Kichai people

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The Kichai tribe (also Keechi or Kitsai) was a Native American Southern Plains tribe that inhabited northeastern Texas.[1]


Their name for themselves was K'itaish, and they are most closely related to the Pawnee. French explorers encountered them on the Red River in Louisiana in 1701.[2]

The Kitsai were part of the complex, shifting political alliances of the South Plains. Early Europeans identified them as enemies of the Caddo.[3] In 1712, they fought the Hainai along the Trinity River;[2] however, they were allied with other member tribe of the Caddoan Confederacy and intermarried with the Kadohadacho during this time.[2]

By 1772, they primarily settled east of the Trinity River, near present day Palestine, Texas.[4]

On November 10, 1837, the Texas Rangers fought the Kitsai in the Battle of Stone Houses. The Kitsai were victorious, despite losing their leader in the first attack.[5]

The Kitsai are not a distinct federally recognized tribe, but they are instead enrolled in the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma and Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, to which they are related, as well as the Delaware Nation. These tribes live mostly in Southwestern Oklahoma, particularly in Caddo County, to which they were forcibly relocated by the United States Government in the 19th century.


The Kitsai language is a member of the Caddoan language family, along with Arikara, Pawnee, and Wichita.[6]

Kai Kai, a Kitsai woman from Anadarko, Oklahoma, was the last known fluent speaker of the Kitsai language. She collaborated with Dr. Alexander Lesser to record and document the language.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sturtevant, 6
  2. ^ a b c Kichai Indian History. Access Genealogy. (retrieved 6 Sept 2009)
  3. ^ Sturtevant, 618
  4. ^ Krieger, Margery H. Kitchai Indians. The Handbook of Texas Online. (retrieved 6 Sept 2009)
  5. ^ Loftin, Jack O. Stone Houses, Battle of. The Handbook of Texas Online. (retrieved 6 Sept 2009)
  6. ^ Sturtevant, 616
  7. ^ Science: Last of the Kitsai. Time. 27 June 1932 (retrieved 6 Sept 2009)


  • Sturtevant, William C., general editor and Raymond D. Fogelson, volume editor. Handbook of North American Indians: Southeast. Volume 14. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution, 2004. ISBN 0-16-072300-0.

External links[edit]