American Indian Tribal Affiliation Study
Phase I: Ethnohistoric Literature Review
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This document presents the results of an archival study focusing on the native groups that have or may have historical ties to the lands of the Amistad National Recreation Area (Amistad NRA). Its purpose is to identify those groups who may have affiliations with these lands for the National Park Service in order that park planners can solicit input from modern Native Americans. However, the document has potential utility for other federal and state agencies. Two of these agencies are the Federal Highway Administration and the Texas Department of Transportation. Like the National Park Service, these agencies also have responsibilities under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. Therefore, in the spirit of interagency cooperation, the Texas Department of Transportation arranged for publication of this document.

For the most part, the study focuses on a wide variety of documentary records (e.g., ecclesiastical and death records of the Spanish missions in and near Texas, hand-written Spanish and English letters, diaries, military reports, governmental records, maps, censuses, etc.). Although these records are biased, they are invaluable for this unit of the National Park system because archeological data related to the historic residents of the region are modest. These documents, then, often represent a primary source of information on the inhabitants, their culture, their mode of living, and their interaction with the environment and the European newcomers.

Using these data, together with the archeological information, the authors identify a number of native groups who occupied and/or exploited the lands of the Amistad National Recreation Area. The earliest are multiple groups of small bands with a variety of names that generally disappeared from the historical records by the mid-to-late eighteenth century as the members of these small groups merged with broader, more powerful ethnic entities. At first, they merged with the Apache, and later with the Comanche, Tonkawa, Seminole, and others. By the latter half of the Nineteenth Century, most of these groups had removed to Indian Territory. Today, only the Seminole Maroons and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas reside in the general region where the Amistad NRA is situated.

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Last Updated: 24-Apr-2007