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By Nick Williams and Abigail Morgan

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1 By Nick Williams and Abigail Morgan
Tonkawa By Nick Williams and Abigail Morgan

2 I. Location The Tonkawa’s original home was the hill country of central Texas. As there enemies, the Comanche and Apache, pushed them further away from the buffalo, so they ended up on the edges of Edwards plateau and the coastal plains.

3 II. Homes Two strange things were different about the Tonkawa homes. They used all the grass, bush, and all the poles they could make their cone shaped homes.

4 III. Government Even though they lived in small nomadic bands, all Tonkawa’s were members of a larger clan. Each clan had a chief, but there was also an overall Tonkawa chief.

5 Iv. Dress The Tonkawa’s painted their body’s with tattoos.
Tonkawa men wore very long breech cloths and men kept their hair long. Tonkawa women wore very short shirts. When winter came, they wore buffalo robes and earrings and necklaces made of bones and shells.

6 v. How they Lived The Tonkawa’s were hunter-gathers.
They believed that they began with a wolf. The buffalo was the source of everything they needed. Every single part of the animal was used. The Tonkawa’s also hunted smaller animals like deer. They were lucky they lived in a area that had rivers with fish, nuts, berries, and roots. Tonkawa’s traded for things they needed. They traded with Caddo for pottery. They traded for houses too. If they didn’t get the horse than they would steal the horse.

7 VI. Weapons and Warfare The bow and arrow was the best and most favored of the Tonkawa. The Tonkawa’s believed that their arrow points were poisoned by putting the liquid from the mistletoe leaf on them. Laces were also used during war and sometimes for hunting. When they were at war they carried bison hide shields and wore jackets and helmets made of tough hide for protection.

8 V Beliefs We know that Tonkawa’s had shaman, but we don’t know a lot about what they did. Death was a very complicated ceremony. The hair was cut from the person who died. His face was painted yellow, and body wrapped. He was also buried with all of his belonging’s. Anything that he had with him when he died was destroyed. His band mourned for a longer time. When the mourning period was over the chief talked to the band and the person’s name was never used again. They did not want to call the spirit back to this world. They had a dance called the wolf dance. It honored their beinnings with the great wolf.

9 IV Summary The Tonkawa’s had a lot of things in common with the other Texas Natives like warning tattoos and hunting buffalo and painting. The Tonkawa’s believed that the owed their existence to a great wolf. They also owed tattoos designs which linked them to their band. They lived in a cone shaped huts and traded for things they could not get on their own. This made them very friendly toward the Spanish and Anglo settlers that came later to Texas.

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