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"I think the concept is very important in that Mr. Gonzalez and the few other Karankawas are starting to talk about their heritage," Ellis said. "They have retained their heritage and are beginning to come forward to dispel all of the nonsense that has been told about them for 150 years."
Gonzalez said he would see the dances on Sunday evenings, and he assumed they had started the previous Friday afternoon because they Michael Kors Zebra Bag
While numerous sources claim the Karankawa were driven to extinction by the mid 1800s, Gonzalez claims descent from a band of the tribe that retreated into a secluded area called El Gato, south of what is now Alamo and Donna. Gonzalez says his maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother were full blooded Karankawas. A picture of his grandfather Silvestre shows a tall robust fellow, thick across the shoulders, narrow eyes squinting into the sunlight. Army veteran of Vietnam and Desert Storm.
"If they slept, they slept right there. They didn't go home," he said. "Alcohol was consumed on the Sunday. Mk Bags Latest
"I'm that last one that has the gene," said Gonzalez, who also served in Bosnia, Croatia and other parts of the world. "I'm that last one that knows the language. I know words of it, not the whole language."
"It's a classic Karankawa fishing bow," confirmed Elizabeth Ellis, park specialist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at Goliad State Park.
The features that so sharply define Enrique Gonzalez could be traces of an ancestry that have remained in the shadowy confines of genetic history. Now, finally, they may be emerging from the shadows and revealing themselves for who they are.
"That's mainly what they used their bows for," Ellis continued. "They could have used them for defense, but their primary purpose was for fishing. What they would do is, they would use a very long arrow, with a barb or a hook on the end of it."
Gonzalez recently donated a bow to the Mission at Espiritu Santo museum in Goliad State Park.
Gonzalez believes he is part of Karankawa Indian lineage
Ellis dismisses as a modern myth the idea that the Karankawas are all gone.
On several occasions, they brought mescal in a stainless steel bucket. It didn't come in bottles. And they would pour a little into another metal container and they would set fire to it. It was bootlegged. And they would talk about the color of the little flame."
Tony Zavaleta, anthropology professor at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, is skeptical of Gonzalez's claims.
Gonzalez, 65, believes he is part Karankawa Indian, a tribe whose members are reputed to have stood well over 6 feet tall and lived along the Texas Gulf Coast from Galveston to Corpus Christi. The first recorded European contact took place in 1528 when Spaniard Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and other shipwrecked survivors of the Panfilo de Narvaez expedition landed near Galveston Island.
He remembers tall powerful figures wearing only loin cloths and moving in rhythmic circles, arms with titanic hands rising into the air, huge bare feet stepping mightily into the ground, dust sticking to perspiring skin. They slapped tambourines, with flattened coke bottle tops attached to them to eject loud metallic sounds, into the air while the dancers moved in rhythm to drums.
On this point, Gonzalez strongly disagrees. He says that while some of the Karankawas in Mexico went west into the Rio Grande City area, others moved into "El Gato."
"After that last defeat," says the Texas Handbook Online, "the coastal Texas tribe was considered extinct."
Ellis said the donation of the bow and her communication with Gonzalez is very important to a new understanding of the Texas tribe that once populated the southeast coastal areas of Texas north and south of Corpus Christi.
"It's not impossible, but it's highly unlikely," he said. "Karankawa Indians were gone for the most part in the early historic period. Michael Kors Jet Set Chain Item Medium Messenger Gone, disappeared. What information does he have to lead him to believe that he has a direct connection? There are no pictures of Karankawa Indians. To say that he believes he's descended from Native American groups in the area is plausible. That's not out of the question. But to say they are Karankawas is a stretch, and I don't believe it and I don't think he can prove it."
"When they were dancing, they would raise it up into the air and then bring it down, and then they would vibrate them, and as they were vibrating they were moving: Chew chew ch ch ch ch chuck chuck chuck chuck," he recalled. "They were clumsy Indians. They didn't have a rhythm."
Gonzalez says that by the mid 1900s, the Karankawas who had moved into this little village had spread into the surrounding communities, but they still congregated around a huge mesquite tree for their mitotes, the Karankawa version of a pow wow. Gonzalez remembers his father taking him to these mitotes when he was just a boy, and he'd watch as between five and 10 Karankawas danced.
The Texas Handbook Online says that after numerous attacks on Karankawas by Anglo Texans in the 1840s, survivors fled across the Rio Grande into Mexico. There they endured more attacks from Mexicans, and they fled north of the border into the Rio Grande City area in the 1850s where they were attacked by Juan Cortina. (Zavaleta said this statement about Cortina is also incorrect).
"As they encountered the Spanish and then later the settlers from the East Coast, Karankawa, being astute hunters and gatherers, would use what they could to make their traditional lifeway easier," she said. "On this particular bow, according to one Michael Kors Marina Navy
The use of coke bottle caps in the instruments reflects the resourcefulness of the Karankawas. Ellis said the Karankawas readily incorporated new materials into their culture, and the palm wood bow donated by Gonzalez is a prime example. Gonzalez insists the bow was constructed the natural way, by placing sand in a piece of leather and gripping it tightly around the piece, then running it back and forth while gripping it tightly. However, Ellis believes the Karankawa maker used metal tools.
"My background is history, anthropology and archaeology, so you know it's kind of like, 'They're around somewhere, but where are they?'" she said. "And are they still aware of their cultural history, or is that gone and they don't know that they're Karankawa? Now where they are, who they are, I don't know."
gentleman that I've had look at it, you can tell that metal tools have been used on it."
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