The Indians of Texas: From Prehistoric to Modern Times

The work The Indians of Texas: From Prehistoric to Modern Times is critically analyzed by Adamson. The forgotten indigenous people of Texas' coastal areas are examined in the novel. Adams tries to justify the value of Newcomb's narrative, strategy, and methods, though. An examination of the piece critically provides insight into the idea of a book review. The article admits that the book was written to examine the prehistoric era, its inhabitants, and its culture in America. In actuality, the Indians engaged in a variety of commercial practices that persist today. The book is a starting point for comprehending the ethnographic traits of the Texas Indians, the article claims. Besides, the use of simple language in the context of Native American people makes reading the book fascinating and reflects on the beauty of ancient society.

Incredible Cultural Practices

It is worth to note the incredible cultural practices that involved witchcraft, bloodshed and massacres among the Indians of Texas. The article notes Newcomb's ability to collect scanty and fragmented pieces of information, gather them and write them in a way that the chronology of Indian history comes out. However, the book also exhibit challenges in offering proper ethnic profile of all Indians. While the book portray Newcomb as an exceptional historian with knowledge in ancient culture, the information gaps in parts of the book reflects missing evidence that keep the reader in suspense. The article points out that some ethnic groups such as the Karankawas, Atakapans, and coahuiltecans had dissolved and diminished to the extent that by the time anthropologists emerged, there was little information present in the book.

Skewed Information and Criticism

Adamson's criticism is also pointed towards the skewed information given in the book. While the Spanish and French were the first Europeans to explore America, there translations are conspicuously left out while the materials used are from the English immigrants. It is therefore important to accept the information offered in part. However, Adamson's offers a consolation and reconciliatory tone by embracing the fact that Newcomb's book is the major source of anthropological information. The fact that other scholars have not provided a better alternative gives the book an advantage to attract many readers. It is even clear that peer reviews and critiques are fewer on this particular book. The article gives further interpretation of Newcomb's book hence promoting understanding of the Pre-historic American ethnic groups. Adamson also criticizes the books emphasis on the offshore tribes while focusing on the coastal culture that is attributed to sea routes.

Misinterpretation of Karankawa's Cannibalism

The overwhelming misinterpretation of the Karankawa's cannibalism as coming out of hunger is critically denounced by the article. In an irony of support to the book, Adamson reminds the reader that the Karankawa tribe ate its captives in a ritual meant to transfer the power of the victims to the capture. In that respect, the article offer an all rounded analysis of the text with the aim of attracting further criticism and review of the book. The article is creatively written with a view of past, present and the prospects of the future.


Hoebel, E. Adamson. 1963. ": The Indians Of Texas: From Prehistoric To Modern Times . W. W. Newcomb, Jr..". American Anthropologist 65 (2): 442-443. doi:10.1525/aa.1963.65.2.02a00450.

Retrieved on 16 March 2017 from:

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