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
iha:skhwa:cʔ asi:rʔa
moccasins (shoes)
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 […]

People of the Grass House: 1750-1820

"Here they lived the woman fixing up the place, building their grass lodge and shed to dry meat, Man-Fond-of-Deer-Meat doing all the hunting . . . They lived here a good long while, the woman remaining at home, the man going out hunting every day. They always had plenty of meat, and the woman raised corn, so they had plenty to eat." - Niastor in The Mythology of the Wichita, 1904

The Southern Plains is a land of seasonal changes with spring thunderstorms, hot summer days, and cool but dry winter months. The Wichitas adapted to this environment and reaped abundant harvests from the land by farming and hunting. During the spring, summer, and early fall they lived in grass house villages while the women cultivated nearby gardens. Crops were planted together in the gardens. Each summer, beans climbed the stalks of multicolored corn, and green leafed squash or "pumpkin" plants spread their vines over the ground.

As summer days shortened and crisp fall mornings dawned, women preserved their harvested corn by roasting and drying it in the sun. Pumpkins were cut into long strips and also sun-dried before being woven into mats which could be folded and stored for later use. The dried corn and pumpkin were used in meat soups or boiled for side dishes. Cornmeal was made by grinding dried corn with a wooden mortar or grinding stone. This cornmeal was then made into bread. Pumpkin mats were often traded to the Comanches or Kiowas for dried buffalo meat. Preserved foods were stored in buffalo-hide bags in underground cache pits until they were needed later in the year or when the harvest was poor and food was scarce.

During the late fall and winter, the Wichitas left their villages for extended buffalo hunts. Living in tipis with family members camping near one another, the men tried to bring in enough game to provide meat for later seasons. Women prepared the meat by thinly slicing it and hanging it to dry in the cool winter's sun. Afterwards, the meat could be transported and stored in buffalo-hide bags for future use. Through the cooperative efforts of both men and women, the annual economic cycle began as the people returned to their summer villages.

Their grass houses, vacant through the winter months, often needed repairs before they could be reoccupied comfortably. Working as a team, family members cut bundles of bluestem grass; women or boys climbed up the cedar frames to repair the walls. The houses could accommodate a family of 10 to 12 people, including a woman and her husband, their unmarried children, as well as their married daughters and sons-in-law, and their grandchildren. Most matters were decided within the individual families, although each village had leaders chosen by a council of outstanding warriors. These leaders were selected because of their demonstrated wisdom, bravery, and generosity.

Wichita ceremonial life closely followed the seasonal round of economic activities. The deer dance, a ceremony performed by the medicine men, was held when the first grass appeared, when corn ripened, and when corn was harvested. The calumet ceremony, involving the presentation of a feathered pipestem to a prominent individual, was believed to be of lasting benefit to the tribe. Other ceremonies were performed to ensure good harvests, the successful return of war parties, or the abundance of buffalo.

Next: Days of Darkness