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For the whole month of November, we are celebrating Native American Heritage Month in order to recognize, honor, and learn more about the cultural impact of Native Americans. Every Tuesday in November we will be focusing on the history and significant contributions of Native Americans. 

Today we will be focusing on Native Americans that were established in what is now the state of Texas. Many of us correlate the origins of Texas to the arrival of Spanish explorers in the 1500s. However, according to the Bullock Museum “hundreds of different groups of native peoples with a variety of languages, customs, and beliefs lived on the land for at least 11,000 years before the arrival of Europeans.” Let’s dive in to learn more about some of the Native American Tribes of Texas. 

The Caddo Tribe: 

  • There were two main groups of Caddo in Texas: The Kadohadacho, who lived in large villages along the Red River and the Hasinais, who lived in present day Nacogdoches. 
  • In Caddo language, taysha means “friend” or “ally”. The Spanish spelled it tejas, which is what we know now as Texas. 
  • The Caddo lived in tall cone shaped grass huts and were sedentary farmers. 
  • It is estimated that perhaps 95% of the Caddo population was decimated in major epidemics between 1691 and 1816. Today, the Caddo live primarily in Caddo County, Oklahoma. 

The Apache Tribe: 

  • The Apaches that lived in Texas were the Lipan and Mescalaro Apaches that dominated almost all of West Texas. 
  • They were the first American Indians to ride horses which allowed them to live a nomadic life following the buffalo herds. 
  • Tribal leaders were always male, but the lifestyles of the tribe were often shaped by females and their families. When an Apache male married, he went to live with his bride’s family. 

The Comanche Tribe: 

  • The Comanches that lived in Texas we located all the way from the Panhandle to Central Texas. 
  • Like the Apaches, the Comanches lived a nomadic lifestyle following buffalo heards that provided them food, shelter, and clothing. The used the buffalo hide to create Tipis.  
  • When horses were introduced in the seventeenth century, the Comanche Indians quickly became known for their horsemanship. Even the children becoming skilled equestrians at an early age!


These are just a few of the Native American tribes that lived in Texas. Here is the complete list of Native American Tribes in Texas: 

The Bidai Tribe 

The Coahuiltecan and Carrizo Tribes 

The Jumano, Suma, Piro, and other eastern Pueblos  

The Karankawa Tribe 

The Kiowa Tribe 

The Kitsai Tribe 

The Tawakoni Tribe 

The Tonkawa Tribe 

The Wichita Tribe  


Thank you to our sources: 


Authored by: cmccauley