The Texas Indians
Native American Studies - Texas History - Western History
6 x 9, 328 pp.
30 b&w photos., 4 maps. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 08/20/2013
Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University
Price:        $19.95

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2005 Philosophical Society of Texas Award of Merit, presented by the Philosophical Society
2004 T.R. Fehrenbach Award, presented by the Texas Historical Commission

The Texas Indians

David La Vere

During an excavation in the 1950s, the bones of a prehistoric woman were discovered in Midland County, Texas. Archaeologists dubbed the woman “Midland Minnie.” Some believed her age to be between 20,000 and 37,000 years, making her remains the oldest ever found in the Western Hemisphere. While the accuracy of this date remains disputed, the find, along with countless others, demonstrates the wealth of human history that is buried beneath Texas soil.

By the time the Europeans arrived in Texas in 1528, Native Texans included the mound-building Caddos of East Texas; Karankawas and Atakapas who fished the Texas coast; town-dwelling Jumanos along the Rio Grande; hunting-gathering Coahuiltecans in South Texas; and corn-growing Wichitas in the Panhandle. All of these native peoples had developed structures, traditions, governments, religions, and economies enabling them to take advantage of the land’s many resources. The arrival of Europeans brought horses, metal tools and weapons, new diseases and new ideas, all of which began to reshape the lives of Texas Indians.

Over time, Texas became a home to horse-mounted, buffalo-hunting Apaches, Comanches, and Kiowas and a refuge for Puebloan Tiguas, Alabama-Coushattas, Kickapoos and many others. These groups traded, shared ideas, fought and made peace with one another as well as peoples outside of Texas. This book tells the story of all of these groups, their societies and cultures, and how they changed over the years.

Author David La Vere offers a complete chronological and cultural history of Texas Indians from 12,000 years ago to the present day. He presents a unique view of their cultural history before and after European arrival, examining their interactions—both peaceful and violent—with Europeans, Mexicans, Texans, and Americans. This book is the first full examination of the history of Texas Indians in over forty years and will appeal to all of those with an interest in Native Americans and the history of Texas.

David La Vere teaches history at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 1993 and has been honored for his writings on Native Americans.

What Readers Are Saying:

“A welcome addition to Native American Studies shelves, The Texas Indians presents a simply fascinating and informative interplay of societies and cultures, and is written for non-specialist general readers and Native American History students alike.”--Wisconsin Bookwatch

“La Vere has taken a wider range of themes and communities. This approach establishes The Texas Indians as the new standard on the subject for academics and non-academics alike.”--Indian Country Today

“. . . presents a solid examination of change across time and place, from historical era to historical era, as Indian peoples reacted to centuries of conflict and crisis. This book should be required for anyone interested in the history of Texas and the Southwest.”--Choice

“David La Vere has researched and written a book that will become a classic. He updates the story of Indian Texans with an eye toward using the most current primary research in the field, including his own. . . it will be a valuable supplement for any college course on Indians in the Americas and for any course on Texas history. . . La Vere’s work is well researched and well organized. His writing is clear, lively, and free of errors.”--East Texas Historical Journal

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