Notes on the Caddo

Parsons, Elsie Clews. Notes on the Caddo, Memories of the American Anthropological Association. Supplement to American Anthropologist, Volume 43, No. 3, Part 2. 1921.

War Dance

In the war dance (R. GucuuwiGaocan, Gu, where, cuuwi, men, braves, Gaocan, dance), the men bunch around the drum and move dancing around the dance floor. They carry a tomahawk or a scalp on a stick, and wear the typical war bonnet of eagle feathers fastened to a strip of cloth. On the face is

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The Wrestler

There was a village. They would gather the boys to wrestle. One boy was an orphan. He went from place to place. When he found a family good to him he would stay with them. An old man gave him a gun and he went hunting. He brought in a turkey. One evening he did

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The Clever Boy

There was a mean boy; his mother’s brother, a chief, wanted to kill him. His mother begged him off. The chief said he must not fight at home, but go out to strange Indians to fight. One day the boy disappeared. He came back and shot off his gun .221 He brought in two scalps

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The Caddo Doctors

The Beaver (t’ao) doctor is the “strongest” (i.e. most powerful) (Ingkanish). He is a daitino (mescal-bean) doctor. He held a medicine dance in early spring. He would throw fire up onto the “grass house” and get it down without the house catching fire. He would shoot another doctor through the heart so that he bled

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Supernatural Beliefs of the Caddo Indians

Grandfather or Father Sun, Earth (wadat’ina: wadat’, earth, ĭn’ă, mother), Fire (ibat’niko: ibat, grandfather, niko, fire), Lightning (ika adinin: ika, grandmother, adinin, lightning), Thunder (R. iGahabaGanswa, grandmother, noise maker, see p. 16), Winds, Cyclone, God, all are referred to by White Moon as supernatural beings, but so vaguely that in his mind, at least, they

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Rites of the Caddo

Exorcism By Fumigation This rite is performed, as we shall note, in Peyote ceremonial–when a participant returns to the ceremonial tipi after having had to leave it during the night, and, by all the participants at the close of the ceremony. Any one who would enter the room where a patient is being cured has

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Notes on the Caddo

The following data were recorded in New York City in the winter of 1921-22 with the cooperation of White Moon, a recent Caddo graduate of Carlisle who in New York shrewdly called himself Chief Silver Moon. In Oklahoma he was generally known as Mike Martin. In December, 1927, at Anadarko, Oklahoma, while collecting folk tales

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Kinship of the Caddo

Of any clanship system White Moon had never heard, and, whatever approach to the subject we made, he remained consistently unaware of clan groups. White Moon was born in 1897, and it seemed not improbable that his ignorance of clanship was characteristic of the younger generation of the tribe; but Ingkanish20 and Pardon were equally

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Caddo Witchcraft

Sickness may be caused by a witch who has sent something into your body-horse hair, an insect, a bit of cloth, an arrow. Your doctor (konah’) would draw out this thing and send it back into the witch who sent it. Then a fight would be on “between the two witches,” i.e. your doctor and

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Caddo Stories

Stories were told at night, in winter (Pardon). The boys had to bathe in the creek early in the morning before the night of story telling. While listening to the story they had to sit straight. If the story was not told right it would turn cold. Caddo Creation Story The Caddo Tale of Lion

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