Archaeology of Wichita Indian Shelter - Student Magazine
Imagine living near the Arkansas River in central Kansas 500 years ago. There are no faucets to turn on to get water. There are no stores to buy food, tools, or building materials.
Some of the Wichita lived west of the Flint Hills near present-day McPherson. They built large villages of grass houses on the great bend of the Arkansas River.
The Wichita shared the land with bison, deer, rabbits, birds, wolves, and more. The soil was perfect for the prairie grass that could grow as high as 8 feet. Big cottonwood, elm, and willow trees grew along the rivers. Even the rocks were a useful natural resource. The weather was a lot like the weather today—hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The wind blew gently or sometimes howled across the prairie.
The Wichita relied on natural resources to live on the prairie. The animals provided them with food, skins for clothing, and bones for tools. They used prairie grasses and trees for building shelters and for fuel. Rocks were shaped into arrow points and other tools.
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