Most Kickapoo people still live in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. What did they eat? The Kickapoo men hunted large animals like deer. They also eat com, cornbread call “‘pugna” and planted squash and beans.
Kickapoo women raised corn and baked cornbread called pugna. They also planted squash and beans. Kickapoo men hunted deer and small game, and sometimes went fishing in the river.
While living in their villages the Kickapoo grew crops of corn (maize), beans, and squash. After the harvest in the fall, the Kickapoo traveled to the Great Plains in search of buffalo (bison). Kickapoo men were known as skilled hunters and fearsome warriors.
Traditionally, the Kickapoo lived in fixed villages, moving between summer and winter residences; they raised corn (maize), beans, and squash and hunted buffalo on the prairies. Their society was divided into several exogamous clans based on descent through the paternal line.
Kickapoo Arts and Music Kickapoo artists make pots, their writing, and wood carvings. Some Kickapoo Indian musical instruments are drums, flutes, and rattles.
The Kickapoo were a Woodland tribe, speaking an Algonquian language, and were related to the Sac and Fox.
Today, three federally recognized Kickapoo tribes are in the United States: the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas. Another band, the Tribu Kikapú, resides in Múzquiz Municipality in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila.
Wigwams were small cone-shaped houses with an arched roof made of wooden frames that are covered with woven mats and sheets of birchbark which are held in place by ropes or strips of wood. Some Kickapoo wigwams were covered with buffalo hides if this was a major resource in the area they lived in.
Kickapoo comes from their word “Kiwigapawa,” means “he stands about” or “he moves about.” The tribe of the central Algonquian group formed a division with the Sac and Fox, with whom they had close ethnic and linguistic connections.
Trade among the Kickapoo and neighboring tribes was well established prior to and after European contact. Their ability to supply these and other trade items was a valuable asset after they settled in Mexico.
The Kickapoo tribe first came into contact with the Europeans during the La Salle Expeditions and established a successful fur trade with the French. During the years of trading with the French the Kickapoo largely stayed out of conflict with other tribes and the European alliances.
Kickapoo roots can be found in the Great Lakes region, and were first mentioned in Lower Michigan in the 1600s. By 1654, French explorers identified the Kickapoo, along with the Sauk, Fox and Potawatomi tribes, in southeast Wisconsin, having moved due to the heavy Iroquois influence in the east.
Weapons used by the Kickapoo tribe included bows and arrows, a variety of different clubs, hatchet axes, spears, lances and knives. The rifle was added to their weapons with the advent of the white settlers.
Indians 101: Kennekuk, Kickapoo Leader and Prophet.