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Tonkawan Family

 Native American Nations | Linguistic Families                    

  • Tonkawa, Gatschet, Zwölf Sprachen aus dem Südwesten Nordamerikas, 76, 1876 (vocabulary of about 300 words and some sentences). Gatschet, Die Sprache der Tonkawas, in Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 64, 1877. Gatschet (1876), in Proc. Am. Philosoph. Soc., XVI, 318, 1877.

Derivation: the full form is the Caddo or Wako term tonkawéya, “they all stay together” (wéya, “all”).

After a careful examination of all the linguistic material available for comparison, Mr. Gatschet has concluded that the language spoken by the Tonkawa forms a distinct family.

Geographic Distribution
The Tónkawa were a migratory people and a colluvies gentium, whose earliest habitat is unknown. Their first mention occurs in 1719; at that time and ever since they roamed in the western and southern parts of what is now Texas. About 1847 they were engaged as scouts in the United States Army, and from 1860-’62 (?) were in the Indian Territory; after the secession war till 1884 they lived in temporary camps near Fort Griffin, Shackelford County, Texas, and in October, 1884, they removed to the Indian Territory (now on Oakland Reserve). In 1884 there were seventy-eight individuals living; associated with them were nineteen Lipan Apache, who had lived in their company for many years, though in a separate camp. They have thirteen divisions (partly totem-clans) and observe mother-right.

Uchean Family

  • Uchees, Gallatin in Trans. and Coll. Am. Antiq. Soc., II., 95, 1836 (based upon the Uchees alone). Bancroft, Hist. U.S., III., 247, 1840. Gallatin in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc. II., pt. 1, xcix, 77, 1848. Keane, App. Stanford’s Comp. (Cent. and So. Am.), 472, 1878 (suggests that the language may have heen akin to Natchez).
  • Utchees, Gallatin in Trans. and Coll. Am. Antiq. Soc., II., 306, 1836. Gallatin in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, III., 401, 1853. Keane, App. Stanford’s Comp. (Cent. and So. Am.), 472, 1878.
  • Utschies, Berghaus (1845), Physik. Atlas, map 17, 1848. Ibid., 1852.
  • Uché, Latham, Nat. Hist. Man, 338, 1850 (Coosa River). Latham in Trans. Philolog. Soc. Lond., II., 31-50, 1846. Latham, Opuscula, 293, 1860.
  • Yuchi, Gatschet, Creek Mig. Legend, I, 17, 1884. Gatschet in Science, 413, April 29, 1887.

The following is the account of this tribe given by Gallatin (probably derived from Hawkins) in Archæologia Americana, page 95:

The original seats of the Uchees were east of Coosa and probably of the Chatahoochee; and they consider themselves as the most ancient inhabitants of the country. They may have been the same nation which is called Apalaches in the accounts of De Soto’s expedition, and their towns were till lately principally on Flint River.

Geographic Distribution
The pristine homes of the Yuchi are not now traceable with any degree of certainty. The Yuchi are supposed to have been visited by De Soto during his memorable march, and the town of Cofitachiqui chronicled by him, is believed by many investigators to have stood at Silver Bluff, on the left bank of the Savannah, about 25 miles below Augusta. If, as is supposed by some authorities, Cofitachiqui was a Yuchi town, this would locate the Yuchi in a section which, when first known to the whites, was occupied by the Shawnee. Later the Yuchi appear to have lived somewhat farther down the Savannah, on the eastern and also the western side, as far as the Ogeechee River, and also upon tracts above and below Augusta, Georgia. These tracts were claimed by them as late as 1736.

In 1739 a portion of the Yuchi left their old seats and settled among the Lower Creek on the Chatahoochee River; there they established three colony villages in the neighborhood, and later on a Yuchi settlement is mentioned on Lower Tallapoosa River, among the Upper Creek.99 Filson100 gives a list of thirty Indian tribes and a statement concerning Yuchi towns, which he must have obtained from a much earlier source: “Uchees occupy four different places of residence—at the head of St. John’s, the fork of St. Mary’s, the head of Cannouchee, and the head of St. Tillis” (Satilla), etc.101

Population.—More than six hundred Yuchi reside in northeastern Indian Territory, upon the Arkansas River, where they are usually classed as Creek. Doubtless the latter are to some extent intermarried with them, but the Yuchi are jealous of their name and tenacious of their position as a tribe.

Indian Linguistic Families of America North of Mexico, 1891

Linguistic Families


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