Waco Indians

Waco Indians. According to Lesser and Weltfish (1932), from Wehiko, a corruption of Mexico, and given the name because they were always fighting with the Mexicans. The same authorities report that the Waco are thought to have been a part of the Tawakoni without an independent village but separated later. Also called:

  • Gentlemen Indians, by Bollaert (1850).
  • Houechas, Huanchane, by French writers, possibly intended for this tribe.

Waco Connections. The Waco were most closely related to the Tawakoni of the Wichita group of tribes belonging to the Caddoan Stock.

Waco Location. They appear first in connection with their village on the site of the present Waco, Texas, though their original home was in Oklahoma with the Wichita.

Waco Villages. Quiscat, named from its chief, on the west side of the Brazos on a bluff or plateau above some springs and not far from the present Waco.

Waco History. According to native informants as reported by Lesser and Weltfish (1932), the Waco are formerly supposed to have constituted a part of the Tawakoni without an independent village. It has also been suggested that they may have been identical with the Yscani, but Lesser and Weltfish identify the Yscani with another band. Another possibility is that the Waco are descendants of the Shuman tribe. In later times the Waco merged with the Tawakoni and Wichita.

Waco Population. In 1824 the Waco had a village of 33 grass houses and about 100 men, and a second village of 15 houses and an unnamed number of men. In 1859, just before their removal from Texas, they numbered 171. They are usually enumerated with the Wichita, but the census of 1910 returned 5 survivors.

Connection in which they have become noted. Almost the sole claim to special remembrance enjoyed by the Waco is the fact that its name was adopted by the important city of Waco, Texas. It also appears as the name of places in Sedgwick County, Kansas; Madison County, Kentucky; Jasper County, Missouri; Smith County, Mississippi; Haralson County, Georgia; York County, Nebraska; Cleveland County, North Carolina; Stark County, Ohio; and in Tennessee; but it is uncertain whether the designations of all these came originally from the Waco tribe.

Caddoan, Waco,

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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