Kinship of the Caddo

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Of any clanship system White Moon had never heard, and, whatever approach to the subject we made, he remained consistently unaware of clan groups. White Moon was born in 1897, and it seemed not improbable that his ignorance of clanship was characteristic of the younger generation of the tribe; but Ingkanish20 and Pardon were equally ignorant of any clanship is system, present or past. And yet, in 1890-1891, Mooney recorded among the Caddo the existence of clans, the names of which, as words merely, were verified by White Moon as follows:

Mooney White Moon
Sun
Thunder
Eagle
Panther
Raccoon
Beaver
Crow
Bear
Wolf
Buffalo
or
Alligator
sûko
ka’găhănĭn
iwi
kĭshi
oăt
ta’o
ka’g’aih
na’wotsi
tasha
ta’năha
or
koho’
Sako
adihanin
iwi’
kishi
ut’
t’ao’
kak’aih
nao’tsi
tasha[1]
tanahakohuh

White Moon himself suggested that these names might have been the names of supernatural helpers, a relationship merely personal, entirely unrelated to kinship.” Possibly White Moon’s theory of Mooney’s data is correct.[2] Yet it is not unlikely that a clan system once existed.[3] From as intensive study of the localized groups as can be made at a distance, it appears quite plainly that in several cases the principle of grouping is that of the maternal family[4] and the kinship nomenclature points to matronymy.[5]

List Of Kinship Terms[6]

a’a father,[7] father’s brother
in’a’ mother,[8] mother’s sister, wife of father’s brother
iba’t’ grandfather,[9] husband of father’s sister
bakincbi[10] grandchild, m. sp.[11]
ika’ grandmother[12]
ka’inchi[13] grandchild, w. sp.[14]
iba` mother’s brother[15]
patsi[16] sister’s child, m. sp.[17]
aha’i’ father’s sister[18]
ine’´ older brother, parallel cousin, of a male[19]
DU ‘ wi’ younger brother, parallel cousin, of a male [20]
DU’wi’t’iti
kinit’iti or  kinot’si
brother, parallel cousin, of a female’s[21]
iye’ older sister, parallel cousin, of a female[22]
t’a’hai” sister, parallel cousin, of a male,[23] younger sister, parallel cousin, of a female
shahat’ or
shahat’iti
cross-cousin (father’s sister’s children,[24] mother’s brother’s
hanin reciprocal for junior relatives excepting sibling[25]
netsi’oiha’s[26] my spouse, disc.[27]
iba’kin father-in-law, son-in-law, demo.;[28] son-in-law, voc., hanin
chu’u’nu mother-in-law,” daughter-in-law,[29] desc., wife of mother’s brother[30]
ikwi an alternative term, perhaps, for chu’u’nu; stepmother[31] (Pardon)
da’hai’ sister-in-law, brother-in-law,[32] voc. and desc.

The following terms are used descriptively, reports Dr. Reichard, by a third person, e.g. NichaGaiyu’ sahsin, White Moon, his mother.

Father
Mother
Grandfather
Grandmother
Mother’s brother
Father’s sister
Older brother of a male
Younger brother of a male
Brother of a female
Older sister of a female
Asin
sahsin
bakin
ka’an
banin
hawin
nayin
yahdin
na’din
yawin
(a’a’)[33]
(ĭn’a’)
(iba’t’)
(ika’)
(iba`)
(aha’i’)
(ine”)
(DU’wi’)
(kinit’iti)
(iye’)
Younger sister of a female
Sister of a male
dadin (t’a’hai”)
Cross-cousin (father’s sister’s child) salon (shahat’)

Footnotes

   (↵ returns to text)

  1. Also called tsudachittsi, sharp nose.
  2. Compare the account Ingkanish has given of the Beaver doctor, p. 34.
  3. Just as, analogously, the names of Pueblo Indian societies have sometimes been recorded as clan names. The Isletan Tiwa regularly refer to their matrilineal, non-exogamic, ceremonial groups as “clans.”
    No clanship system has been found among other Caddoan tribes. Among Shawnee it once existed but is now lost (Voegelin). Matrilineal clanship is general in the Southeast.
  4. Spier writes: “There are said to be no exogamous groups, but in conversation with my informant maternal affiliation seemed to be stressed.”
  5. In 1912 Once-in-white-house (Caddo Jake) assured Swanton that there were several exogamic maternal clans. On the other hand White-bread stated that the clans which were Buffalo, Bear, Panther, Wolf and Beaver (in this order according to the strength of the animal) were neither exogamic or endogamic; if one married outside the clan the children all belonged to the woman’s clan if it was “stronger,” but if “weaker” then only the girls belonged to the maternal clan. Swanton suggests that the different bands may have had different usages, the eastern or Louisiana Caddo to whom Caddo Jake belonged having had strictly matrilineal clans, perhaps borrowed from the Creeks, and the western Caddo to whom White-bread belonged having had non-exogamous clans, in case of intermarriage not all the children inheriting from the same side (Swanton 4: 204-206).
  6. ll the following terms, except that for spouse, are used both vocatively and descriptively.
  7. a’a (Spier). (Each a has a single dot over them.)
  8. ĭna’’ (Spier).
  9. ebŭ’t (Spier working with a Caddo in Anadarko).
  10. Ingkanish. bakenche (Pardon).
  11. bŭkkĭntc (Spier).
  12. ĭikŭ’’ (Spier).
  13. Ingkanish. kaanche (Pardon).
  14. kahanitc (Spier).
  15. eba’’ (Spier).
  16. Ingkanish. Pa.tse (Pardon).
  17. pa’’tsĭ (Spier).
  18. âhai’ (Spier).
  19. ĭne’lĭt (final syllable customarily dropped in this and following terms) (Spier). Spier does not distinguish between parallel and cross-cousin terms. But see below.
  20. tu’ĭtĭt (Spier).
  21. kĭ’nĭtĭt or kinitsi (Spier).
  22. ie (Spier).
  23. tia’ŭtĭt (Spier).
  24. White Moon and Pardon who says that cross-cousins may not use sibling terms.  Ingkanish opines that they do use sibling terms and that shahat’ is used only for distant cousins. This is Spier’s conclusion, although cahŭ’t was given him also for cross-cousin.
  25. wahadĭn, the child of sa’kin who is the child of cahu’t a cousin in the speaker’s generation related through a grandparent (Spier).
  26. nepit’oiha, his spouse.
  27. nătsikwaĭ (Spier).
  28. ebakĭn (Spier).
  29. inka’an (Spier).
  30. tcuhuanŭ (Spier). (a has a dot over it.)
  31. ĭkwĕ’i (Spier).
  32. dahai’ (Spier).
  33. The descriptive (and vocative) term used by the first person is given in parentheses for comparison.


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. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 7 October 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/kinship-of-the-caddo.htm - Last updated on May 7th, 2013


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