The Lipan Homeland of Many Houses (kíłááhíí)

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 Kíłááhíí.

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.