The ancestors of the Caddo Indians were agriculturalists whose distinctive way of life and material culture emerged by A.D. 900, as revealed in archaeological sites in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. When members of Hernando de Soto’s expedition entered the region in 1542, thriving Caddo communities were distributed along the Brazos, Trinity, Neches, Sabine, Red, and Ouachita rivers. These communities played important economic and diplomatic roles during the seventeenth and eighteenth century colonial era.
The Caddo people suffered hardships when the United States government removed them to reservations in Texas and later Oklahoma during the nineteenth century.
Indian Territory (Oklahoma) 1866-1889
Additional losses resulted from the subsequent sale of reservation lands as a result of allotment. Twentieth century efforts to revitalize economic, social, political, and religious institutions preserved links with this heritage that enable the Caddo people to maintain a distinctive identity today and continue building toward a hopeful and prosperous future.
For more information on the Caddo people, we’ve compiled a brief bibliography of books about the Caddos’ below:
- Herbert Eugene Bolton: The Hasinais: Southern Caddoans As Seen by the Earliest Europeans
- Jeff Bowen: Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Fort Sill Apache, Wichita, Caddo, and Delaware Indians Birth and Death Rolls, 1924-1932 (a great source for family history research)
- Cecile Elkins Carter: Caddo Indians: Where We Come From (written by a tribal member)
- George Amos Dorsey: Traditions of the Caddo (myths and folklore of the Caddo people)
- David LaVere: The Caddo Chiefdoms: Caddo Economics and Politics, 1700-1835
- Vynola Beaver Newkumet and Howard Meredith: Hasinai: A Traditional History of the Caddo People (co-authored by a tribal member)
- Timothy K. Perttula: The Caddo Nation: Archaeological and Ethnohistoric Perspectives
- F. Todd Smith: The Caddo Indians: Tribes at the Convergence of Empires
- John R. Swanton: South Material on the History and Ethnology of the Caddo Indians
- Kent Westbrook: Legacy in Clay: Prehistoric Ceramic Art of Arkansas
ON-LINE RESOURCES OF THE CADDO
- A History of the Caddo Indians: This is an old article published in the Louisiana Historical Quarterly in 1935 and was originally William Glover’s Master’s thesis at the University of Texas 1932).
- Notes on the Caddo by Elsie Clews Parsons: This was originally a memoir of the American Anthropological Association. Parsons interviewed several tribal members extensively, including Michael Martin, an artist also known as Silver Moon.