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Houses of the Wichita Tribe

Like the other members of this linguistic family, whose villages have already been described, the Wichita had two forms of dwellings, which they occupied under different conditions. One served as the structure in their permanent villages, the other being of a more temporary nature. But, instead of the earth-covered lodges used farther north, their fixed villages were composed of groups of high circular structures, entirely thatched from bottom to top. Their movable camps, when away from home on war or hunting expeditions, consisted of the skin-covered tents of the plains. The peculiar thatched structures were first seen and described by Europeans in the year 1541, when Coronado crossed the vast rolling prairies and reached the Quivira (the Wichita) about the northeastern part of the present State of Kansas. Here extensive village sites, with innumerable traces of occupancy, undoubtedly indicate the positions of the ancient settlements. In the narrative of the expedition led by Coronado, prepared by one of the Spanish officers, Juan Jaramillo, appears an interesting though very brief description of the thatched dwellings of the people of Quivira “The houses which these Indians have were of straw, and most of them round, and the straw reached down to the ground like a wall, so that they did not have the symmetry or the style of these here [referring to pueblos] ; they have something like a chapel or sentry box outside and around these, with an entry, where the Indians appear seated or reclining.” (Winship, (1), p. 591.) Castaneda, writing of the same villages, said: ” The houses are round, without a wall, and they have one story...

Courtney, Alva

Alva Courtney, 90, of Sweet Home, died Feb. 14, 2005. A graveside service was held today at the North Powder Cemetery. Workman & Steckley Funeral Chapel of Sweet Home handled the arrangements. Alva was born Dec. 10, 1914, in Anadarko, Okla., to Joseph and Myrtle English Courtney. He married Pauline Coates on Aug. 7, 1937, in Haines. She preceded him in death in 1972. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II. Alva is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Juanita and Nick Hutchins of Sweet Home; two grandsons, Jeff Hutchins and his wife, Sally, of Lebanon and Trent Hutchins and his wife, Julie, of Fresno, Calif.; two granddaughters, Sheli Hutchins of Richmond, Calif., and Kim Hutchins of Portland; and three great-grandchildren. Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, February 18, 2005 Transcribed by: Belva...

Caddo Geographical Location

The remnants of the Caddo confederacies of northwestern Louisiana and northeastern Texas settled in Oklahoma in 1859. After the Louisiana  Purchase when Louisiana bands joined their tribesmen in Texas all lived there peaceably until some White Texans determined upon an indiscriminate massacre of raiding Comanche and of all Reservation Indians. The Caddo escaped by a forced march of two weeks in midsummer to the banks of the Washita River. Of this period White Moon talked as follows: Comanche and Kiowa would raid, up to the Caddo villages.1 The Texans trailed them and blamed the Caddo as well. The soldiers stood by the Caddo, said they would move them north where they would have no further trouble with Texans. Caddo were scouts for the United States army. Once a Kiowa wearing a corselet of hide from buffalo head and using medicine could not be killed. White soldiers shot at him, then a Caddo scout shot him in the back where the corselet raised up as he stooped. After the Caddo killed this fellow, the Kiowa became weak. Before the Territory was opened up and afterwards, there were violent doings among both Whites and Indians. My jitney driver and friend, Jim Blakeley, who was a sheriff in those early days, told me several grim stories, but the story I found most interesting was told by James Ingkanish to illustrate the prophetic power of a Coyote. Caiyute will tell you by his crying what is going to happen. My father was killed by outlaws in 1892. One time he was riding along and two caiyutes kep’ alongside, one on each side. They was crying....

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