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The Karankawa Indians of Texas: An Ecological Study of Cultural Tradition and Change (Texas Archaeology and Ethnohistory Series) Paperback – 1996


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Product Details

  • Series: Texas Archaeology and Ethnohistory Series
  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press (1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292770774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292770775
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,772,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Ricklis' findings should permanently alter how Karankawa Indians are portrayed in general treatments of Texas history." Lawrence E. Aten, author of Indians of the Upper Texas Coast

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Readalots on June 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Robert Ricklis' "The Karankawa Indians of Texas" (1996) presents an informative and technical study for the Native Americans living along the Texas Coastal Bend prior to the 16th century Europeans' arrival. This 222-page paperback "ecological study" is well documented with two lengthy appendixes and 21 pages of bibliography. Multiple graphs, charts, maps, and figures attest to the books considerable research.

Ricklis reviews several archaeological sites along the Texas Gulf Coast, from Matagorda Bay to Corpus Christi Bay, for evidence of the Karankawa culture. As a Research Fellow at University of Texas and the President of a private archaeological firm he personally attended many of the locations through the 1980s. Studying the remains of everything from animal bones to pottery chards at each site, he assembles an informative look at this ancient (and now extinct) Native American group.

From his research Ricklis concludes that the Karankawas were much taller than most other Native Americans of their era (p.9), that they were indeed cannibalistic (but probably only for ritual purposes, p. 147), and their initial encounter with Europeans- 16th century Spaniards- was friendly (only later did these fierce warriors attempt to rescue themselves from Spanish encroachment, see chapter 9).

One learns of the Karankawa adaptation efforts to Spanish ways (chapter 7), the terrible devastation from European sicknesses in the native population (chapter 8), and later Spanish desire to eradicate the Karankawas (p. 152). Ricklis also introduces readers to several archaeological components and suggestions: "B.P." as "before present" (p.44) for much of his site dating, Story's "lag effect theory" (p.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mary spencer on May 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I object to calling the Karankawas AMERICAN INDIANS, this is the book I will check all other books and materials against. The painstaking examination of the middens and credits for sources will give me the confidence I need to explain these natives. I am left with questions: "can present day Southern natives be ID'd to find Karankawa survivors by DNA?" "Have the language of the Karankawas (words) been kept and compared to other native tribes? This is a great book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gail C on August 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Research and readability in one book. Good job. I purchased this book for my grandson's scout troop which has its camp in Karankawa territory.
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