information-July 19, 2014
    July 1, 2014 11:27 PM

    REFERENDUM ELECTION NOTICE AND DOCUMENTSINCLUDING SAMPLE BALLOTS & ELECTION PROCEDURES On Saturday July 19, 2014, a Referendum Election will be conducted at the Wichita Tribal Complex, 1 ¼ miles North of Anadarko, Oklahoma on Highway 281. The polling place will be located in the Museum area of the Wichita Tribal Cultural and Administration Building. Voting […]

  • Free Photo ID’s-July 1 to July 18, 2014
    June 25, 2014 10:16 PM

    The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes will offer FREE tribal ID’s to enrolled tribal members 18 and over from July 1 to July 18, 2014.  Valid federal, state or Tribal identification is required to vote in the Referendum Election to be held on July 19, 2014.  You must be present for the ID to be made.  […]

People of the Grass House: 1750-1820

"Here they lived the woman fixing up the place, building their grass lodge and shed to dry meat, Man-Fond-of-Deer-Meat doing all the hunting . . . They lived here a good long while, the woman remaining at home, the man going out hunting every day. They always had plenty of meat, and the woman raised corn, so they had plenty to eat." - Niastor in The Mythology of the Wichita, 1904

The Southern Plains is a land of seasonal changes with spring thunderstorms, hot summer days, and cool but dry winter months. The Wichitas adapted to this environment and reaped abundant harvests from the land by farming and hunting. During the spring, summer, and early fall they lived in grass house villages while the women cultivated nearby gardens. Crops were planted together in the gardens. Each summer, beans climbed the stalks of multicolored corn, and green leafed squash or "pumpkin" plants spread their vines over the ground.

As summer days shortened and crisp fall mornings dawned, women preserved their harvested corn by roasting and drying it in the sun. Pumpkins were cut into long strips and also sun-dried before being woven into mats which could be folded and stored for later use. The dried corn and pumpkin were used in meat soups or boiled for side dishes. Cornmeal was made by grinding dried corn with a wooden mortar or grinding stone. This cornmeal was then made into bread. Pumpkin mats were often traded to the Comanches or Kiowas for dried buffalo meat. Preserved foods were stored in buffalo-hide bags in underground cache pits until they were needed later in the year or when the harvest was poor and food was scarce.

During the late fall and winter, the Wichitas left their villages for extended buffalo hunts. Living in tipis with family members camping near one another, the men tried to bring in enough game to provide meat for later seasons. Women prepared the meat by thinly slicing it and hanging it to dry in the cool winter's sun. Afterwards, the meat could be transported and stored in buffalo-hide bags for future use. Through the cooperative efforts of both men and women, the annual economic cycle began as the people returned to their summer villages.

Their grass houses, vacant through the winter months, often needed repairs before they could be reoccupied comfortably. Working as a team, family members cut bundles of bluestem grass; women or boys climbed up the cedar frames to repair the walls. The houses could accommodate a family of 10 to 12 people, including a woman and her husband, their unmarried children, as well as their married daughters and sons-in-law, and their grandchildren. Most matters were decided within the individual families, although each village had leaders chosen by a council of outstanding warriors. These leaders were selected because of their demonstrated wisdom, bravery, and generosity.

Wichita ceremonial life closely followed the seasonal round of economic activities. The deer dance, a ceremony performed by the medicine men, was held when the first grass appeared, when corn ripened, and when corn was harvested. The calumet ceremony, involving the presentation of a feathered pipestem to a prominent individual, was believed to be of lasting benefit to the tribe. Other ceremonies were performed to ensure good harvests, the successful return of war parties, or the abundance of buffalo.

Next: Days of Darkness