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Notes on the History and Material Culture of the Tonkawa Indians

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dc.contributor.author Jones, William K. en
dc.date.accessioned 2007-05-29T12:51:06Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-14T19:01:24Z
dc.date.available 2007-05-29T12:51:06Z en_US
dc.date.available 2013-03-14T19:01:24Z
dc.date.issued 1969
dc.identifier.citation Jones, William K. 1969. "<a href="http%3A%2F%2Fdx.doi.org%2F10.5479%2Fsi.00810223.2.5">Notes on the History and Material Culture of the Tonkawa Indians</a>." <em>Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology</em>. 1&ndash;65. <a href="https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.2.5">https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.2.5</a> en
dc.identifier.issn 0081-0223
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.2.5
dc.description.abstract One of the little-known tribes of central Texas was the Tonkawa. Few objects made and used by the Tonkawa are preserved in museum collections, and no description of traditional Tonkawa material culture, based upon a study of actual specimens, has appeared in the literature. Nevertheless, a small but unique collection of Tonkawa materials has been a part of the ethnological collections of the Smithsonian Institution for a century. It is unique, not only because it is the earliest known Tonkawa collection, antedating the extermination of the bison on the Southern Plains, but also because the time, place, and conditions under which the collection was made in the field are well documented. In order to place this collection in a meaningful cultural and chronological context I have prefaced my description of the specimens with a brief historical sketch of the Tonkawa, with particular emphasis upon the years immediately preceding the acquisition of these materials by Dr. McElderry at Fort Griffin, Texas, in 1868.<br/>Although the Tonkawa call themselves <I>Títskan wátitch</I>, "the most human people," the tribal name is derived from the Waco name for these people, Tonkaweya, meaning "they all stay together." The Comanche and Kiowa, northwestern neighbors and longtime enemies of the Tonkawa, knew them by names which, in translation, meant "man-eating men" or "maneaters." The Tonkawan language apparently was affiliated with Karankawa, Comecrudo, and Cotoname through the common Coahuiltecan stock, although too little is known of the languages of those extinct tribes to establish with certainty the closeness of their relationship to Tonkawan.<br/>Available data on Tonkawa population, covering a period of nearly 200 years, indicate that the Tonkawa were not a large tribe. A Spanish estimate in 1778 gives 300 warriors. Sibley estimated the Tonkawa at but 200 men in 1805, and the tribal population continued to decline thereafter. Heavy war losses, epidemics, and loss of tribal identity through marriages outside the tribe, as well as other factors, contributed to this decline. Of the sixty-two Tonkawa Indians on the tribal rolls in 1961, only three individuals were believed to be fullblood Tonkawa. (Swanton, 1952, p. 327; Hasskarl, 1962, p. 228.)<br/>If archeological evidence of the Tonkawa exists, it may be represented in the Toyah Focus of the Central Texas Aspect. Dr. Edward B. Jelks states that if the Toyah Focus material excavated at the Kyle Site, located on the Brazos River just above Whitney Dam in Hill County, Texas, can be related to a historic group, it is probably Tonkawa and/or Jumano. But he also believes that this focus may have come to an end in the late prehistoric period and another, yet undescribed, group may have taken its place. This later group, represented by triangular arrow points, Goliad Plain pottery, and other artifact styles, "may represent the archeological remains of the historic and protohistoric Tonkawa &amp;hellip;." Radiocarbon dates from the Toyah Focus at the Kyle Site range from A.D. 1276&amp;plusmn;165 years to A.D. 1561&amp;plusmn;130 years. (Jelks, 1962, p. 99.) en
dc.format.extent 11403344 bytes en_US
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dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.relation.ispartof Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology en
dc.title Notes on the History and Material Culture of the Tonkawa Indians en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 113383
dc.identifier.eISSN 1943-6661 en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.5479/si.00810223.2.5
rft.jtitle Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology
rft.issue 2
rft.spage 1
rft.epage 65
dc.description.SIUnit SISP en
dc.citation.spage 1
dc.citation.epage 65
dc.relation.url http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.2.5

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