Indians of the High Plains: From the Prehistoric Period to the Coming of Europeans


This book is intended to present a coherent picture of the Indians of the western high plains from the earliest times of which we have a record down to the beginning of the modern period, after the year 1800. The book explores the whole of the high plains area, dealing with many tribes; thus the narrative shifts back and forth, all the way from the plains of western Canada to those of Texas and northern Mexico. For the early period, 1300 to 1700, the Apaches and their Navaho cousins have the pivotal roles; but with the fall of Apache power after 1700 the Comanches and their northern kinsmen, the Gens du Serpent, come to the fore and take the leadership in the high plains, until they in their turn are broken or swept aside by the advance of new and more powerful tribes.

The presentation of the Plains Apaches as the nation known before 1750 or 1800 as the Padoucas is an outstanding feature of the book. It has been the custom of historians to identify the Padoucas as Comanches; but in the past thirty years new evidence, in the form of Spanish and French documents hitherto unknown and new archaeological investigations, has made the old view untenable. It is thus necessary to make adjustments and alterations in early plains history; for, if the Apaches and not the Comanches were the great Padouca Nation, the whole course of early plains history is changed, and the Apaches must be given the credit for being the first great tribe that attempted to form...

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Norman, OK
Publication year:
  • 1959


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