Karankawa Tribe near Goliad

 

Historic Accounts of Life in South Texas

 
From "Early Times in Texas" by J. C. Duval Published 1892
 
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The next morning we continued our march for Goliad, about thirty miles distant, but as we got a late start, we only made twenty miles or so by sunset, and pitched our camp near a pool of fresh water, under the shelter of some spreading live oak trees.

Here we found encamped a band of the Caranchua tribe of Indians, at that time professing to be friendly to the Americans. We were told that these Indians were cannibals, that they always devoured the prisoners they took in their conflicts with their enemies.

They were the largest Indians I have ever seen, scarcely a man among them being less than six feet high, and many of them over six feet. The men were entirely naked, saving a breech cloth fastened around the waist, and being hideously painted, one can readily imagine that they presented a most ferocious and savage appearance.

Their language was the most peculiar jargon of gutteral sounds I ever heard, the words seeming to be articulated by some spasmodic action of the throat without any aid from the tongue or lips. They were armed with long lances, bows and arrows, and a few with old flint-lock muskets.

These Indians some time afterwards captured several Americans and killed and "barbecued" them, which so enraged the settlers that they organized an expedition against them and succeeded in exterminating the whole tribe with the exception of a small remnant that fled to Mexico. These Caranchuas, I believe, were the only Indians known to be cannibals, on the North American continent.

More information on the Karankawa
Karankawa Indians
The Karankawa Indians
Karankawa Fishermen
Ennis Joslin Indian Burial Ground
Indian Burial Ground (Dietz Archeological Site)


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