Ethnic Texans

Open access books on Texas ethnic groups

Institute of Texan Cultures' Texans Series

Archeologists believe that many thousands of years ago, people from Asia came to North America. Then, little by little, they moved south through the Americas. Some of these early people came in small groups to what is now Texas, and archeologists think that they arrived here about 12,000 years ago. These people came to be known as Native Americans and they make up many diverse tribes and cultural groups.

The earliest people of Texas were nomadic and they moved from place to place, following large animals that they killed for food. Native Americans that lived on the plains, such as the Apaches, Kiowas, Comanches, Wichitas and Tonkawas, followed buffalo herds and depended on these animals for food, clothing, tools and even their shelter. They used every part of the Buffalo and nothing went to waste.

After Europeans brought horses and guns to the Texas, these tribes became excellent mounted hunters. As more settlers came to Texas, however, Native Americans were pushed off their land and could no longer live and hunt as they had for thousands of years. Instead of moving to follow buffalo herds, tribes were forced to move onto new reservation land set aside for them by the U.S.

Handbook of Texas