They consumed buffalo and cultivated crops after settling on the Brazos River, in addition to eating fish, clams, berries, pecans and prickly pear cactus. The Wichita Confederacy tribes occupied north central Texas and gardened corn, beans and squash along the many waterways.
Their clothing was made from the tanned hides of animals. Women wore moccasins, leggings, and skirts to protect their skin from the tall grasses. Men and women wore tattoos. The Wichita were involved in an extensive trade route.
The Wichitas lived mainly along creeks and rivers, where they grew beans, corn, melons, and squash. They used horses to hunt buffalo and deer. Like the Caddos, the Wichitas lived in permanent villages. One Spanish explorer in Kansas described a Wichita house.
Tribes like the Comanche and Cheyenne who had horses and knew how to use them first pushed other tribes like the Apache, Wichita and Tonkawa south and west off the plains. Bands of Comanche warriors on horseback were powerful and feared by everyone – Indians and Europeans.
The Wichita were successful hunters, farmers, traders, and negotiators. Their historical homelands stretched from San Antonio, Texas, in the south to as far north as Great Bend, Kansas. A semi-sedentary people, they occupied northern Texas in the early 18th century.
From spring until fall they lived a village life and grew maize, pumpkins, squash, beans and even planted plum trees. And get this; even though they lived near several rivers, the Wichita did not eat fish.
Wichita Facts Wichita is known as the “Air Capital of the World.” Wichita is the birthplace of Pizza Hut and White Castle fast-food chains. A.A. Hyde discovered Mentholatum in 1894 in the current The Spice Merchant & Company building.
The Wichitas were farming people. Wichita women worked together to raise crops of corn, beans, squash and pumpkins. Men hunted deer and small game and took part in seasonal buffalo hunts. The Wichitas also collected fruits and nuts to eat.
“Wichita” is evidently derived from the Choctaw word Wia chitch, meaning “big arbor” in reference to the Wichita’s large grass lodges, which resembled haystacks.
Wichita Indian Language (Witchita) Wichita is a Caddoan language of the Southern Plains. Only a few native speakers remain, but some young people are trying to revive their ancestral language again.
Only 822 people returned to Indian Territory in 1867. Traditional Wichita religion encompassed a belief in the supernatural powers of elements of the earth and the sky. Animals often appeared to men in dreams or revelations to become lifelong guardian spirits.
Turtle Island is a name for Earth or North America, used by some Indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States, as well as by some Indigenous rights activists. The name is based on a common North American Indigenous creation story.
Stephenson served his tribe well as President of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes for eight years and as Vice-President for four years. He also served as a Committee Member for eight years. During this time, he served in various capacities.
These leaders were selected because of their demonstrated wisdom, bravery and generosity. Traditional Wichita religion encompassed a belief in the supernatural powers of elements of the earth and the sky. Animals often appeared to men in dreams or revelations to become lifelong guardian spirits.
The name Wichita (pronounced WITCH-i-taw) comes from a Choctaw word and means “ big arbor” or “big platform,” referring to the grass arbors the Wichita built.