Facts about the Caddo Native Indian Tribe
This article contains fast, fun facts and interesting information about the Caddo Native American Indian tribe. Find answers to questions like where did the Caddo tribe live, what clothes did they wear and what food did they eat? Discover what happened to the Caddo tribe with facts about their wars and history.
What was the lifestyle and culture of the Caddo tribe?
The early Caddo tribe were part of a complex agricultural society part of the ancient Mississippian culture of the Mound Builders of North America (700 A.D. to 1,300 A.D.) The ancestors of the Caddo once inhabited part of the ancient Mexican empire, but began to move northeast and finally settled upon the banks of the Mississippi River and Red River in A.D. 700. The Caddo people were they were organized into the Hasinai confederacy consisting of the Kadohadacho on the great bend of the Red River, the Hasinai in east Texas and the Natchitoches in west Louisiana. The Caddo tribe develped and lived in distinctive Beehive grass thatched houses. The friendly Caddoans became allies of the Europeans, and traded with both the Spanish and the French. By the 1800's cloth became readily available and the Caddo began to change their traditional style of dress. The encroachment of the white settlers forced the Caddoans to move in 1859 to a reservation near the Washita River (now Caddo County, Oklahoma) and then on to the Caddo-Wichita Reservation that was established in 1872.
Where did the Caddo tribe live?
The Caddo are people of the Southeast Native American cultural group. The location of their tribal homelands are shown on the map. The geography of the region in which they lived dictated the lifestyle and culture of the Caddo tribe.
- The Southeast region extended mainly across the states of Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Florida
- Land: River Valleys, mountains and swamps
- Climate: The climate was hot and humid in the summer and mild in the winter
- Houses: Grass thatched 'beehive' style houses
- Animals: The animals included rabbit, wild hogs, fox, turkey, opossum, bear, raccoon, squirrel and deer
- Crops: The crops grown in the area were corn, beans, squash
- Natural resources: Fruit, seeds, pumpkins and nuts
Map showing location of the
Southeast Native American Tribes
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What did the Caddo tribe live in?
The early Caddo tribe lived in highly organised villages consisting of grass huts. Each village had a temple which in ancient times was located on top of mound that was about 8 feet high and approached by a flight of steps (see Natchez Tribe for more facts).
Caddo 'Beehive' Houses
As time passed the Caddo developed distinctive Beehive Thatched Grass Houses. These hardy dwellings were tall and spacious allowing plenty of room for storage in the upper levels of the house.
What language did the Caddo tribe speak?
The Caddo tribe spoke in their native Caddoan language. Their name derives from a French derivation of the Caddoan word 'kadohadacho', meaning “real chief” in Caddo. The names of the towns of Nacogdoches, Texas, and Natchitoches, Louisiana originate from the Caddoan language. The name Texas comes derives from the Caddo word 'taysha' meaning "friend."
What did the Caddo tribe eat?
The food that the Caddo tribe ate included their crops of corn, beans, squash and pumpkin. An upright log mortar for pounding corn usually stood near their dwellings. They also hunted for meat from bear, fox, turkey, deer, rabbit and other smaller game. The rivers near their villages provided fish and they also gathered wild plant foods. Food was cooked into cornbread, soups and hominy. The people also grew tobacco and a grain-bearing grass. The Caddo people who lived near saline marshes made salt by boiling brine in large shallow pans. They traded their salt with the Natchez tribe.
What weapons did the Caddo use?
The Caddo Native Indians were known to be a friendly tribe, interested in trading with almost anyone. Their enemies were the Sioux and the Osage tribes to the North. The weapons used by the Caddo included axes, war clubs, maces, knives, pikes and bows and arrows, commonly made of bois de arc wood.
What clothes did the early Caddo wear?
The clothes worn by the early Caddo men wore breechcloths made from bark fabric or from deerskin. The women wore a knee-length skirt, also made from deerskin or a bark fabric. Both Caddo men and women painted their faces for special occasions and also decorated their bodies with piercing and elaborate tattoos. For special rituals and ceremonies the ancient Caddo wore beautiful feather cloaks and magnificent feather headdresses.
Caddo Clothing: European Influence on Southeastern Native Indians
The Caddo Native Indians began to change their style of dress with the arrival of the Europeans. During the 1800's cloth became readily available. They wore leggings and an outer garment called a matchcoat, a blanket that was fastened around the body with a sash. They used strips of cloth, such as wool, calico or silk, wrapped around their head in a turban style headdress which was often decorated with a feather plume.