Caddo Tribe

Choctaw Indian

This article contains interesting facts, pictures and information about the life of the Caddo Native American Indian Tribe of the Southeast cultural group.

The Caddo Tribe
Summary and Definition: The Caddo tribe were successful farmers and traders who lived an industrious lifestyle in permanent villages of grass houses. The Caddo people occupied a large territory in east Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. They cleared dense pine forests to establish villages and farms in the rich soil alongside the Red River and Mississippi River.

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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 Southeast Native American Tribes - Caddo tribe

Map showing location of the
Southeast Native American Tribes


Caddo Village - Beehive Houses

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.

Caddo History: What happened to the Caddo tribe?
The following Caddo history timeline details facts, dates and famous landmarks of the people. The Caddo timeline explains what happened to the people of their tribe following the arrival of the Europeans.

Caddo History Timeline

  • 1542: The Spanish Hernando De Soto expedition encounters Caddo villages

  • 1542: The Spanish including the traveling priests and missionaries bring previously unknown diseases such as smallpox and measles to the people

  • 1682: Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle makes the first recorded contact with the Caddo Native Indians

  • 1713: The French establish a colony and trading posts

  • 1770: Caddo-Spanish Treaty

  • 1783: The U.S. gained control of the region and more colonists moved in

  • 1803: Louisiana Purchase

  • 1830: The Indian Removal Act of 1830

  • 1835: Under the treaty of 1835 the Caddo ceded all their land to the United States. Some of the tribe migrated to Texas, some joined the Choctaw

  • 1836: Texas becomes a republic and the Caddo make various treaties with the Texans

  • 1844: The Choctaw alliance ends and the Caddo are expelled as "Indian Intruders"

  • 1846: The Council Springs Treaty with the US government

  • 1854: By 1854 most of the Caddo had moved to the Brazos reservation in northern Texas

  • 1859: The Caddo are forced to move again to  a reservation near the Washita River (now Caddo County, Oklahoma)

  • 1861: The Civil War (1861 - 1865). Caddoan Chief Quinahiwi signed a treaty with the Confederacy and many Caddo fight for the South during the war - others, loyal to the Union move to Kansas

  • 1872: The people re-unite and move to the Caddo-Wichita Reservation

  • 1887: The Dawes Act entitled an allotment of 160 acres of land to tribe members, in return for abolishing their governments and recognizing Federal laws

  • 1934: The individual allotment policy of the Dawes Act was terminated by the Indian Reorganization Act

Caddo History Timeline


  • Interesting Facts and information about the way the people lived
  • The clothes worn by men and women
  • Description of the homes and the type of food the Caddo would eat
  • Fast Facts and info about the Caddo
  • Names of famous chiefs and leaders
  • Interesting Homework resource for kids on the history of the Caddo Native American Indians

Pictures and Videos of Native American Indians and their Tribes
The Caddo Tribe was one of the most famous tribes of Native American Indians. Discover the vast selection of pictures on the subject of the tribes of Famous Native Americans such as the Caddo nation. The pictures show the clothing, war paint, weapons and decorations of various Native Indian tribes, such as the Caddo tribe, that can be used as a really useful educational resource for kids and children of all ages. We hope you enjoy watching the video - just click and play - a great social studies homework resource for kids .


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