Mondo's NAT # 092 - Caddo
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Native American Tribe series.
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. 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.
The modern Caddo people are the descendants of many different tribes that once inhabited Louisiana, southern Arkansas and coastal Texas as far west as the Brazos River. When the Texans plotted to exterminate them in 1859, they fled to Indian Territory. Many sided with the Union when the Civil War began and fled to Kansas. Today the more than 1,200 Caddo share joint control of small parcels of tribal lands in Oklahoma with the Delaware and Wichita nations around the areas of Fort Cobb and Fort El Reno.
One of the most striking features of traditional Caddo culture is the great quantity of social dances that are preserved to this day. The Caddo have a greater variety of social dance songs, such as the Duck Dance, the Alligator Dance, and the Bear Dance, than any other tribe from the Eastern Woodlands. Furthermore, within each type of social dance, the Caddo continue to sing a greater number of songs than other tribes; for example, while other tribes may only have one or two Bell Dance songs, the Caddo people have dozens.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum