Our Sacred History
The Lipan Homeland of Many Houses-Ki-aah-hii
The Lipan Apaches came to Texas in the 1600’s because
they were looking for a homeland which contained buffalo and deer to hunt, plant foods
which could be gathered and fertile river banks where they could plant corn and squash.
At first, they inhabited the buffalo plains south of the Red River, but they soon began
to turn their eyes to the south. The Jumanos, who lived along the upper Colorado and
Concho Rivers, had large herds of horses. The Tejas Indians, who lived along the upper
Brazos, also had many horses and the Lipan Apaches wanted and needed horses. By 1700,
they had moved into Jumano and Tejas territory.
They might have stayed along the upper Colorado and Brazos
forever, but when the Comanches entered Texas around 1700, a bitter war erupted between
the Lipans and the Comanches for control of the buffalo plains of north Texas. One nine-
day battle, fought around Wichita Falls, left so many dead warriors that it was said their
bodies were piled up like leaves. The Lipans began to look to the south for a safe haven
from their Comanche enemies.
By 1730, the Lipans inhabited broad areas of Texas-
from the upper Brazos in the east through the upper Colorado of central Texas to the
Pecos River in the west. The tribe had also begun to move southward, where they came
into contact with the Spanish at San Antonio de Béxar.
The Lipan Apaches found everything they needed in south
central Texas- buffalo and deer on the Gulf plains east of San Antonio, cactus tunas and
agave south of San Antonio, wild plums in the Hill Country- so they claimed the
San Antonio area as their homeland and named it Many Houses. In the Lipan language,
it is called Ki-aah-hii.
The Lipans soon expanded their homeland into south
Texas and ranged from San Antonio to Laredo, from Refugio to Nueces County. In 1751,
a portion of the tribe moved permanently into the Mexican state of Coahuila and named
their Coahuilan homeland Circular House, or Naa-ci-ká.
The Lipans lived in their Texas homeland of
Many Houses for over 250 years and are still living in Texas today.