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TENAWA INDIANS. The Tenawa (Denavi, Tanewa, Tannewish, Tenawit, Tenhua) Indians, whose name means "down stream," were a Comanche band known by this name only during the first half of the nineteenth century. Although they ranged widely over northern Texas, the Tenawas are most frequently linked with the area that lies between the upper Brazos and Red rivers. This area they shared with the Nokoni and Tanima bands. Sometimes the Tenawas camped with the Penatakas, who lived south of the Tenawa territory, between the Brazos and Colorado rivers. The Tenawa Indians seem to have disappeared as a band before 1850. The Tenawa and Tanima Indians were sometimes confused by observers who wrote about them, and today it is not always possible to tell which band is meant. In fact, some anthropologists think that the two names refer to the same band of Comanche Indians.


Rupert N. Richardson, The Comanche Barrier to South Plains Settlement (Glendale, California: Clark, 1933; rpt., Millwood, New York: Kraus, 1973). John R. Swanton, The Indian Tribes of North America (Gross Pointe, Michigan: Scholarly Press, 1968). Ernest Wallace and E. Adamson Hoebel, The Comanches (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1952).

Thomas N. Campbell


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Thomas N. Campbell, "TENAWA INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 31, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.