Karankawa
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Karankawa
Explore the Karankawa tribe of Texas
Curated by Deborah Valdez
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The Karankawa

The Karankawa | Karankawa | Scoop.it

The impression they left on those that wrote of encounters with the tribes were monumental. The men were strikingly tall, described to be between six and almost seven feet. They were tattooed and wore shell ornaments and many greased themselves down with shark liver oil to ward off mosquitoes and other biting insects.

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Karankawa fact sheet, Texas Indians

Karankawa fact sheet, Texas Indians | Karankawa | Scoop.it

We do not know very much about how the Karankawa related to the other Indian cultures around them. The newest theories suggest that the Karankawa would share camps with and trade with the Coahuiltecans at the west end of their territory. Cabeza de Vaca, who lived with the Karankawa tells us that the Karankawa traded regularly with inland tribes to the north of them, probably the Caddo and Tonkawa. They traded conch shells and other sea shell for pigments like ocher and for buffalo robes.

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The Karankawa Indians

The Karankawa Indians | Karankawa | Scoop.it

The Karankawa used a crude canoe, commonly known as a Dugout, to travel by water. They would take a large tree trunk,about twenty feet long and hollow it out. The Indians used a crude tool called a Adze to hollow out their Conoes.The Indians would take hot coals and place them on top of the tree trunk, then taking the Adze they would hollow it out. They propelled themselves, in their dugouts, by hand or erected a crude sail out of animal skins.

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Karankawa Indians

Karankawa Indians | Karankawa | Scoop.it

During the summers in Texas, fish moved back into deep water off shore in the Gulf where the Karankawa could not reach them. The oysters and clams are not safe to eat in hot weather. So, to find food the Karankawa would break up into smaller groups or bands and go inland to hunt and gather. In the summer there are lots of berries and edible plants and plant roots. Early accounts tell that the Karankawa seem to like a certain root that grew in shallow water. They would wade into the shallow water and collect lots of these roots. No one nowadays is really sure just what plant these roots came from. There are also deer, rabbits, turtles, turkeys and other edible animals. Sometimes food was hard to find and they went hungry for days at a time.

The Karankawa are all gone now. They disappeared sometime in the early 1800s. In 1840 only about 100 Karankawas were left. By 1850 they were gone.

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