Monday, May 28, 2012

Survival of the Caddo

Two watercolors by Lieutenant Lino Sánchez y Tapia, late 1820s: Comanches (above) and Cados/Caddos (below).

Cecile Elkins Carter describes this picture in her Caddo Indians: Where We Came From (University of Oklahoma Press, 1995), pages 260-261: "The woman wore a calf-length cloth coat over a skirt and long blouse. Her blouse had a ruffled collar and was pinned on the front with silver discs, graduating in size from the largest at the top. Her hair was nearly hidden by a turban; she wore moccasins and cloth leggings." On the right side of the watercolor: "The Caddo man wore a long cloth shirt with ruffles at the cuffs and a V neck. His leggings were buckskin, and garters of ribbon or yarn were tied below his knees . . . his face was painted with charcoal, and he wore a gleaming nose ornament."

Though the Caddo may have already lost as much as 75% of their 1700 population base by the 1820s and 1830s, there was more loss to come in the form of "Americans." As Carter puts it, "Apaches, Osages, Chickasaws, and Choctaws stole their horses and killed or made captives of some of their people, but no tribe lived on Caddo land without their permission. The French and Spanish had claimed to possess Caddo country, but neither denied tribal rights. . ." Such would not be the case thereafter because "Americans intended to dispossess . . . and permanently occupy their lands" (page 241). Above is a map indicating (to the right, or East) parts of Texas once inhabited by the Caddo. Much of this land was not incidentally buffalo/bison country, too.  

Today's Rune: Possessions.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Talk about styling. Those descriptions of the Caddo are pretty cool. I can visualize it.