Upcoming Events
  • Week of the Young Child
    April 27, 2017

    8:45 am to 2:00 pm

    Flyer 

  • 2017 High School Senior Assistance
    Through the Academic Year

    Enrolled Wichita tribal members may apply for assistance with senior pictures, graduation announcements, and/or a class ring.

    More information can be found here.

    Application- One Two

  • Annual Meeting
    July 15, 2017

    The 2017 Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, July 15, 2017 beginning at 10:00 a.m.  An agenda will be posted in the upcoming months.  Please mark your calendars. 

  • Wichita Annual Dance
    August 10-13, 2017

    More information to come in the upcoming months. 

Wichita Language
kawá:rah
horse
More Wichita Words
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Wichita Tribes Blog
  • Wichita Tribe Summer Intern Program
    April 14, 2017 1:34 PM

    The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes is currently accepting applications from enrolled Wichita Tribal members who are interested in participating in the summer intern program located at the Wichita Tribal complex.  This program is established for Wichita graduating seniors and Tribal college students that will be attending college in the fall of 2017.  This will be […]

  • ELDER LAWN MOWING PROGRAM-APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE 
    April 14, 2017 1:30 PM

    2017 cutting grass season has begun. Cutting began April 10, 2017 but applications are still available. If you would like more information about the Elders Lawn Service, please contact Aldelzon Saldana at (405)247-2425 or email at maintenance@wichitatribe.com.

  • Wichita Tribal Member, Adrian Labrada, Signs with USAO for Cross Country
    April 14, 2017 1:21 PM

    On April 11, 2017, Wichita Tribal Member, Adrain Labrada, signed with USAO to run cross-country. Adrian is graduating senior at Anadarko High School and is very active in sports. Congratulations Adrian! We will have more about Adrian in our upcoming April newspaper. Front row: (Nephew) Jeremiah Beaver, (Mother) Crystal LaBrada, (Signee) Adrian LaBrada (Wichita Tribal […]

  • Vacancy Announcement-Grant Writer/Compliance Officer
    April 14, 2017 1:01 PM

    The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes accepting applications for Grant Writer/Compliance Officer. Applications available at the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes or www.wichitatribe.com. For information call (405) 247-2425. Indian Preference applies. Closing date is April 28, 2017 at 5 p.m.    

  • Sugar Creek Casino Job Postings
    April 14, 2017 12:59 PM

  • Wichita Song Class
    April 14, 2017 12:58 PM

    The Wichita song class will meet at 7:00pm, Monday, April 17th in the portable building at the Wichita Tribal Complex. The class is open to enrolled and descendant Wichita males of all ages. Instruction will be provided by Jimmy Reeder. For more information you may contact Gary McAdams at (405)247-2425, Ext. 169.

  • WDEP Earth Day 2017
    April 12, 2017 3:02 PM

  • Wichitas to Conduct Archaeology Workshop
    April 12, 2017 3:01 PM

    The Wichita Cultural Education Program (WCEP) in partnership with the University of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Archaeological Survey are excited to announce their upcoming workshop series for young adults focused on Wichita heritage and archaeology. Come join us Sunday, May 14th from 1:00-3:00pm as we explore the tools and methods used by archaeologists. These will […]

  • Wichita Hymn Class
    April 11, 2017 9:13 PM

    Wichita Hymn Class The Wichita Cultural Education Program will be sponsoring a Wichita hymn class beginning April 13th. The class will meet at 7:30pm in the portable building at the Wichita Tribal Complex and is open to enrolled and descendant Wichitas of all ages. Instruction will be provided by Jimmy Reeder. For more information you […]

  • WCEP to Co-Sponsor 2nd Annual Easter Hand Game
    April 6, 2017 10:06 PM

    WCEP to Co-Sponsor 2nd Annual Easter Hand Game The Wichita Cultural Education Program will co-sponsor with the Wichita Young Men’s Society and the Wichita Little Sisters the 2nd Annual Easter Hand Game on April 8, 2017. Activities will begin with a potluck meal at 6:00 PM followed by the hand game. Between games Wichita songs […]

Wichita-Pawnee Visitation

The Wichita-Pawnee Visitation is perhaps the longest running tradition carried on by two Tribes in the lower 48 states. It has been going on continuously for well over a century and there is some scientific evidence as well as oral tradition that the visitation is several centuries old.

Linquistically, the Wichita and Pawnee are from one language family, accordingly, they were in the past, one people. It is estimated that a separation occurred about 800 to 1200 years ago and consequently, the languages developed differently from that point and the two Tribes, it seems, became unknown to one another. Sometime after that, contact was re-established and according to oral tradition the relationship was renewed.

As it is conducted today, the visitation consists of a traditional encampment with the Wichitas being the hosts in odd numbered years and the Pawnees being the hosts in even numbered years. The encampment usually lasts about ten days.

The visitation is initiated in the spring of each year when the leaders of each Tribe confer and decide when the visit will begin. Historically, the date set is around the middle of July.

From the Wichita perspective, on the day the visitation is to begin (which is usually a Wednesday) the Wichitas will meet at a place selected by the Wichita Tobacco Man for a tobacco making ceremony and a communal meal. Once the men conclude the ceremony and the meal is eaten, the group leaves for Pawnee, OK. Upon arrival in Pawnee no one proceeds to the site of the visitation until the Wichita leaders deliver the tobacco to the Pawnee Tobacco Man and it is accepted by him. At that time the Wichita leaders return to the group and leads them to the campground. Everyone then proceeds to set up their camps. That evening the Pawnees will provide a meal. When all of the food has been placed on the tables near the center of the arena, the Pawnee leader will come to the Wichita camp and invite the visitors over to the arena. Once everyone is gathered for the meal, the Pawnee leader will get up and give a talk about the visitation and welcome the visitors and then give a prayer or select one of the Pawnee men to give the prayer. Then the wife or female relative of the Pawnee leader will select the women who will serve the meal. The Wichita men will line up first, then the Wichita women followed by the Pawnee men and lastly the Pawnee women.

After the meal, the Wichita leader or a designee gets up and thanks the Pawnees and offers some remarks about the visitation and everyone is dismissed. Thus begins a cycle which includes breakfasts, lunches, and evening meals provided by various members of the host Tribe. And usually, a handgame is held every evening accept for the first evening and the evening prior to the Giveaway Day.

Along about the third day of the visitation, the Pawnee leader will set the day for the tobacco ceremony which is conducted by the men of both Tribes. On the day of the ceremony the Pawnee leader will come to the Wichita camp to invite the Wichita men to come to the special place which has been selected to hold the ceremony. At the ceremony each man is given the opportunity to express themselves; the tobacco which was delivered by the Wichita will be ritually opened and smoked by all the men present in a pipe ceremony. Upon the opening of the tobacco the Pawnee men present will make monetary donations and the date for the giveaway will be set. After everyone has smoked, the man handling the pipe will go outside the circle and offer a prayer. Then a meal is shared, Wichita thank yous are given and the ceremony is concluded.

Giveaway Day begins with a noon meal. When all the food has been placed on the tables in the arena, the Pawnee leader will come to the Wichita camp to invite them to the meal. The set-up is different from the other mealn in that separate tables are set for the Wichita and Pawnee respectively. The Wichita women serve the Wichitas and the Pawnee women serve the Pawnees. Once everyone is gathered at the danceground the Pawnee leader gets up and addresses the gathering, first speaking to the Wichita people and then to his own people. At the conclusion of his speech he will select someone to pray for the meal and the activities that follow. Sometimes he will turn the meal over to the Wichitas and the Wichita leader will dispense wiht these duties. When the meal is finished, the Wichita leader speaks to the gathering, expressing his thoughts about the visitation and giving his thanks for the meal and for everything the Pawnees have done for his people. After his talkeveryone is dismissed so that things can be made ready for the giveaway.

The giveaway customarily begins with a series of round dance songs then a wardance song is sung for the Pawnee leader and then for his helpers.Other Pawnees may request songs or else they just get up and giveaway during any of the wardance songs. When the Pawnees are done, the drum is turned over to the Wichitas. The first song sung by the Wichitas is called the Thank You song. Then songs are sung for the Wichita leader, his helpers and any other Wichita that requests one.

After each song , the Wichita who requested the song announces his/her pledge for the next year when the Pawnees come to visit the Wichitas.

Once the pledges are completed the drum is turned back to the Pawnees who conclude the program with a prayer song. Ther are no activities scheduled for the evening.

The next morning the Wichitas break camp, making a special effort to leave the camp area in the same condition as when they arrived.When everyone is packed up and ready to go, they will get in their vehicles and line up near the dance arena. Then the men of the two Tribes will line up in the arena facing each other and say their thank yous and good-byes. At the conclusion of the talks a prayer song is sung. Then all the Wichita women and children can go among the Pawnees present to say their thank yous and good-byes. Thus, the visitation is concluded until next year when the Pawnees come to visit the Wichitas.