Welcome to the Wichita Tribe Archives of the state of Oklahoma!
The name Wichita was apparently first used in 1719 by French trader Benard de la Harpe when he visited several Indian bands on the Arkansas River in Oklahoma. He called one band the Onisistas; variations occurred regularly. Subsequently, in 1835, Americans concluding a treaty with the tribe, referred to then as Witchetaws, from which the current name was derived. The Wichita call themselves Kitikiti'sh, interpreted as "raccoon-eyed."
In the early 1700's, the Wichita were a Southern confederacy of Caddoan tribes along the Arkansas River in Oklahoma , and along the Red and Brazos Rivers in Texas. By the 1850's, they lived around the Wichita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma and later, along Rush Creek in Grady County. The Rush Creek site is where the tragic Battle of the Wichita Village took place: In 1858, parts of the Second U.S. Cavalry (tracking Comanche raiders fleeing from Texas) mistakenly attacked. Their village destroyed, they took refuge at Ft. Arbuckle. In 1859, the tribe agreed to relocate to what would become the Wichita-Caddo Reservation. They were joined by other tribes expelled from the Brazos Reserve in Texas.
During the Civil War they aligned with the Confederacy, but the tribe split and most fled to Kansas, where some fought for the Union. (The site of their war village is today the city of Wichita) In 1867, they returned to their reservation, and as more and more members of related Caddoan tribes were sent to the Wichita Agency, they became known as the Wichita and Caddo Reservation.
Beginning in 1894, the tribe was assigned individual allotments, and in 1901, the remaining land was opened to homesteaders.
Oklahoma Landmark~The Ferdinandina archaeological site of the Wichita village, 1700-1750 (Kay County)
Gene Phillips -State Archivist
Linda Simpson - Archivist-Indian Nations/Indian Territory
Help the Wichita Tribe Archives grow, kindly submit your data.
If you have any cemetery records, bible records, deeds, applications for citizenship in the Wichita Tribe, land patents, probate records, allotment records, etc, that pertain to the Wichita Tribe, please send them to me as an attachment in an e-mail to Interim File Manager. Please be sure to identify that it is for the Wichita Tribe. It also needs to be a plain text file, no HTML and no images. This ensures that everybody will be able to read it, no matter what kind of web browser. Here is a help file.
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Last Updated: 29 Aug 2009