Tawakoni Indians

Tawakoni Indians. Said to refer to “a river bend among red hills,” or “neck of land in the water.” The synonyms should not be confounded with those of the Tonkawa. Also called:

  • Three Canes, an English form resulting from a mistaken attempt to translate the French spelling of their name, Troiscannes.

Tawakoni Connections. The Tawakoni belonged to the Caddoan linguistic stock and were most closely connected with the Wichita, the two languages differing but slightly.

Tawakoni Location. They were on the Canadian River about north of the upper Washita. (See also Texas.)

Tawakoni Villages

  • Flechazos, on the west side of Brazos River near the present Waco.

Tawakoni History. The Tawakoni were first met in the above location in company with the Wichita and other related tribes. Within the next 50 years, probably as a result of pressure on the part of more northerly peoples, they moved south and in 1772 they were settled in two groups on Brazos and Trinity Rivers, about Waco and above Palestine. By 1779 the group on the Trinity had rejoined those on the Brazos. In 1824 part of the Tawakoni were again back on Trinity River. In 1855 they were established on a reservation near Fort Belknap on the Brazos, but in 1859 were forced, by the hostility of the Texans, to move north into southwestern Oklahoma, where they were officially incorporated with the Wichita.

Tawakoni Population. Mooney (1928) includes the Tawakoni among the Wichita (q. v.). In 1772 Mezieres reported 36 houses and 120 warriors in the Trinity village and 30 families in the Brazos village, perhaps 220 warriors in all. In 1778?79 he reported that these two towns, then on the Brazos, contained more than 300 warriors. Sibley (1832) reported that in 1805 the Tawakoni, probably including the Waco, numbered 200 men. In 1859 they were said to number 204 exclusive of the Waco. The census of 1910 records only a single survivor of this tribe.

Caddoan, Tawakoni,

Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

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