Identification of the Wichita

The Quivira: The Wichita’s Ancestors
Official Seal of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes.

Before the turn of the 16th century, the Wichita Indians were known as the Quivira Indians. Originating from what is now known as the state of Kansas, the Quivira lived in the southern plains of Kansas for centuries, establishing the prominent ancestral background of the Wichita that we know today. The first documented interaction between the Quivira and a different group of people occurred in 1541. As a part of the Coronado Expedition, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado y Luján led his men into the Quivira Territory in search of Gold but instead were greeted warmly by the kindness of the Quivira, and were offered to stay as guests as well. The relationship that was established between the Quivira and the Spanish was positive, and remained intact for several years after their initial contact.

The Change in the Quivira Territory over Time.


¹ Bell, Robert, Edward B. Jelks, and W. W. Newcomb, “Wichita Indians.” (New York: Garland, 1974)
² Elam, Earl H. “Kitikiti’sh: The Wichita Indians and Associated Tribes in Texas, 1757 – 1859.” Hill College Press, 2008
³ Newcomb Jr., William W. “The People Called Wichita.” Phoenix: Indian Tribal Series, 1976.

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