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Indians of Texas

Though many older historical narratives of Texas portray the Indians as enemies of and obstacles to the European and American settlement of Texas, the reality was far more complicated than the civilization-versus-savagery schema so frequently employed in the past. The variety of the peoples and cultures whom Europeans first found in Texas and the different histories of each group make generalizations about Indians hazardous. This quiz is designed to test and perhaps even expand your knowledge of just a few of the hundreds of groups of Texas “Indians,” as the first European explorers to arrive called the peoples they found.

As usual, this is an open-book quiz; you might find the Handbook of Texas Online entries on Indians and various associated topics, such as Indian relations, Indian reservations, and military history, useful in answering the questions below. You might also want to use the Online Handbook’s search engine to look up some of the relevant terms.

You may submit your answers online by including your name and e-mail address below. As prizes for our winners, in addition to well-earned bragging rights, we are offering five $50 gift certificates for TSHA membership or publications. One prize will go to the first entry received with ten correct answers. Another will be chosen at random from all other “perfect” entries received by December 7, 2005, and the final three will be given to the first three school groups submitting entries with at least eight correct answers.

The Questions

Question 1 :
In 1528 this tribe was part of the first recorded contact between Texas Indians and Europeans, when the survivors (including Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca) of the ill-fated Spanish expedition led by Pánfilo de Narváez washed up on an island to the west of Galveston Island.

Caddo Indians
Jumano Indians
Tonkawa Indians
Karankawa Indians
Kiowa Indians

Question 2 :
This famous painter of Indians accompanied a contingent of soldiers on an 1834 expedition from Fort Gibson, Arkansas Territory, which was the source for several paintings depicting "Texas" as well as the basis for his later claims of prolonged experience traversing Texas. But he apparently never actually crossed the Red River, the international boundary between Indian Territory and Texas.

Seth Eastman
George Catlin
Robert Onderdonk
Frank Reaugh
Friedrich Richard Petri

Question 3 :
This early Texas leader was an implacable foe of the Indian, and sought to destroy them or drive them from Texas. "The proper policy to be pursued towards the barbarian race, is absolute expulsion from the country," he said in 1839. "The white man and the red man cannot dwell in harmony together. Nature forbids it." Who was this leader?

Lawrence Sullivan (Sul) Ross
Mirabeau Lamar
Sam Houston
Stephen Austin
David Burnet

Question 4 :
In 1854 the War Department ordered two men to locate and survey land for Indian reservations in unsettled territory in Texas. Who were these famous men?

Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving
William H. Emory and John R. Bartlett
John Coffee Hays and Samuel Highsmith
William H. C. Whiting and William F. Smith
Randolph B. Marcy and Robert S. Neighbors

Question 5 :
This battle, in which some 700 Plains Indians attacked a buffalo hunters’ camp in what is now Hutchinson County, featured a famous incident in which Billy Dixon supposedly shot one of the attackers off his horse seven-eighths of a mile away. The battle led to the Red River War of 1874–75, which resulted in the final relocation of the Southern Plains Indians to reservations in what is now Oklahoma.

Buffalo Wallow Fight
Council House Fight
Second Battle of Adobe Walls
Battle of Palo Duro Canyon
Battle of Rattlesnake Springs

Question 6 :
This famous Quahadi Comanche chief was the son of a famous chief and a famous Indian captive. Though as a young man he was a major figure in his tribe’s resistance to white settlement, he later adapted with seeming ease to reservation life and became perhaps the wealthiest Indian in America, thanks in part to his shrewd investment in railroad stock.

Peta Nocona
Buffalo Hump
Big Tree
Quanah Parker

Question 7 :
This tribe is descended from the approximately 317 refugees of the Lower Rio Grande pueblos who accompanied the Spanish from New Mexico to El Paso during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. The settlement established for them was named Ysleta del Sur, or Ysleta of the South, to distinguish it from their former home in Isleta, New Mexico, near what is now Albuquerque. For many years ethnologists had thought them extinct, but Texas and then the United States formally recognized the tribe in the late 1960s.

Tigua Indians
Caddo Indians
Jumano Indians
Coahuiltecan Indians
Orcoquiza Indians

Question 8 :

The Comanches believed that this chieftain and medicine man could blow approaching missiles aside with his breath, and he made a practice of wearing a Spanish-type coat of mail into battle. The jacket failed to protect him, however, and he was killed in 1858 on the South Canadian River in a battle with a combined force of Texas Rangers and Brazos Reservation Indians. Who was he?

Kicking Bird
Iron Jacket
Black Horse

Question 9 :
This famous curandero, or faith healer, was born in Mexico of Tarascan Indian parents and moved to South Texas as a young man. As his fame spread, an increasing number of patients came to his home. He died in 1907 and was buried in the old ranch cemetery near Falfurrias. His resting place has become a shrine and is visited by several hundred persons yearly. Who was he?

Santa Adiva
Juan Rodriguez
Jose Maria
Miguel Pedraza Sr.
Pedro Jaramillo

Question 10 :

This member of the Hasinai tribe served as a guide and interpreter for the Spanish founders of missions in East Texas in the late seventeenth century, is also believed to have rescued French officer François Simars de Bellisle from the Hasinais and sent him back to his people, and is the namesake of a Texas river. Can you name this “learned” and “sagacious” Indian?

El Turco

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