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The Hainai Tribe and the Mission of Conce’pión

On the east bank of the Angelina River, a little north of a direct west line from the Nacogdoche village, was that of the Hainai.1 This tribe, whose lands lay on both sides of the Angelina,2 was the head of the Hasinai confederacy, and for that reason was sometimes called Hasinai. It is to this tribe, also, that the name Texas was usually applied when it was restricted to a single one. Within its territory was the chief temple of the group, presided over by the great Xinesi, or high priest.3 At its main village the mission of La Puríssima Conce’pión was founded in 1716. After the Relación of Jesus Maria, our first sources of specific information on the location of this village are the diaries. Ramon tells us that he entered the “Pueblo de los Ainai” just east of the Angelina River, and that nine leagues east-south-east of this village he reached the “Pueblo de los Nacogdoches.”4 The missionary fathers who accompanied Ramon, in their Representation made at the same time reported the distance as eight leagues east-south-east. Pena (1721) says the distance was eight leagues east-north-east from the presidio founded near the mission, and nine from the mission. Rivera (1727) found the mission just east of the “Rio de los Aynays,” or the Angelina, and nine leagues west of the Nacogdoches mission.5 These witnesses tally in the main with each other and also, be it noted, with the testimony of the San Antonio Road, as its route is now identified in the old surveys. According to the best information obtainable it ran from Nacogdoches a little north...

Hainai Tribe

Hainai Indians. A tribe of the Caddo confederacy, otherwise known as Inie, or Ioni. After the Spanish occupancy their village was situated 3 leagues west of the mission of Nacogdoches, in east Texas; it contained 80 warriors, the same number assigned to the Hainai by Sibley in 1805, who perhaps obtained his information from the same sources. Sibley places their village 20 miles from Natchitoches, Louisiana. In manners, customs, and social organization the Hainai do not appear to have differed from the other tribes of the Caddo confederacy, whose subsequent fate they have shared. By Sibley and others they are called “Tachies or Texas”, as if that term applied to them particularly. The “great nation called Ayano or Cannohatinno,” according to the narrative of the La Salle expedition in 1687, were not the Hainai, as has been sometimes supposed, or any tribe at all, properly speaking. Ayano, or hayano, is merely the Caddo word for people,’ while Kano-hatino, is the Caddo equivalent for ‘Red river,’ presumably the same stream now so called. The Indians simply informed the explorer that many people lived on Red river, a statement which the French, in their ignorance of the language, construed to contain the definite name and synonym of a powerful...

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