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General Facts about Caddo Indians
- Caddo is pronounced "CAD-Oh".
- The name Caddo comes from the Indian word Kadohadacho, which means "true chiefs".
- The Caddo people farmed, hunted, and fished for their food. Traditional foods included corn, beans, deer, buffalo, and fish.
- Their weapons included bow and arrows and clubs made out of wood and bone.
- Most Caddos speak English today, but some people, especially elders, also speak their native Caddo language. Caddo is an endangered language because most children are not learning it anymore.
- Traditionally the chief and members of the tribes council were always men.
- Traditionally these Indians traveled by foot and would use dogs pulling sleds to transport things.
- The tribes first encounter with Europeans was in 1542 when they encountered a Spanish expedition in what is now southwest Arkansas.
- European missionaries brought with them disease such as smallpox and malaria for which the Caddo had no immunity. These diseases decimated the Caddo population.
- The Caddo People produced beautiful art including pottery, woodcarvings, and baskets.
- In the late 1800s many Caddo joined the Ghost Dance religion which was a popular religion among the Native Americans living in the Southeast and other regions of the United States at that time. The religion gave American Indians hope and was based on a revelation that an Indian named Wovoka had. He saw that the white people would disappear, and that dead Indians would rise and live forever, and that the once plentiful buffalo would return.
Caddo Indians Facts - Clothing and Style
- The men would generally wear breechcloths and occasionally leather leggings for protecting their legs.
- Women wore wraparound skirts with poncho tops often made out of deerskin.
- Moth men and women wore moccasins on their feet.
- In cold weather both men and women would wear thick robes made with buffalo fur.
- Both sexes wore earrings.
- As time progressed their clothing style changed. As they came into contact with European settlers and traders they would start wearing some European styled clothing like jackets and dresses.
- The men of the tribe traditionally had Mohawk style haircuts or would shave their heads except for one long lock of hair.
- The women of the tribe generally had long hair which they would wear in a bun. On special occasions they would decorate their hair with beads or ribbons.
Caddo Indians Facts - Homes and Villages
- The traditional homes were made of grass supported by a framework of poles. There shape resembled a beehive and could have a diameter of up to 45 feet (13.7 meters).
- A less common house was made of brush covered by mud and supported by poles. They had roofs made out of either grass or bark.
- Today these Native American people live in modern day houses and apartment buildings.
- For protection, walls made out of logs were often constructed around the village.