Attacapan Family

Attacapan Family. A linguistic family consisting solely of the Attacapa tribe, although there is linguistic evidence of at least 2 dialects. Under this name were formerly comprised several bands settled in south Louisiana and northeast Texas. Although this designation was given them by their Choctaw neighbors on the east, these bands with one or two exceptions, do not appear in history under any other general name.

Formerly the Karankawa and several other tribes were included with the Attacapa, but the vocabularies of Martin Duralde and of Gatschet show that the Attacapa language is distinct from all others. Investigations by Gatschet in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana in 1885, show that there were at least two dialects of this family spoken at the beginning of the 19th century, an eastern dialect, represented in the vocabulary of Duralde, recorded in 1802, and a western dialect, spoken on the 3 lakes forming the outlet of Calcasieu River.

Consult Further:

  • Powell in 7th Rep. B.A.E., 56, 1891.


Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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