Long Soldier, a Waco man, 1872
|fewer than 2,953 (2018)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Oklahoma, historically Texas|
|English, Waco, Wichita|
|Native American Church, Christianity,|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Caddo, Pawnee, other Wichita and Affiliated Tribes|
The Waco (also spelled Huaco and Hueco) of the Wichita people is a Southern Plains Native American tribe that inhabited northeastern Texas. Today, they are enrolled members of the federally recognized Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, headquartered in Anadarko, Oklahoma.
The Waco were a division of the Tawakoni people. The present-day Waco, Texas is located on the site of their principal village, that stood at least until 1820. French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe travelled through the region in 1719, and the people he called the Honecha or Houecha could be the Waco. They are most likely the Quainco on Guillaume de L'Isle's 1718 map, Carte de la Louisiane et du Cours du Mississipi.
The Waco village on the Brazos River was flanked by two Tawakoni villages: El Quiscat and the Flechazos. In 1824, Stephen F. Austin wrote that the Waco village was 40 acres large, with 33 grass houses and approximately 100 men. They grew 200 acres of corn, in fields enclosed by brush fences. As late as 1829 the village was protected by defensive earthworks. In 1837, the Texas Rangers planned to establish a fort at Waco village but abandoned the idea after several weeks. In 1844 a trading post was established eight miles south of the village. The anthropologist Jean-Louis Berlandier recorded 60 Waco houses in 1830.
In 1835, 1846, and 1872, the tribe signed treaties with the United States and the Wichita. The 1872 treaty established a reservation for them in Indian Territory, to which they were removed. In 1902, under the Dawes Allotment Act, the reservation lands were broken into individual allotments, and the Wacos became citizens of the United States. Today they are part of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes.
The tribe lived in beehive-shaped houses, with pole supports, typically covered with rushes, but sometimes buffalo hides. The houses stood 20 to 25 feet tall. Besides corn, Wacos also grew beans, melons, peach trees, and pumpkins.
[...] the city of Waco, Texas, the former home of the Huaco (Waco) Indians.
the Huéco tribe [...] Hueco Indians
Many other non-English place-names have been subjected to the same barbarization. [...] Waco in Texas was the Spanish Hueco.
There are differing explanations for the name of the site: that it was named for the Indian tribe; that the name comes from Spanish hueco (empty) and was chosen because the springs occasionally run dry.