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.
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.
Like most Caddoans, the Wichita traditionally subsisted largely by farming corn (maize), pumpkins, and tobacco; buffalo hunting was also an important part of their economy. They lived in communal grass-thatched lodges the shape of domed haystacks. On hunting expeditions they resided in tepees.
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.
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.
“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.
/ ˈwɪtʃ ɪˌtɔ / PHONETIC RESPELLING. noun, plural Wich·i·tas for 1. a member of a tribe of North American Indians, originally of Kansas but relocated in Oklahoma after the Civil War. the Caddoan language of the Wichita.
March 21, 2017 | Ashley Aulbach. Wichita is affectionately referred to as “Doo-Dah”, though the origins of this nickname are pretty unclear. Younger Wichitans suspect the name began with older generations, while some members of older generations have attributed the use of the name primarily to younger Wichitans.
They came across the Wichita living on the Red River. He painted a few pictures of them and said they were not like other Plains Indians because they were darker, shorter and stockier. He also said they had many tattoos on their faces and bodies.
Wichita, Kansas, owes its name to the early presence of the tribe in that area. Slightly darker in color than other native people of Texas, the Wichitas were distinguished by their elaborate tattoos, the scalp-lock worn by the men, and the custom of the women to remain nude from the waist up.
They were skilled farmers with extensive fields of corn, beans, squash, melon, and tobacco. The tribe traded with other tribes like the Caddo and Comanche.
WICHITA TRIBAL PRESIDENTS Louis Zadoka (Elected as first President under the Governing Resolution adopted on May 8, 1961).
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.
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.