Karankawa Indians?

Thanks for the question. Back in the day, along the gulf coast of Texas lived the Karankawa, a relatively tall tribe – their men towered over six-feet-tall, which was really tall compared to other Native Peoples and Europeans. The Karankawa practiced ritual cannibalism, as did many of other coastal tribes. “Ritual” cannibalism means the Karankawa didn’t cook other humans for dinner on a regular basis, but they did eat parts of their enemy’s bodies because they believed if they did, then the dead person’s strength would pass on to them. If the Karankawa captured you as their enemy, they would probably tie you up, dance around you, cut off a piece of your flesh, cook it over the fire, and then eat it in front of you. Not a pleasant thought.
The Karankawa pierced their nipples and chins with bamboo sticks, heavily tattooed themselves, and nursed their children until around the age of twelve (uh, that would be the age of a 6th or 7th grader.) But, that’s not all. To combat the nasty local mosquitoes, the Karankawa smeared their bodies with alligator “grease”, shark liver oil and mud. From all accounts, these folks smelled pretty bad. In fact, the early colonists record that the smell of the Karankawa made them sick to their stomachs. If you have visited the Texas coast lately, you will know the mosquitoes are still really bad, and even to this day you might be tempted to smear alligator innards over your body to keep them away.

View more