Topic: Caddo

Tale of Coyote And The Turkeys

Coyote was looking for something to eat, for he was hungry as ever. Finally, on his way, he heard a noise. He thought to himself, “Some people must be having lots of fun,” so he made up his mind to go and enjoy himself with them. He went in the direction of the noise and he found many Turkeys. They were having fun by getting into a large sack and rolling down a steep hill. When the Turkeys saw him coming they said that they were going to put him in too. Coyote came and wanted to take part in the fun, for he thought it a good chance to kill some of the Turkeys. He let the Turkeys roll him down the hill two or three times; then he thought that his time had come to carry out his plan. He told all the Turkeys to get into the sack and he would roll them down the hill. Every one of them crawled into the sack, and then Coyote tied it fast at each end, so that they could not get out, and put it on his back and started for home. He had four young sons at home, and calling them to him he opened the sack and took out one of the Turkeys, saying: “You see this. I have that sack full of Turkeys. Build a...

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Tale of Coyote And The Six Brothers

An old woman lived alone with her seven sons. They were all good hunters and kept her busy preparing the game that they killed. One day the oldest son went out to hunt and did not return. After several days his dogs came back, but he did not come. The second son decided to go to search for his brother, and so he took the dogs and started out. After several days the dogs came back, but the second son did not come. The third son decided to go after his missing brothers. Again the dogs returned alone, and the brothers did not come. The fourth, the fifth, and the sixth sons in turn went to search for their missing brothers, but each time the dogs came back alone. The youngest son wanted to go, but his mother could not give him up, for she feared that he, too, would go, never to return. One day, after the brothers had been gone a long time, the little boy saw a raccoon in a tree. He asked his mother if he could not take his bow and arrow and kill it. She said that he could, and gave him his bow and arrow. He chased the raccoon from one tree to another until it had led him far into the thick timber. Finally it ran down a hollow tree and...

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Tale of Coyote And The Origin Of Death

In the beginning of this world there was no such thing as death. Every one continued to live until there were so many people that there was not room for any more on the earth. The chiefs held a council to determine what to do. One man arose and said that he thought it would be a good plan to have the people die and be gone for a little while, and then to return. As soon as he sat down Coyote jumped up and said that he thought that people ought to die forever, for this little world was not large enough to hold all of the people, and if the people who died came back to life there would not be food enough for all. All of the other men objected, saying that they did not want their friends and relatives to die and be gone forever, for then people would grieve and worry and there would not be any happiness in the world. All except Coyote decided to have the people die and be gone for a little while, and then to come back to life. The medicine-men built a large grass house facing the east, and when they had completed it they called all of the men of the tribe together and told them that they had decided to have the people who died come...

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Tale of Coyote And Rabbit Kill A Buffalo

Rabbit and his grandmother lived by themselves, and Rabbit often went out to hunt to get something for them to eat. He began to go pretty far from home, and his grandmother scolded him and told him not to go so far, but to remember that he was little and might be killed. Rabbit did not pay any attention, for he knew that he was a good runner. One time he went far away, but could not find any game, and so he turned around to go home. As he went he played along the way and sang to himself. Coyote was out the same day looking for something to eat. He was just about to give up and go home when he heard some one singing. He looked all about and saw Rabbit. He grinned to himself and quietly slipped up behind Rabbit. When he knew that he was so close that Rabbit could not get away, he yelled “Bo!” at Rabbit and made a grab for him. Rabbit was badly frightened, but he determined not to give up. He said: “Coyote don’t kill me yet and I will tell you how to kill some good game. I cannot do it alone, and I have just been wishing that you would come and help me with my scheme.” “What is it?” asked Coyote, very much interested. “I know...

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Tale of Buffalo Woman

In a village there lived a cannibal at that time and the people called him Snow-Bird-with-White-Wings. He had a handsome son, who would not marry any of his own tribe. The father named his son Braveness because he was very brave in hunting. Whenever he went out to hunt he brought home many kinds of game that he had killed. Many of the young girls tried to win him as a husband, but Braveness would pay no attention to any of them. One night he decided to go hunting the next day. Early the next morning he started out toward the west. While he was going along looking and watching for wild animals he saw some one sitting ahead of him under a small elm tree. He approached the person and saw that it was a woman. She called him to come where she was, and he obeyed and saw that she was very beautiful and very young. She told him that she knew he was coming there and so she had come to meet him. He listened eagerly to hear what she had to say. She asked him if she could stay with him, and if he would take her to his home and let her become his wife. He told her that he would take her to his home, but that she must ask his parents if...

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Tales of Coyote Imitates His Host

In the days of old, when animals were like people and talked and visited each other, Coyote and Raven were great friends. One day after Coyote had grown weary of hunting for game and finding none, he went up to the top of the mountain to see his friend Raven. Raven had control of the buffalo and was always seen with the herds. (Now, since the buffalo has gone from the earth, Raven has disappeared and is seldom seen any more.) Raven invited Coyote to enter, and when he saw Coyote weary and sad and silent he arose, took an arrow, shot it up into the air, and then stood waiting for it to come down. It came down and pierced him under the right arm. He drew the arrow out and with it came buffalo meat and fat. He gave the meat to Coyote, who ate heartily. Then Coyote smacked his mouth, arose, and said that he must be going, but before he went he gave Raven an urgent invitation to come over and make him a visit, and Raven promised to come. When Coyote went home he began making a bow and arrow, and when he had finished them he put them away until Raven should visit him. One day Raven bethought himself of his promise, and so he left his home in haste to pay Coyote...

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Neches-Angelina Confederacy

Since Indian political organization was at best but loose and shifting and was strongly dominated by ideas of independence, and since writers were frequently indefinite in their use of terms, it would not be easy to determine with strict accuracy the constituent elements of this Neches-Angelina confederacy at different times. However, a few of the leading tribes those of greatest historical interest stand out with distinctness and can be followed for considerable periods of time. De Leon learned in 1689 from the chief of the Nabedache tribe, the westernmost of the group, that his people had nine settlements. 1“Poblaciones.” Letter of May 18, 1689, printed in Buckingham Smith’s Documentos para, la Historia de la Florida; evidently that cited by Velasco, in Memorias de Nueva España, XXVII, 179. Concerning the Memorias, see note 3, p. 256. Francisco de Jesus Maria Casañas, writing in 1691 near the Nabedache village after fifteen months’ residence there, reported that the “province of Aseney” comprised nine tribes (Naciones) living in the Neches-Angelina valleys within a district about thirty-five leagues long. It would seem altogether probable that these reports referred to the same nine tribes. Those named by Jesus Maria, giving his different spellings, were: Nabadacho or Yneci (Nabaydacho) Necha (Neita) Nechaui Nacono Nacachau Nazadachotzi Cachaé (Cataye) Nabiti Nasayaya (Nasayaha) The location of these tribes Jesus Maria points out with some definiteness, and six of them...

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The Names “Texas” and “Hasinai”

The tribes in question commonly have been called the Texas, but more properly the Hasinai. Concerning the meaning and usage of these terms I shall only present here somewhat dogmatically part of the results of a rather extended study which I have made of these points and which I hope soon to publish. 1The present paper embodies some of the results of an investigation of the history of the Texas tribes, which the writer is making for the Bureau of American Ethnology. The testimony of the sources warrants the conclusion that before the coming of the Spaniards the word Texas, variously spelled by the early writers, had wide currency among the tribes of eastern Texas and perhaps over a larger area; that its usual meaning was “friends,” or more technically, “allies”; and that it was used by the tribes about the early missions, at least, to whom especially it later became attached as a group name, to designate a large number of tribes who were customarily allied against the Apaches. In this sense, the Texas included tribes who spoke different languages and who were as widely separated as the Red River and the Rio Grande. It seems that the Neches-Angelina tribes designated did not apply the term restrictively to themselves as a name, but that they did use it in a very unethical way as a form of greeting,...

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Where The Witch Had His Power

There was one witch (naiiti), the most powerful of all. He was an old man and he always wanted to marry young girls. The old people were afraid of him. The chief had a pretty daughter. This witch asked for her. The chief said, “You are too old.” That night the girl died. The chief told his messenger (Puma) to go and kill that witch. He killed him, buried him. Next morning he heard a great explosion from the grave. The witch was alive again in his house. The chief got yuku [medicine men] to tell about him. Yuku said the witch had his power in a little basket with a little bow and arrows under his right armpit. So they killed him again. Under his arm they found the basket. This time he stayed dead. Told by Grayson...

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The Wrestler

There was a village. They would gather the boys to wrestle. One boy was an orphan. He went from place to place. When he found a family good to him he would stay with them. An old man gave him a gun and he went hunting. He brought in a turkey. One evening he did not come back. Next morning he came back. In the evening he left again. They wondered why he was staying out all night. He told them he went turkey hunting. He shot a turkey, it fell across the creek. He heard a voice saying, “My friend, don’t you come. I’ll bring in that turkey.” The boy was scared. The haiyoshötsi brought in the turkey. He and the boy picked it, cooked it, ate it. “Well, my friend, let’s have some fun!” They built a fire. “I will wrestle with you.” He threw him down. They wrestled four times. The haiyoshötsi threw him. Next morning he took the turkey to camp. The haiyoshötsi told him to come back the next night. He went the next night. The haiyoshösi had the fire already built. They wrestled a little while. “Let’s go!” They went through the brush and came to a clearing-nice smooth ground, but it was full of pointed bamboo. The haiyoshötsi was thrown by another haiyoshötsi, the chief. Then the boy wrestled with the chief...

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The Doctor Who Told His Secret

There were two little boys playing all the time together. They were tesha. The folks of one lived away at some distance. The other was the chief’s son. One day they went bird hunting. The chief’s son came back without his friend. On a mountain they had found a big hole. The chief’s son threw the other boy into it. (A chief’s son may be like that overbearing.) He was down there six days. He was crying. Two ravens (o’wa`) flew down. One said, “My boy, we heard you crying. We are going to get you out. Hold to our wings. Put one hand on one of us, one hand on the other. Don’t open your eyes.” They took him up to the sky-where there was another world. They took him back to earth. “Now you are going to be a fine doctor (kona).” They gave him a drum to call them by and a song. “Don’t use it unless it is important! Don’t call for nothing! Don’t tell how you got out, keep it secret.” Now he was p’itauniwan’ha ku o’wa`, partner with Raven. When he came back, they asked him where he had been. “In a hole.” They went to see it. “How did you get out?” He did not know. They kept on asking him and asking him. The little boy cried, finally he said, “They...

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The Clever Boy

There was a mean boy; his mother’s brother, a chief, wanted to kill him. His mother begged him off. The chief said he must not fight at home, but go out to strange Indians to fight. One day the boy disappeared. He came back and shot off his gun .221 He brought in two scalps or heads fully skinned. Now he could do as he liked, his uncle could not say anything to him. He told how he got these head skins. He found a cave and hid in it. Two men came in, made a fire, lay down on either side of it with their backs to the fire. He got up and placed a chunk of coal next to one. He awoke, being scorched, and removed the coal. The boy replaced it. The man woke up angry. Somebody did this, he said, and he accused his friend. He lay down, the boy replaced the coal. Finally the two men fought and killed each other. He took the skins off their head and face. Told by James Ingkanish. Reminiscent of the European Tale of the Clever Little...

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Caddo Tales by Grasshopper

White Moon related a set of “funny stories” told him by old man Grasshopper, some of which are “tall stories” or stories of Spanish picaresque type like those recorded by Handy at Zuni. Grasshopper said that once he lost his horse, it was gone almost a year. And one day he lost his hogs, they were gone a long time. Out hunting one day he saw a bunch of hogs up on a hill. He went up the hill and looked at the hogs; they were his hogs, nice and fat. He saw a tree move, he went up to it, there was his horse. He saw that the tree was growing on the back of the horse. When the horse had left he had a sore back. An acorn had fallen on the sore and grown into a tree. He could not get the tree out. So he cut it off, leaving the stumps of two limbs for a saddle. He drove the horse and the hogs home. A party stopped one night to camp. They always turn their horses loose with the ropes dragging. One man had a big stallion and he always hobbled him at night. It was dark and he thought he would go and hobble his horse. All he could see in the dark was an outline of an animal. He went and hobbled...

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The Caddo Tale of Lion Bridegroom

There was a girl, a pretty girl, the boys came courting her. The girl would not listen to them. One day she went after water, she saw a boy across the creek, she went across and talked to him. He was a handsome boy in a fine buckskin suit. She went back to the river. She talked to him. She took him to her folks, they got married. In the fall people went hunting and the boy went out with his gun. He brought nothing back. The girl’s dogs were starved. They said, “Well, younger sister (tahai’), we are going to follow our brother (kinitsi)to see what he does that he brings back nothing to eat.” So they followed him. They went to the edge of the timber, they saw him lay down his cartridge belt, lay his gun against a tree, lie down and roll over several times and stand up as a lion. They ran back and told the woman to leave, he was not a man. “He will come back and eat us up.” So she went. She told the five dogs to stay in camp to bother him so he could not overtake her quickly. After she had gone on she heard the dogs barking. She could hear only three of them, the little five dogs (pito’si), the two big ones were killed already. Then...

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