Published on September 7, 2010 by John
Native Americans in East Texas began to settle in villages shortly after 500 BC, farming and building the first burial mounds. They were influenced by the Mound Builder civilizations that lived in the Mississippi basin. In the Trans-Pecos area, populations were influenced by Mogollon culture.
From the eighth century, the bow and arrow appeared in the region, manufacture of pottery developed and Native Americans increasingly depended on bison for survival. Obsidian objects found in various Texan sites attest of trade with cultures in present day Mexico and the Rocky Mountains.
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No one culture was dominant in the present-day Texas region and many different peoples inhabited the area. Native American tribes that lived inside the boundaries of present-day Texas include the Alabama, Apache, Atakapan, Bidai, Caddo, Coahuiltecan, Comanche, Cherokee, Choctaw, Coushatta, Hasinai, Jumano, Karankawa, Kickapoo, Kiowa, Tonkawa, and Wichita. The name Texas derives from tÃ¡yshaÊ”, a word in the Caddoan language of the Hasinai, which means “friends” or “allies.”
Native Americans determined the fate of European explorers and settlers depending on whether a tribe was friendly or warlike. Friendly tribes taught newcomers how to grow indigenous crops, prepare foods, and hunting methods for wild game. Warlike tribes made life unpleasant, difficult and dangerous for explorers and settlers through their attacks and resistance to European conquest.