Kichai people

Last updated
Nasuteas (Kichai Woman), Wichita.jpg
Nasuteas (Kichai Woman), a Kichai that was part of the Wichita tribe, 1898
Total population
descendants are part of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes [1]
Regions with significant populations
United States (Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas)
Kitsai language
traditional tribal religion, Christianity [1]
Related ethnic groups
Caddo, Pawnee, Wichita people

The Kichai tribe (also Keechi or Kitsai) was a Native American Southern Plains tribe that lived in Texas, [2] Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Their name for themselves was K'itaish.

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".

Plains Indians Native Americans/First Nations peoples of the Great Plains of North America.

Plains Indians, Interior Plains Indians or Indigenous people of the Great Plains and Canadian Prairies are the Native American tribes and First Nation band governments who have traditionally lived on the greater Interior Plains in North America. Their historic nomadic culture and development of equestrian culture and resistance to domination by the government and military forces of Canada and the United States have made the Plains Indian culture groups an archetype in literature and art for American Indians everywhere.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.



The Kichai were most closely related to the Pawnee. [1] French explorers encountered them on the Red River in Louisiana in 1701. [3] By the 1830s and 1840s, they lived in Southern and Southwestern Oklahoma with the Wichita and in the Muscogee Creek Nation. [1]

Pawnee people ethnic group

The Pawnee are a Plains Indian tribe who are headquartered in Pawnee, Oklahoma. Pawnee people are enrolled in the federally recognized Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. Historically, they lived in Nebraska and Kansas. In the Pawnee language, the Pawnee people refer to themselves as Chatiks si chatiks or "Men of Men."

Red River of the South major tributary of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers in the southern United States

The Red River, or sometimes the Red River of the South, is a major river in the southern United States of America. It was named for the red-bed country of its watershed. It is one of several rivers with that name. Although it was once a tributary of the Mississippi River, the Red River is now a tributary of the Atchafalaya River, a distributary of the Mississippi that flows separately into the Gulf of Mexico. It is connected to the Mississippi River by the Old River Control Structure.

Louisiana State of the United States of America

Louisiana is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U.S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are equivalent to counties. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans.

The Kichai were part of the complex, shifting political alliances of the South Plains. Early Europeans identified them as enemies of the Caddo. [4] In 1712, they fought the Hainai along the Trinity River; [3] however, they were allied with other member tribes of the Caddoan Confederacy and intermarried with the Kadohadacho during this time. [3]

Caddo confederacy of several Southeastern Native American tribes

The Caddo Nation is a confederacy of several Southeastern Native American tribes. Their ancestors historically inhabited much of what is now East Texas, Louisiana, and portions of southern Arkansas and Oklahoma. They were descendants of the Caddoan Mississippian culture that constructed huge earthwork mounds at several sites in this territory. In the early 19th century, Caddo people were forced to a reservation in Texas; they were removed to Indian Territory in 1859.

Hainai is the name of a Native American tribe that lived in what is now east Texas.

Trinity River (Texas) river in Texas

The Trinity River is a 710-mile-long (1,140 km) river in Texas, and is the longest river with a watershed entirely within the U.S. state of Texas. It rises in extreme northern Texas, a few miles south of the Red River. The headwaters are separated by the high bluffs on the southern side of the Red River.

By 1772, they primarily settled east of the Trinity River, near present-day Palestine, Texas. [5]

Palestine, Texas City in Texas, United States

Palestine is a city in and the county seat of Anderson County in Texas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 18,712. Palestine was named for Palestine, Illinois, by preacher Daniel Parker. Another source says that it was named by migrant Micham Main for the same hometown.

On November 10, 1837, the Texas Rangers fought the Kichai in the Battle of Stone Houses. The Kichai were victorious, despite losing their leader in the first attack. [6]

Texas Ranger Division Texas law enforcement agency

The Texas Ranger Division, commonly called the Texas Rangers, is a U.S statewide investigative law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction in Texas, based in the capital city of Austin. Over the years, the Texas Rangers have investigated crimes ranging from murder to political corruption, acted in riot control and as detectives, protected the governor of Texas, tracked down fugitives, and functioned as a paramilitary force at the service of both the Republic (1836–1845) and the state of Texas.

Battle of Stone Houses

The Battle of Stone Houses was a skirmish between Texas Rangers and a band of Kichai Indians which took place on November 10, 1837. The skirmish, which took place ten miles south of what is now Windthorst, Texas, was named for three stone mounds near the battlefield which appeared to the Indians to be small houses.

20th and 21st centuries

Caddo-Wichita-Delaware lands were broken up to individual allotments in the beginning of the 20th century. Kichai people's allotted lands were mainly in Caddo County, Oklahoma. Forty-seven full-blood Kichai lived in Oklahoma in 1950. There were only four at the end of the 20th century. [1]

Caddo County, Oklahoma County in the United States

Caddo County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 29,600. Its county seat is Anadarko. Created in 1901 as part of Oklahoma Territory, the county is named for the Caddo tribe who were settled here on a reservation in the 1870s. Caddo County is immediately west of the seven-county Greater Oklahoma City metro area, and although is not officially in the metro area, it has many economic ties in this region.

The Kichai are not a distinct federally recognized tribe, but they are instead enrolled in the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes. These tribes live mostly in Southwestern Oklahoma, particularly in Caddo County, to which they were forcibly relocated by the United States Government in the 19th century.


The Kichai language is a member of the Caddoan language family, along with Arikara, Pawnee, and Wichita. [7]

Kai Kai, a Kichai woman from Anadarko, Oklahoma, was the last known fluent speaker of the Kichai language. She collaborated with Dr. Alexander Lesser to record and document the language. [8]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Sanchez, Joe. "Kichai". Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  2. Sturtevant, 6
  3. 1 2 3 Kichai Indian History. Access Genealogy. (retrieved 6 Sept 2009)
  4. Sturtevant, 618
  5. Krieger, Margery H. Kitchai Indians. The Handbook of Texas Online. (retrieved 6 Sept 2009)
  6. Loftin, Jack O. Stone Houses, Battle of. The Handbook of Texas Online. (retrieved 6 Sept 2009)
  7. Sturtevant, 616
  8. Science: Last of the Kitsai. Time. 27 June 1932 (retrieved 6 Sept 2009)

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