Caddo Mixed Marriages

Several mixed marriages or lineages appear in the genealogies. Chu´’uu’s first husband, White Moon’s maternal grandfather (Gen. II, 16), was a Shawnee. Enoch Hoag’s wife is Delaware (Gen. I, 9), and one of his sisters married a man “part Delaware,” Ninin or Alfred Taylor (Gen. I, 17, 34). Another sister married a Choctaw (Gen. I, 6). Margaret and Bertha Deer (Gen. I, 14, 25) are Muskogean (Mashkoki). The first wife (Gen. II, 13) of Kill-deer was a Kickapoo. The widow of Billy Bowlegs (and wife of Amos Longhat) (Gen. II, 10) is half French (Kanosh). 1 The father of Chanatih (Gen. II, 30) is a French Caddo named Sterm (? Stern). Listed in the house census (App.) appear other mixed marriages. On Boggy Creek live Bessie Wolf married to a White man, and Red-head married to a White woman. A daughter of Snow-chief is married to a White man. The first wife of Tom Williams was White. The daughter of Mrs. Peach-orchard is married to a Wichita. In Binger lives Bangs-cut-off married to Shikapu’t’iti (Little Kickapoo), a Kickapoo. The first wife of Henry Ingkanish (Gen. III, 18) of Anadarko was an Arapaho; his second wife (1922) is a Cheyenne. 2 The wife of James Ingkanish is a Cheyenne. The plural wife (see p. 52) of Moon-head was a Quapaw, and so was Vincent Johnson’s first wife from whom he separated.

A few Caddo are married away: Ada Longhorn married to a Comanche, and living near Lawton; Simon Blackstar married successively to two Kiowa women, and living near Apache.

To none of these mixed marriages was there, according to White Moon, any objection, and there is no objection in theory to marrying out of the tribe. Disinclination there probably is, at any rate it appeared on White Moon’s part when I asked him why there were not more marriages between Caddo and Wichita, the closest neighbors to the Caddo–we had noted but One Wichita-Caddo marriage. “The Wichita are not good looking, we don’t like their looks. Many of them limp. Besides they dress different. The Caddo wear American clothes, the Wichita just wrap around a piece of calico. 3 Between Osage and Caddo there is no instance of intermarriage, nor between Apache and Caddo.

There is no suggestion of endogamy within the Caddo tribal divisions, nor of exogamy into the other division. Between Sugar Creek people and Fort Cobb people several marriages are recorded, just as are marriages within the division. Cousin exogamy there is. Cousin marriage is not a good marriage, on the father’s side as well as on the mother’s; but it is impossible for White Moon to formulate to what degree cousinship is an obstacle to marriage. 4 None of the “cousins” at Kudadosa (Genealogy II) would inter-marry. And some of these cousins, for example Gen. II, 55 and 57, are related as cross-cousins removed. For himself White Moon would not marry any of the cousins tabulated in Genealogies I and II. He seems to go largely in this matter by the kinship terms he applies to the parents of the cousin cited, and to be quite certain that he would not marry the children of any one he calls mother, father, uncle (mothers brother) or “aunt” (fathers sister). He can not instance any cousin marriage among his quittances. But he added, “I expect there are some though.”

It is proper enough for a widower to marry any relative of his deceased wife, or for a widow to marry any relative of her deceased husband. A case is cited of the marriage of one Johnson Coffee to the widow of his brother, Robert Coffee – about a year later. Otherwise there is no evidence of levi-rate. Nor is there any evidence of preference for marriage with a deceased wife’s sister. 5 A case is recorded of a man marrying his deceased wife’s niece (brother’s daughter) (Gen. I, 17).

For six or seven months the widowed should not remarry.

According to the genealogies, marriage is fairly brittle, at least in the older generation. Enoch Hoag’s eldest sister was thrice married and from her second husband, at least, she separated. Enoch Hoag’s brother, Mr. Blue, was also thrice married, separating from his first wife, who also remarried. In the same family connection, Mrs. Leg-shaker married twice, separated from her first husband; and the wife of Chief Once-in-white-house separated from him and remarried. The first wife of Horned-hoot-owl separated and married the same man Horned-hoot-owl’s widow also married. Kill-deer and his first wife separated. In these few cases it is rather striking that the separation occurs in connection with the first marriage.

On separating, a person “gets up and collects his (or her) things and leaves.” Today an American divorce costs $25.00, and “you must have a good cause.” If you are not legally divorced and you remarry, the Government “stops your payments.” 6Citations:

  1. Kanosh Kadit’idaa, French Caddo.[]
  2. In 1927 he is married to a Winnebago (Gen. III, 19). Here is an instance where previous marriages were not reported. There are probably other instances. Henry Ingkanish was employed at Riverside School, which may account for his foreign marriages.[]
  3. The only murder White Moon could recall was of a Caddo by a Wichita. Little-wolf (Gen I, 16), the first husband of White Moon’s father’s sister, was stabbed by Percy Sidoka, a Wichita in a gambling row over a card game (mahdi). A relative by marriage (Little-wolf’s fife’s father’s brother) tried to kill the Wichita on the spot, but the Caddo present interfered, saying that perhaps his “son-in-law” was not yet dead. Then the Wichita escaped. Subsequently in the American court he was discharged.[]
  4. Spier formulates as follows: “One cannot marry cross or parallel-cousins, nor any cahŭ’t
    (presumably a cousin in the speaker’s generation related through a grandparent) sa’kin (child of cahŭ’t), wahadin (child of sa’kĭn), or their children.”[]
  5. “If a man marries the oldest sister of several and she dies, a younger sister may take her place if it is agreeable” (Spier, 262).[]
  6. See p. 31.[]


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

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