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Anadarko Townsite, Oklahoma Territory, August 8, 1901.
Tent city in the cornfield.
Anadarko is a city in Caddo Countymarker, Oklahomamarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 6,645 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Caddo Countymarker . The town is the home of the Native American drum group Cozad Singers.

It is the birthplace of writer Jim Thompson, the Comanche-Kiowa artist Blackbear Bosin, and major league baseball pitcher Cal McLish.


As of the census of 2000, there were 6,645 people, 2,387 households, and 1,656 families residing in the city. The population density was 937.0 people per square mile (361.9/km²). There were 2,767 housing units at an average density of 390.2/sq mi (150.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 41.37% White, 6.23% African American, 41.26% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.07% from other races, and 7.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.15% of the population.

There were 2,387 households out of which 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.6% were married couples living together, 20.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.32.

In the city the population was spread out with 32.6% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,035, and the median income for a family was $27,633. Males had a median income of $26,063 versus $17,666 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,062. About 23.3% of families and 28.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.8% of those under age 18 and 18.5% of those age 65 or over.

Native American significance

Anadarko, self-titled, "Indian Capital of the Nation," is home to the annual American Indian Exposition. It is one of two places in Oklahoma where a Lenape tribe is headquartered, the other being Bartlesvillemarker. The city houses the National Hall of Fame for Famous American Indians.

Anadarko is named after the Nadaco, a Caddoan band now affiliated with the Caddo Nation. In the Caddo language, Nadá-kuh, means "bumblebee place.". The Caddo are a federally recognized American Indian tribe for which Caddo County is named; Caddo County is part of the former reservation of the Caddo, Wichita, and Western Delaware, prior to allotment in the post-Dawes Allotment Era.

Culturally, Anadarko is unique among Oklahomamarker cities as Native Americans form a near-majority. Locals are often familiar with a few basic Indian words, such as haw-nay, Kiowa for "no." Wichita and Apache words are sometimes employed in casual conversation as well, such as ninit, wee, hangy dawg, stink guy). Indian motifs are commonly used for design, art, and other aspects of daily life.

Anadarko is has a Bureau of Indian Affairs office. The town is situated between the Wichita, Caddo, and Delaware reservations to the north, and the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache reservations to the south. These reservations, along with all but the Osage Reservation in northeastern Oklahoma, were dismantled by the allotment of tribal lands to individual members, and the opening of the "excess" lands to settlement, in a series of land openings. The area surrounded by Anadarko was opened to settlement by a 1901 land lottery affecting the Kiowa, Comanche, Wichita and Caddo lands.

Anadarko is home to Riverside Indian School, a boarding and day school for Native American students. Indian City USA, now owned by the Kiowa Tribe, is located 2–1/2 miles southeast of Anadarko.


Perry Broadcasting Tower, tallest construction of Oklahoma, at the frontier to Alfalfa, Oklahoma

Popular culture

  • The full name of the title character played by Holly Hunter in the television series Saving Grace, set in Oklahoma, is "Grace Anadarko".


  1. Sturtevant, William C., general editor and Raymond D. Fogelson, volume editor. Handbook of North American Indians: Southeast. Volume 14. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution, 2004: 630. ISBN 0-16-072300-0.

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