Caddo Dialectical Distinction

Search Fold3 for your
Native American Records

Between the northern division and the southern there appears evidence of dialectical distinction. Gaduda’atcu (R.), which is “the strongest language,” prevails in the north, although most of the Fort Cobb people also speak it. Similarly, although ha’ine1 (R.) is spoken in the north and one of the northern family localities is called naha’ine2 , the centre of ha’ine’ is in the south.

Now and again a nacidu’c (R.) word or a ha’ic (R.) word will be used. Of other dialectical divisions,’ “perhaps two,”‘ White Moon had forgotten the names.3

The Caddo term for such divisions is kuosho’dacha, meaning lots of people living, e.g. naha’ine’ kuosho’dacha, lots of people living at ha’ine’. Hasi’ne (R.) is the form White Moon and Ingkanish give for the tribal name.4

Between the two Caddo divisions considerable land is held by Whites, and there are in the County several White towns, Lookeba, Binger (nabinka) and Gracemont, the two latter each with a population of almost two thousand, and in the south Anadarko with six thousand. A few Caddo live in these White towns–in Anadarko there may be from fifteen to twenty.

Between the two Caddo divisions, from Gracemont to Anadarko, live also the intermarrying Wichita and Kichai, who number about 300. South of the Washita River5 live the Comanche (so’ta). East and west and southwest of Anadarko live the Kiowa (ka’hiwa) and Apache (ishikwita’) once called Ka’ntsi, cheats.6 To the north of Caddo County, across the Canadian River, are the Cheyenne (shane’tika) and Arapaho (sianabu).

Study of the distribution of the persons cited in the genealogical tables has shown a tendency among the Caddo to live together in family settlements or groups which are composed rather more of matrilineal than of patrilineal relatives. There is a fairly marked tendency for men to join their wife’s group, although many instances occur (see Appendix) where a man brings his wife to his parents’ group, particularly, as might be expected, when his wife is of another tribe.


  1. Twelve divisions were recorded by Mooney in 1896: Kä’dohădä’cho, Nädä’ko (Anadarko), Hai’nai, Nä’baidä’cho, Nă’kohodo’tsi, Näshi’tosh, Yä’tăsi, Hădai’i, (Hai’ĭsh, Nä’ka`na’wan, I’măha (Kwâoâ), Yowa’ni (Choctaw). (The Ghost-Dance Religion, 1092-1093). Cp. Sibley, 95-96.
    Pardon referred to a “lost tribe” tradition. A band of Caddo went buffalo hunting to the west and never returned. Ingkanish said that some hainai went to California.
    Dr. Voegelin was told in 1935 by an Absentee Shawnee that about 1824-40 there were on a reservation forty miles from Austin, Texas (then Mexico) together with the Shawnee, Delaware (present Anadarko group), Wichita, Kichai, Creeks, altogether representatives from twenty-two tribes, among them Caddo, Ainai Caddo, and a Caddo group called Wikos. (Shawnee Field Notes). 

  2. Said probably to complete the preferred number. See p. 45. 

  3. Yanda’si’ (R.) was subsequently recalled, likewise, uncertainly, nadako (Anadarko). Ingkanish knew only of hainai and nadarko of whom there are few, one or two. Pardon mentioned: Kaddohoda’cho (hada’cho, it hurts!), hainai, nadarko, na.sitush, yatasi, haiish-“all mixed today,” and he did not know the group affiliation of anybody. For references to Quapaw, see pp. 52, 53 to Choctaw (sha’ta), see pp. 26, 28. 

  4. Hasi’nai is translated “our own folk,” in the Handbook. Xasinĕ has also been given as a division or band term (Spier, 258). Spier mentions also kadohadatc, hainaĭ, anadark’

  5. “Boundary River,” to the north live the Caddo, Wichita, and Delaware; to the south, the Kiowa, Kiowa-Apache, and Comanche. 

  6. Mooney, 1103. 

MLA Source Citation:

Parsons, Elsie Clews. Notes on the Caddo, Memories of the American Anthropological Association. Supplement to American Anthropologist, Volume 43, No. 3, Part 2. 1921. Web. 26 January 2015. - Last updated on Nov 30th, 2014


Contribute to the Conversation!

Our "rules" are simple. Keep the conversation on subject and mind your manners! If this is your first time posting, we do moderate comments before we let them appear... so give us a while to get to them. Once we get to know you here, we'll remove that requirement.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Newsletter Signup

We currently provide two newsletters. Why not take both for a run?

Genealogy Update: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new, or significantly updated, collection or database on our website.

Circle of Nations: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new (or significantly updated) Native American collection or database on our website.

Once you've clicked on the Subscribe button above you'll receive an email from us requesting confirmation. You must confirm the email before you will be able to receive any newsletter.

Connect With Us!

Pin It on Pinterest


Share This

Share this post with your friends!