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THE KARANKAWA PEOPLE OF THE GULF COAST

by Alexandria O'Brien


Last Friday, October 20th (2023) the Galveston County Museum hosted Tim Seiter, a Ph.D. candidate from Southern Methodist University to deliver his presentation, The Karankawa People of the Gulf Coast to our Island community.





The Karankawa People of the Gulf Coast

In 2009, a seventy-five-year-old Vietnam veteran reached out to the Brownsville Herald and claimed that he was the last living Karankawa person. For over a century, academics had declared this Texas Gulf Coast cultural group extinct and were therefore skeptical of his claims. “To say that he believes he’s descended from Native American groups in the area is plausible,” voiced one professor, “but to say they are Karankawas is a stretch, and I don’t believe it and I don’t think he can prove it.” [Tim Seiter's] presentation furnishes that proof. With the use of oral histories and mission records, [he] trace[s] these coastal peoples from their supposed extinction point in the mid-nineteenth century to the present. [He] demonstrate[s] that the Karankawa people still persist, even after genocide, cultural assimilation, and academic denial.


The presentation was a great success and we are very grateful to everyone that showed support of the museum by attending. If you were unable to watch the presentation in person, please watch below!




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