Upcoming Events
  • Fitness Center Extends Hours
    Current Hours of Operation

    The Fitness Center hours of operation are 8:00 A.M. - 7:00 P.M. Monday-Thursday and 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Friday.  Closed on weekends.

  • Wills-Service Dates
    April 25th

    OCU has service dates seheduled for preparing Wills at their campus on April 25th. For more information please click here

  • College Applications
    Beginning April 1, 2014

    College applications for the fall 2014-spring 2015 semesters are now available. 

  • AoA Easter Activities
    April 16, 2014

    The AoA Program will have its Easter activites on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.  Please see the attached flyer for details. 

  • Elder Lawn Mowing Program
    April 1, 2014

    Applications for the Elder Lawn Mowing Program will be available on April 1, 2014.  Please click here for more information. 

  • Diabetes Education Sessions
    April 17, 24 and May 1 & 8, 2014

    Spring Diabetes Education Sessions 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Health Building.  Please click here for more information. 

  • Demographic Survey Deadline
    April 30, 2014

    The deadline to turn in the Demographic Surveys is April 30, 2014.  Tribal members, 18 and over, will recieve a $10 Walmart card for completing the survey. 

  • Annual General Council Meeting
    July 19, 2014

    Time and place to be announced at a later date.  Please make plans to attend.

  • Referendum Election
    July 19, 2014

    Details to be announced. Please make plans to vote in this tribal referendum election regarding absentee voting and blood quantum.  

  • 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.

Wichita Language
kó:kis kwaʔasa:rʔa
lettuce
More Wichita Words
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Wichita Tribes Blog
  • Senior Cap & Gown/ACT Test Fees
    April 14, 2014 7:45 PM

    Don’t forget that the Tribe has a tribal funded assistance program for enrolled Wichita youth in the 12th grade that can assist with Senior Cap & Gown and ACT Test Fees. Please contact the Education Department with any questions at (405) 247-2425 ext. 106 or 112 or email to yolanda.walker@wichitatribe.com or louisa.riffel@wichitatribe.com.

  • Demographic Survey
    April 14, 2014 7:44 PM

    We have received several of the Demographic Surveys back from tribal members. Please make sure to send yours in if you have not done so. We keep accepting them until April 30, 2014. This information will be used for future grants and business ventures. Please see the February 2014 newsletter for more details. Enrolled tribal […]

  • Graduate Pictures for Newsletter
    April 14, 2014 7:42 PM

    If you have an enrolled child that will be graduating in May, you are welcome to submit their picture an a brief write up for the newsletter. The deadline for the April 30, 2014 newsletter is April 20, 2014 and May 20, 2014 for the May newsletter. Please email to newsletter@wichitatribe.com.

  • Wichita Tribe Blog Posts
    April 14, 2014 7:42 PM

    Originally posted on wichitatribeblog:
    If you know anyone who doesn’t use social media but would like access to the blog posts they can visit http://www.wichitatribe.com. We have added the blog posts to the right hand side of the website.

  • Wichita Referendum Election to Be held July 19, 2014
    April 14, 2014 7:41 PM

    Originally posted on wichitatribeblog:
    A referendum election will be held on Saturday, July 19, 2014. Details will be announced at a later date. The January 2014 newsletter will provide more information regarding tribal member input. Please click here for the documents from the Referendum Election held in July 2013. You may submit comments to newsletter@wichitatribe.com…

  • http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/news/tribal/9772-doi-approves-wichita-and-affliliated-tribes-hearth-agreement
    April 14, 2014 7:33 PM

    http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/news/tribal/9772-doi-approves-wichita-and-affliliated-tribes-hearth-agreement

  • Graduate Pictures for Tribal Newsletter
    April 10, 2014 8:34 PM

    Originally posted on wichitatribeblog:
    If you have an enrolled child that will be graduating in May, you are welcome to submit their picture an a brief write up for the newsletter. The deadline for the April 30, 2014 newsletter is April 20, 2014 and May 20, 2014 for the May newsletter. Please email to newsletter@wichitatribe.com.

  • Graduate Incentives
    April 10, 2014 8:34 PM

    Originally posted on wichitatribeblog:
    Graduating High School Seniors may apply for the $100 incentive for graduating. College graduates also receive incentives for graduating. The amount depends on whether the degree is a Associates, Bachelors, Masters or PHD &JD. Please contact Yolanda Walker @ (405) 247-2425 ext. 106 or Louise Riffel @ (405) 247-2425 ext. 112…

  • Weather Emergency Preparedness Seminar-April 29, 2014
    April 10, 2014 8:29 PM

  • Assistant Secretary Approves Leasing Regulations for Wichita and Affiliated Tribes
    April 10, 2014 1:40 PM

    Press Release from DOI Assistant Secretary Washburn Approves Four HEARTH Act Applications to Help Spur Economic Development in Tribal Communities Dry Creek Rancheria, Jamestown S’Klallam, Mohegan, and Wichita and Affiliated Tribes join eight others already cleared to process economic development leases without BIA approval WASHINGTON, D.C. — Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn […]

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