Topic: Caddoan

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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Pawnee Indians

Pawnee Indians. The name is derived by some from the native word pariki, “a horn,” a term said to be used to designate their peculiar manner of dressing the scalp lock; but Lesser and Weltfish (1932) consider it more likely that it is from parisu, “hunter,” as claimed by themselves. They were also called Padani and Panana by various tribes. Also known as: Ahihinin, Arapaho name, meaning “wolf people.” Awahi, Caddo and Wichita Dame. Awahu, Arikara name. Awó, Tonkawa name, originally used by the Wichita. Chahiksichahiks, meaning “men of men,” applied to themselves but also to all other tribes whom they considered civilized. Dárāzhazh, Kiowa Apache name. Harahey, Coronado documents (somewhat uncertain). Ho-ni’-i-tañi-o, Cheyenne name, meaning “little wolf people.” Kuitare-i, Comanche name, meaning “wolf people.” Paoneneheo, early Cheyenne name, meaning “the ones with projecting front teeth.” Páyin, Kansa form of the name. Pi-ta’-da, name given to southern tribes (Grinnell, 1923). Tse-sa do hpa ka, Hidatsa name meaning “wolf people.” Wóhesh, Wichita name. Xaratenumanke, Mandan name. Pawnee Connections. The Pawnee were one of the principal tribes of the Caddoan linguistic stock. The Arikara were an offshoot, and the Wichita were more closely related to them than were the Caddo. Pawnee Location.-On the middle course of Platte River and the Republican fork of Kansas River. (See also Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.) Pawnee Subdivisions. The Pawnee consisted in reality of four tribes,...

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Yscani Indians

Yscani Indians. Meaning unknown. Also spelled: Ascani Hyscani Ixcani Yscani Connections. This was one of the confederated Wichita tribes and therefore without doubt related to them in speech, and thus of the Caddoan linguistic family. Yscani Location. The Yscani are first mentioned in connection with the Wichita and allied tribes on the South Canadian in the territory later assigned to the Chickasaw Nation. Part, however, were reported to be living 60 leagues farther toward the northwest. Yscani History. The Yscani evidently moved south from the above-mentioned location at the same time as the other tribes. They kept particularly close to the Tawakoni, with whose history their own is almost identical. As the name Yscani disappears from the early annals shortly before the name Waco appears in them, it has been thought that the Waco were the Yscani under a new name, but Lesser and Weltfish (1932) identify the Waco with the Isis or Tokane, perhaps both. (See Waco Indians) Yscani Population. In 1772 their village was reported to contain 60 warriors, and about 1782 the entire tribe was said to have about 90...

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Waco Indians

Waco Indians. According to Lesser and Weltfish (1932), from Wehiko, a corruption of Mexico, and given the name because they were always fighting with the Mexicans. The same authorities report that the Waco are thought to have been a part of the Tawakoni without an independent village but separated later. Also called: Gentlemen Indians, by Bollaert (1850). Houechas, Huanchane, by French writers, possibly intended for this tribe. Waco Connections. The Waco were most closely related to the Tawakoni of the Wichita group of tribes belonging to the Caddoan Stock. Waco Location. They appear first in connection with their village on the site of the present Waco, Texas, though their original home was in Oklahoma with the Wichita. Waco Villages. Quiscat, named from its chief, on the west side of the Brazos on a bluff or plateau above some springs and not far from the present Waco. Waco History. According to native informants as reported by Lesser and Weltfish (1932), the Waco are formerly supposed to have constituted a part of the Tawakoni without an independent village. It has also been suggested that they may have been identical with the Yscani, but Lesser and Weltfish identify the Yscani with another band. Another possibility is that the Waco are descendants of the Shuman tribe. In later times the Waco merged with the Tawakoni and Wichita. Waco Population. In 1824 the Waco...

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Tawehash Indians

Tawehash Indians. Meaning unknown. Lesser and Weltfish (1932) suggest that this group was identical with a Wichita band reported to them as Tiwa. They have been given some of the same synonyms as the Wichita. Tawehash Connections. The Tawehash belonged to the Caddoan linguistic stock and were related closely to the Wichita, Tawakoni, Waco, and Yscani. Tawehash Location. Their earliest known home was on Canadian River north of the headwaters of the Washita. Tawehash Villages. In 1778 Méziéres found two native villages to which he gave the names San Teodoro and San Bernardo. Tawehash History. The Tawehash were encountered in the above situation by La Harpe in 1719. They moved south about the same time as the Tawakoni and other tribes of the group and were found on Red River in 1759, when they defeated a strong Spanish force sent against them. They remained in this same region until in course of time they united with the Wichita and disappeared from history. Their descendants are among the Wichita in Oklahoma. Tawehash Population. Most writers give estimates of the Tawehash along with the Wichita and other related tribes. In 1778 they occupied two villages aggregating 160 lodges and numbered 800 fighting men and...

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Tawakoni Indians

Tawakoni Indians. Said to refer to “a river bend among red hills,” or “neck of land in the water.” The synonyms should not be confounded with those of the Tonkawa. Also called: Three Canes, an English form resulting from a mistaken attempt to translate the French spelling of their name, Troiscannes. Tawakoni Connections. The Tawakoni belonged to the Caddoan linguistic stock and were most closely connected with the Wichita, the two languages differing but slightly. Tawakoni Location. They were on the Canadian River about north of the upper Washita. (See also Texas.) Tawakoni Villages Flechazos, on the west side of Brazos River near the present Waco. Tawakoni History. The Tawakoni were first met in the above location in company with the Wichita and other related tribes. Within the next 50 years, probably as a result of pressure on the part of more northerly peoples, they moved south and in 1772 they were settled in two groups on Brazos and Trinity Rivers, about Waco and above Palestine. By 1779 the group on the Trinity had rejoined those on the Brazos. In 1824 part of the Tawakoni were again back on Trinity River. In 1855 they were established on a reservation near Fort Belknap on the Brazos, but in 1859 were forced, by the hostility of the Texans, to move north into southwestern Oklahoma, where they were officially incorporated with the...

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Arikara Indians

Arikara Indians. Signifying “horns,” or “elk,” and having reference to their ancient manner of wearing the hair with two pieces of bone standing up, one on each side of the crest; -ra is the plural suffix. Also called: Ă da ka’ da ho, Hidatsa name. Ah-pen-ope-say, or A-pan-to’-pse, Crow name. Corn eaters, given as their own name. Ka’-nan-in, Arapaho name, meaning “people whose jaws break in pieces.” O-no’-ni-o, Cheyenne name. Padani, Pani, applied to them by various tribes. Ree, abbreviation of Arikara. Sanish, “person,” their own name, according to Gilmore (1927). S’gŭǐes’tshi, Salish name. Stâr-râh-he’ [tstarahi], their own name, according to Lewis and Clark (1904-05). Tanish, their own name, meaning “the people,” according to Hayden (1862). Perhaps a misprint of Sanish. Wa-zi’-ya-ta Pa-da’-nin, Yankton name, meaning “northern Pawnee.” Arikara Connections. The Arikara belonged to the Caddoan linguistic stock and were a comparatively recent offshoot of the Skidi Pawnee. Arikara Location. In historic times they have occupied various points on the Missouri River between Cheyenne River, South Dakota, and Fort Berthold, North Dakota. (See also Montana and Nebraska.) Arikara Subdivisions and Villages The Arikara are sometimes spoken of as a confederacy of smaller tribes each occupying its own village, and one account mentions 10 of these, while Gilmore (1927) furnishes the names of 12, including 4 of major importance under which the others were grouped. These were as follows: Awahu,...

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Houses of the Caddo Tribe

The “Caddo proper,” or Cenis as they were called by Joutel, early occupied the southwestern part of the present State of Arkansas, the Red River Valley, and adjacent region to the south and west. La Salle was murdered near the banks of the Trinity, in eastern Texas, March 20, 1687. Joutel and several others of the party pushed on, and nine days later, when traversing the valley of the Red River, arrived at a village of the Cenis. Fortunately a very good account of the people and their homes is preserved in Joutel’s narrative, and from it the following quotations are made: “The Indian that was with us conducting us to their Chief’s Cottage. By the Way, we saw many other Cottages, and the Elders coming to meet us in their Formalities, which consisted in some Goat Skins dress’d and painted of several Colors, which they wore on their Shoulders like Belts, and Plumes of Feathers of several Colours, on their Heads, like Coronets. All their Faces were daub’d with black or red. There were twelve Elders, who walk’d in the Middle, and the Youth and Warriors in Ranks, on the Sides of those old Men.” After remaining a short time with the chief ” They led us to a larger Cottage, a Quarter of a League from thence, being the Hut in which they have their public Rejoycings,...

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Houses of the Waco Tribe

On August 23, 1853, the expedition under command of Lieut. A. W. Whipple camped at, some point in the southwestern portion of the present McClain County, Oklahoma, and that evening were visited by two Indians, ” the one tall and straight, the other ill looking. Their dress consisted of a blue cotton blanket wrapped around the waist, a head-dress of eagles’ feathers, brass wire bracelets, and moccasins. The outer cartilages of their ears were cut through in various places, and short sticks inserted in place of rings. They were painted with vermilion, and carried bows of bois d’art three feet long, and cow-skin quivers filled with arrows. The latter were about twenty-six inches in length, with very sharp steel heads, tastefully and skillfully made. The feathers with which they were tipped, and the sinews which bound them, were prettily tinted with red, blue, and green. The shafts were colored red, and said to be poisoned.” 1Whipple, A. W., Itinerary. In Reports of Explorations and Surveys to, Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean … 1853-1854. Vol. III. Washington. 1856, p. 22. Unable to converse with the two strangers, the interpreter proceeded to interview them by signs. The graceful motions of the hands seemed to convey ideas faster than words could have done, and with the whole operation we...

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Houses of the Wichita Tribe

Like the other members of this linguistic family, whose villages have already been described, the Wichita had two forms of dwellings, which they occupied under different conditions. One served as the structure in their permanent villages, the other being of a more temporary nature. But, instead of the earth-covered lodges used farther north, their fixed villages were composed of groups of high circular structures, entirely thatched from bottom to top. Their movable camps, when away from home on war or hunting expeditions, consisted of the skin-covered tents of the plains. The peculiar thatched structures were first seen and described...

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Houses of the Arikara Tribe

When or where the Arikara separated from their kindred tribe, the Pawnee, may never be determined, but during the years which followed the separation they continued moving northward, leaving ruined villages to mark the line of their migration. Sixty years ago it was said: “That they migrated upward, along the Missouri, from their friends below is established by the remains of their dirt villages, which are yet seen along that river, though at this time mostly overgrown with grass. At what time they separated from the parent stock is not now correctly known, though some of their locations appear...

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Nacisi Tribe

Nacisi Indians. A small tribe, possibly of Caddoan stock, formerly dwelling in the region of Red River, Louisiana. They were first mentioned by Joutel in 1687, at which time they were at enmity with the Cenis (Caddo confederacy). When Bienville and St Denis were exploring Red River of Louisiana, in 1700, they found on that stream a village of the Nacisi consisting of 8 houses. They were still in this neighborhood in 1741, but during the vicissitudes of the 18th century seem to have drifted southward beyond the border of the French province, from 1790 they are mentioned among the tribes under the jurisdiction of Nacogdoches, in...

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Wichita Tribe

Wichita Indians, Wichita  Confederacy. A confederacy of Caddoan stock, closely related linguistically to the Pawnee, and formerly ranging from about the middle Arkansas river, Kansas, southward to Brazos river, Texas, of which general region they appear to be the aborigines; antedating the Comanche, Kiowa, Mescaleros, and Siouan tribes. They now reside in Caddo County, west Oklahoma, within the limits of the former Wichita Reservation. The name Wichita, by which they are commonly known, is of uncertain origin and etymology. They call themselves Kitikiti’sh (Kirikirish), a name also of uncertain meaning, but probably, like so many proper tribal names, implying preeminent men. They are known to the Siouan tribes as Black Pawnee (Paniwasaba, whence “Paniouassa,” etc.), to the early French traders as Pani Piqué, ‘Tattooed Pawnee,’ to the Kiowa and Comanche by names meaning ‘Tattooed Faces,’ and are designated in the sign language by a sign conveying the same meaning. They are also identifiable with the people of Quivira met by Coronado in 1541. The Ouachita living in east Louisiana in 1700 are a different people, although probably of the same stock. Among the tribes composing the confederacy, each of which probably spoke a slightly different dialect of the common language, we have the names of the Wichita proper (?), Tawehash (Tayovayas), Tawakoni (Tawakarchu), Waco, Yscani, Akwesh, Asidahetsh, Kishkat, Korishkitsu. A considerable parts of the Panimaha, or Skidi Pawnee, also...

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Avoyel Tribe – Avoyelles Tribe

Avoyel Indians, Avoyelles Indians (Fr. dim. of avoie, ‘small vipers’). A tribe spoken of in the 18th century as one of the nations of the Red River, having their villages near the mouth of that stream, within what is now Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. They probably belonged to the Caddoan family, the tribe representing a group that had remained near the ancient habitat of its kindred. The country occupied by the Avoyelles was fertile and intersected by lakes and bayous, one of the latter being still called by their name. The tribe lived in villages, cultivated maize and vegetables, and practiced the arts common to the tribes of the Gulf region. Nothing definite is known of their beliefs and ceremonies. Like their neighbors, they had come into possession of horses, which they bred, and later they obtained cattle, for Du Pratz mentions that they sold horses, cows, and oxen to the French settlers of Louisiana. During the general displacement of the tribes throughout the Gulf states, which began in the 18th century, the Avoyelles country proved to be attractive. The Biloxi settled there and other tribes entered and took possession. Under the influences incident to the advent of the white race the Avoyelles mingled with the newcomers, but through the ravages of wars and new diseases the tribe was soon reduced in numbers. Before the close of the century their...

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