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The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe Of Texas

4118 words - 16 pages

The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas

The Kickapoo Indians are Algonkian-speaking Indians, related to the Sauk and Fox, who lived at the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, probably in present Columbia County, Wis., U.S., when first reported by Europeans in the late 17th century.

The Kickapoo were known as formidable warriors whose raids took them over a wide territory, ranging as far as Georgia and Alabama to the southeast; Texas and Mexico to the southwest; and New York and Pennsylvania to the east.

Early in the 18th century part of the tribe settled near the Milwaukee River and, after the destruction of the Illinois Indians c. 1765, moved south to Peoria. One band extended as far as the Sangamon River and became known as the Prairie band; another pushed east to the Wabash and was called the Vermilion band. In 1809 and 1819, under the pressure of advancing white settlers, the Kickapoo ceded their lands in Illinois to the United States, moving to Missouri and then to Kansas. About 1852 a large group went to Texas, and from there to Mexico, where another party joined them in 1863. Some returned to Indian Territory in 1873 and later years. The remainder was granted a reservation in eastern Chihuahua State, in northern Mexico; other Kickapoo reside in Oklahoma and Kansas. Only a few Kickapoo village names have survived Etnataek, Kickapougowi, and Kithlipecanuk.

The Kickapoo lived in fixed villages, moving between summer and winter residences; they raised corn (maize), beans, and squash and hunted buffalo on the plains. Their society was divided into several exogamous, named clans based on descent through the paternal line. By the 19th century, as a result of scattering in small villages to prevent attack, central tribal authority had broken down, and chiefs of the various bands had become autonomous. From the beginning of European contact, the Kickapoo resisted acculturation in economic, political, and religious matters, retaining as many of their old ways as possible.

Before contact with Europeans, the Kickapoo lived in northwest Ohio and southern Michigan in the area between Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. Beginning in the 1640s, the Algonquin tribes in this region came under attack from the east, first by the Ottawa and Iroquian-speaking Neutrals, and then the Iroquois. By 1658 the Kickapoo had been forced west into southwest Wisconsin. About 1700 they began to move south into northern Illinois and by 1770 had established themselves in central Illinois (near Peoria) extending southeast into the Wabash Valley on the western border of Indiana. After wars with the Americans and settlement of the Ohio Valley, they signed treaties during 1819 ceding their remaining land east of the Mississippi River and relocated to southern Missouri (1819-24). Initially, most moved to the lands assigned them, but many remained in central Illinois and refused to leave until they were forcibly removed by the military in 1834. Fewer than half...

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