Indian Territory to Tejas Homelands
Route 66 leaves Indian Territory temporarily behind at the Texas border. It’s 178 miles across the state’s panhandle, the mostly flat countryside that seems to have more cattle than people. The panhandle was once home to the Comanche and roaming bands of Kiowa. East of Comanche territory, Texas was home to the Caddoan tribes, called Tejas by the Spanish—hence the name “Texas.”
A quarter century before Route 66, the 1900 census counted only 470 American Indians in Texas. The Comanche and Kiowa were removed to Indian Territory and now have jurisdictions in southwestern Oklahoma. The Comanche are based in Lawton, Oklahoma and the Kiowa in Carnegie, Oklahoma. There are three reservations in Texas today, and the oldest, the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation, is home to the descendants of two closely-related Southeastern Woodland Indian Tribes (Alabama and Coushatta) who were forced from their ancestral homelands in present day Alabama and Mississippi.
The two other federally recognized tribes, the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo, who migrated from nearby present-day Albuquerque, and the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, originally from the Great Lakes region, acquired lands along the Rio Grande River in 1960.
Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian
9151 I-40 East
Amarillo, Texas 79120