The Tonkawa were a nomadic buffalo hunting people roaming from somewhere around what is now Hillsboro, Texas to the vicinity of present day San Antonio, Texas. They lived in scattered villages of tepees constructed from buffalo hides or arbors made from brush and grass.
Artists from the Tonkawa tribe are known for crafting beautiful hide paintings and copper jewelry. 3. The Tonkawas traded many times with tribes of the Southern Plains & the Southwest Plains. They enjoyed traded items made of buffalo with tribes such as the Caddo and Pueblo Indians.
The Tonkawas had a plains Indian culture, subsisting on the buffalo and small game. When the Apaches began to push them from their hunting grounds, they became a destitute culture, living off what little food they could scavenge. Unlike other plains tribes, the Tonkawas ate fish and oysters.
The Lipan Apaches followed the Tonkawa into near extinction, with smaller and smaller groups living in Oklahoma and across the Rio Grande in Mexico. The Comanches, always a large tribe, now live on reservations in Oklahoma in relative poverty. No Lipan Apache or Comanche tribes, native or immigrant, now live in Texas.
In the 21st century, the Comanche Nation has 17,000 members, around 7,000 of whom reside in tribal jurisdictional areas around Lawton, Fort Sill, and the surrounding areas of southwestern Oklahoma.
The Apache maintained a presence in northern Mexico in subsequent decades, but the Lipan and Mescalero were often found in the region of south and Central Texas, particularly on the Nueces, the San Antonio, and Guadalupe river areas as well as the Colorado.
The Tonkawa had a distinct language, and their name, as that of the leading tribe, was applied to their linguistic family. They were one of the most warlike tribes during nearly two centuries of conflict with their enemy tribes on the Western plains and with the Spanish and, later, American settlers in the Southwest.
Social organization was simple. They had no clan system. Kiowas and Kiowa Apaches belonged to the same type of kinship system as the Cheyennes, known as the generation or classification type, where collateral and lineal relations are classed together.
Tonkawa hunters used bows and arrows. In war, Tonkawa men fired their bows or fought with war clubs and hide shields.
They were a matrilineal society of extended family clans forming two moieties, whose leaders where eventually replaced by a single chief. Their religion was a mixture of beliefs, but they resisted Christianity. Because of their horsemanship and fighting spirit, Tonkawa warriors served as U.S. Army scouts.
1: a member of a group of American Indian peoples of the southwestern U.S. 2: any of the Athabascan languages of the Apache people. 3 not capitalized [French, from Apache Apache Indian] a: a member of a gang of criminals especially in Paris.
Although the Western Apaches raised some crops in ephemeral gardens and traded goods with various neighboring tribes, they depended heavily on hunting, gathering and raiding for subsistence. The men hunted deer and antelope in the fall, while their sons contributed packrats, birds and rabbits to the family diet.
According to some sources, the Karankawa practiced ritual cannibalism, in common with other Gulf coastal tribes of present-day Texas and Louisiana. The Karankawa people were shocked at the Spanish cannibalism, which they found to be repugnant.
The Tonkawa tried to follow this counsel. Food Preparation: Most meat was cooked by roasting; however, some of it was cured by the women. Dried venison or bison meat was pounded and mixed with pecan meal to form pemmican, the principal food of the Tonkawa when they were traveling or on the warpath.
The Jicarilla Apache were just one of six southern Athapascan groups that migrated out of Canada sometime around 1300 to 1500 A.D. Moving their way south, they settled in the southwest where their traditional homeland covered more than 50 million acres across north New Mexico, southern Colorado and western Oklahoma.