I hope your kids are getting some good
use from this site. You can help me make this site even better. Take a
few minutes and let me know what you are doing. Let me know WHEN you are
doing it. Let me know what you want or need. I really need the feedback.
I am looking for good projects other
than dioramas. If you have one (or two ) share them with the rest of us.
I will give you and your school credit. I will post pictures of projects
and reports by the kids. This is a good reward for good work, seeing their
stuff on the net.
If your kids want to send me questions
please group them together first and have each group ask about one tribe.
If they are using the E-mail be sure to take them all to Da Rules page
on how to safely use e-mail. If the number of e-mails keeps growing as
it has, I may have to find some help with this.
We are asking for support
from the schools and the classrooms who use this site. We have had to buy
so much software and so many things like color scanners and such. It cost
don't work for free (it just seems like it). They have bill s and you they
need food and gas. The same for TexasIndians.com. I have too eat and pay
bills too. If Texas Indians makes YOUR WORK easier, then send us a $1.00.
PayPal makes it easy, safe and you can uses your credit card. Only PayPal
knows you credit card number, so its safe. Help us is you can.
To keep going, we are asking
that each class that really uses this site send us $5.00. This is an honor
system. If you cant afford $5.00, and I know some of you can't, then
send $2.00 or just go ahead and use the site anyway. Of course if you can
afford more, well. . .
Your support is is needed
and will keep this site alive and growing.
R. E. Moore
New Braunfels TX. 78130
There are some Texas Indian tribes that
are a must for all your kids and there are some that are better avoided.
Some tribes, like Comanche and Caddo are so very important in Texas history
they are a must. Other tribes are important too, but there is so little
information available out there about them that they are hard for kids
to research and find anything. The Jumano are a good example of an important
tribe with little available information. Some tribes are just too hard
for younger kids to connect with. Lastly there are the boring tribes that
never did much of anything, and had few noteworthy characteristics.
Here is my top ten + a few list from
the must to the worst in terms of teaching them to kids and kids researching
Do you have kids who cannot go online?
Are you limited in the number of phone lines? We have this site on a CD
that can be used just like being on line. Go to our CD
page for details
1. The Caddo, a must for all the kids in the class. A
very civilized tribe that lived in organized villages. Built spectacular
mounds, had beautiful art, had a complex and sophisticated political system.
USE THIS tribe to counteract the stereotype that all Indians are buffalo
hunting Plains Indians or all Indians are brutish savages living in the
dirt. Environment lesson: They farmed because farming was the best
way to get food. Their region had good rainfall, rivers, creeks, springs,
and climate for farming. No big herds of buffalo or other animals. They
were sedentary because they did not have to move around to get food
so had permanent houses.
Cultural adaptations: Physical, They made pottery, pottery is
rodent proof to save seeds in and store grains and foods. Farming cultures
always make pottery. They had large nice permanent houses and farming
tools like hoes and digging sticks. They lived in the piney woods so they
had lots of tools to work wood like plains, saws, and drills.
Social environment: Farmers have larger and denser populations. The
Caddo formed confederations to protect and defend themselves from other
tribes with their large numbers. They also traded goods all over Texas,
the Mississippi river valley and the southeastern United States.
2. The Comanche,
another absolute must for all the
kids in a class. The most important single tribe in shaping Texas history.
The Spanish could never gain a military advantage over this tribe, the
best light cavalry in the world. They forced the Spanish to stay in south
Texas and prevented European settlement north and west of San Antonio.
Mexico tried to use Moses Austin and his settlers as a barrier between
Mexican settlers and the Comanche. Austin shrewdly settled in east Texas
and not in central Texas where the Mexican Government wanted them.
Environmental lesson: They hunted and gathered because this
is the best way to get food on the plains. Large herds of buffalo and elk
are easy to hunt. Easier way to get food than farming. Prior to the horse
many plains cultures did farm along the rivers. Chasing buffalo on foot
was not practical. The Arikara and Mandan Indians still farmed after the
horse. Hunting means nomadic lifestyle.
Material Cultural adaptations: Nomads need portable shelter so they have tee-pees.
Pottery is heavy and easily broken when moving so they did not use much
pottery. They used leather for containers along with baskets. They used
packs on dogs and travois to carry their things. See the horse
page for lots more on this and pictures of travoises.
Social environment: The Comanche raided just about everyone around
them and stole goods, horses and kidnaped children and women. So they were
enemies with just about everyone around them. They became friends with
the Kiowa and occasionally made allies with other plains tribes.
hard to find much reliable info
on. Important as an example of environmental adaptation. As a coastal culture
they represent something different, not a plains tribe and not sedentary
farmers. A good example of negative racial stereotyping and demonization.
The only people who had trouble with them were people who shot at them,
stole from them or tried to make them slaves. We now have examples of how
friendly they could be to people who were friendly to them.
Environment: Coastal dwellers who used the resources in the Gulf and
bays. Semi-sedentary. They would live for half the year in one place
near a bay and then move inland as hunter gatherers for the rest of the
year. The villages near the bays were occupied during the winter when fish
come into the bays and shell fish like oysters are safe to eat. Lots of
food coming into the bays means they could stay in one place without moving
and without farming. In the spring and summer they moved inland to harvest
berries and hunt deer. Now they were nomadic hunter gatherers.
Material cultural adaptation: Canoes, nets and wickiup houses that are not as
permanent as farmers like the Caddo, but more permanent than a tee-pee.
Social Adaptation: They seem to have been friendly. They shared the
inland areas they roamed in with other tribes and they traded with many
other tribes. When provoked they could be fierce enemies.
The Tigua. A Jumano Puebloan tribe that
still lives just east of El Paso. A very good example of Pueblo Indian
culture. Pueblo culture is very important and interesting. There are many
good cultural lessons here. Neat houses like apartment buildings. Communal
living. An example of very civilized Indians. Historically important too
with the first mission church in Texas.
Environment: Lived in an arid dry region. Not big herds of animals
like buffalo and limited plant foods. They did have reliable rivers and
somewhat reliable seasonal rainfall. So they farmed next to the rivers
and during the season with rain. Populations were small prior to corn and
farming because of the limited food supply. After corn and farming populations
Adaptations: Exceptional pottery. Large Pueblos to house large populations.
Lots of farming tools. Their religion revolved around growing crops and
5. Jumano, The
traders of the southern plains and west Texas. The Puebloan Tigua are actually
a branch of the Jumano. Probably not all one tribe. They traveled long
distances to trade.
Environment: See the Tigua above.
6. Apaches, An
example of Indians forcing other Indians to move and change. Displaced
by the Comanches. They were very adaptable themselves. They came from icy
Canada down to the plains, became farmers, got pushed into central Texas
by the Comanches and became hunter gatherers, got pushed into south Texas
and New Mexico and learned to live in deserts. Good example of a people
adapting to new environments.
7. Black Seminoles Run away slaves who joined, married into and became
a part of the larger Seminole tribe. A good way for Black students to connect
to the subject. We have em posted.
8. Kiowa, A
large and important South Plains buffalo hunting tribe. They are one of
the tribes important after the Civil War. Use the Kiowa for historical
lessons. Very typical south plains buffalo hunter-raiders. Their material
culture and lifestyles is almost the same as the Comanche.
9. Wichita, Another
large and important South Plains tribe. A mix between the Caddo and South
Plains buffalo hunters. Sometimes they farmed, sometimes they hunted and
gathered. Another tribe that was forced to move long distances.
Environement: When they lived in Kansas and Oklahoma they lived in large
villages next to rivers and farmed. After the horse they began hunting
buffalo. In Texas some of them roamed around and hunted and others lived
in villages and farmed.
These next tribes are important, but hard for kids to find meaningful information
on and/or connect with. Some are OK for older kids but not for fourth graders.
10. Tonkawa, Important
because they lived in central Texas right in the middle of everything.
Not much significant data for younger kids available on this tribe. Lots
of mentions, little material kids can connect with. Hard to research. Fourth
graders avoid, seventh graders can get into the history connections. More
like a history lesson than a cultural lesson.
11. Coahuiltecan, Often
portrayed as a very primitive tribe that lived in a harsh environment with
few resources. Not true. Most descriptions are of the later refugee survivors
of these peoples. There is no such thing as a Coahuiltecan tribe, never
was. There were hundreds of small bands of Indians living similar lifestyles
in the same region. Because most of the books and descriptions are of refugees
younger students misinterpret the data to see these Indians as wretched,
dirty, nasty beggars who eat disgusting foods and live in filth and squalor.
Other than the shocking foods there is little in the way of the things
kids tune in to. No neat houses, clothing, weapons. Hard for kids to understand
and interpret what they can find. Useful as a leason on critical thinking
about historical sources. Fourth graders avoid, Ok for seventh graders
who can handle the abstract cultural concepts.
12. Atakapans, Very
hard to find info on. The info you can find is hard for the kids to connect
with and is of questionable quality. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.
13. Waco, a
branch of the Wichita tribe. Not worth teaching as a separate tribe. Teach
the Wichita instead.
Here are a few tribes no one seems to
use. We got em posted.
Cherokee. Sam Houston's adopted tribe. Important to Texas
history. The Cherokee took a leadership position over all the east Texas
tribes. Came from Georgia, Carolina, Kentucky area to escape white encroachment.
Very civilized. Developed their own alphabet and published their own newspaper
in their own language. Not very good for teaching cultural differences
because they had adopted almost all of the white southern farming-plantation
material culture. They lived in European style houses with European furnishings,
some owned slaves, farmed and some ran plantations. Many of them were literate
Environment: In their eastern homeland and in Texas they lived much
like the Caddo as woodland farmers. They adapted to their SOCIAL environment
by adopting European technology and lifestyles.
and more info becoming available. They still live here.
Alabama -Coushatta, Still
live here. Colorful. A part of the same very important Southeastern Indian
group of tribes the Caddo belonged to, but not Caddo. Very civilized farmers.
You can go visit them if you are near East Texas.