Last modified: 2017-08-23 by rick wyatt
Keywords: tonkawa | oklahoma | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 1 February 2008
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Tonkawa - Oklahoma
The modern Tonkawa Nation are descendants of at least twenty scattered bands from today's eastern and central Texas. They called themselves Titska Waticsh, "the most human of people". The neighboring Wacos called one of the principal bands the Tonkawa (AIA, 87-88). Since 1884 the Tonkawa have lived in northern Oklahoma near the Ponca (ENAT, 239-240) and today number around 1,300 (REAI, 32).
© Donald Healy 2008
The Tonkawa's flag is royal blue. It bears the seal of the Tonkawa in the center and has TONKAWA TRIBE written in white across the top and OKLAHOMA, also in white, across the bottom (Homer Miller Co., Oklahoma City, OK).
The seal recalls the "circle of life" and is divided in half-white above and red below. A stylized Peyote Spirit Bird, which has served in several formats as the logo of the Tonkawa, points upward in the center. The bird is divided in half, vertically, pink to the left, blue to the right. Behind it runs a peace pipe with a brown mouthpiece, black pipe head, brown stem, and blue, yellow, and red beadwork adorning the length of the stem. Behind this bird's head rises a yellow sun with ten yellow rays. Above this is a thin red
crescent moon with points facing downward. (The old seal from before the 1990s consisted of just this moon and the divided bird.)
A red hill looms behind the bird. The red earth refers to Oklahoma's name, which is Muskogee for "Land of the Red People". Surrounding the seal is a narrow white band, edged in black. Across the top is SEAL OF THE TONKAWA TRIBE, below is APRIL 21, 1938. The date is separated from the Tribe's name by six black stars on either side.
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 1 February 2008