Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Táysha of the Caddo

Reading this from any vantage point in the world, chances are people have been there/here before -- and probably a long time before now. In Fort Worth, Texas, in the year 2012, I look around and wonder. In the years of the Texas Republic, Caddo people lived in the area, until they left in 1841 under pressure from armed men of that Republic. Besides the Caddo, at the time there were Tonkowa, Wichita, Cherokee, Taovaya and various amalgamated bands. Comanche and Kiowa raided to the west and south. Most, if not all, were gone from the area around present-day Fort Worth before Texas was annexed by the U.S. in 1845.  Camp Worth was established after the conclusion of the Mexican-American War, and Fort Worth came into existence shortly afterwards, in November 1849.

Táysha of the Caddo. In the language of the Caddo, Táysha means friend or ally. The Spanish transliterated this as Tejas, which also mysteriously morphed into the name Texas. Odd how these things happen. As Professor Charles H. Long pointed out in a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill religion class many years ago, the "Old Ones" remain among us: via material culture (artifacts); as spectral tracings in the form of place names; as geographical features; and -- in the form of their descendants -- as living people. This is true almost anywhere and everywhere in the world. Indeed, more than 3,000 "American Indians" live again within the geographical limits of "Fort Worth" as of 2012. Who are the Old Ones living nearest you?

Today's Rune: Signals.   (Map source: "Native American Tribes of Texas." Link: http://www.native-languages.org/texas.htm)


Adorably Dead said...

Very interesting post. I love learning about how we get the names for some of our states and geographical locations.

Charles Gramlich said...

Every time I heard "caddo" I think of the Caddo peaks outside Cross Plains, Texas, the place where Robert E. Howard spent most of his life.