Kadohadacho Confederacy

Kadohadacho Confederacy. The word Kadohadacho signifies in the native language “real chiefs,” kadi being the word for “chief,” and it is from an abbreviation of this term that we get the word Caddo. They were also called:

  • At’-ta-wits, by the Comanche, according to Ten Kate (1907).
  • Dä’sha-i, or Táshash, by the Wichita.
  • Érawika, by the Pawnee.
  • ‘H’-doum-dei-kiH, by the Kiowa.
  • Ka-löX-la’-tce, by the Choctaw.
  • Kalu-χnádshu or Kasseye’i, by the Tonkawa.
  • Kul-hül-atsǐ, by the Creeks.
  • Ma’-seip’-kia, by the Kiowa, signifying “pierced noses.”
  • Ni’rǐs-häri’s-kǐ’riki, another Wichita name.
  • Otä’s-itä’niuw’, Cheyenne name, signifying “pierced nose people” (or Utásĕta).
  • Su’-d¢ĕ, by the Quapaw.
  • Tani’bänĕn, by the Arapaho, signifying “pierced nose people.”
  • Witúne, by the Comanche, according to Gatschet (MS., B. A. E.).

Kadohadacho Confederacy Connections. The Kadohadacho belonged to the Caddo division of the Caddoan linguistic stock, the other members being the closely related Hasinai and Natchitoches (see under Louisiana), and the more remotely connected Adai of Louisiana and Eyeish of Texas.

Kadohadacho Confederacy Location. The Kadohadacho lived in northeastern Texas and southwestern Arkansas at the Great Bend of Red River, though they are usually associated with the region around Caddo Lake which they occupied at a later period. (See also Arkansas and Louisiana.)

Kadohadacho Confederacy Subdivisions

  • Cahinnio, near Ouachita River, Ark.
  • Kadohadacho, on the north side of Red River near the point where the present Arkansas-Texas boundary line reaches it.
  • Nanatsoho, on the south side of Red River not far from the point reached by the present Arkansas-Oklahoma State line.
  • Upper Nasoni, on the south side of Red River nearly opposite the present Ogden.
  • Upper Natchitoches, on the south side of Red River between the Nanatsoho and Nasoni.
  • Upper Yatasi, a part of the Yatasi which joined them in very late times.

Kadohadacho Confederacy History

In October 1541, De Soto and his army entered a province called Tula believed to be the country of the Indians later known as Cahinnio, a tribe for whose bravery the Spaniards came to have a wholesome respect. The next encounter between these people and white men was in the summer of 1687 when, after the murder of the Sieur de la Sa1le,`six survivors of his expedition, including Joutel and Father Anastasius Donay, passed through the Kadohadacho towns on their way to the Mississippi, visiting the Nasoni, Kadohadacho, and Cahinnio. Tonti visited them also 4 years later. In November and December 1691, Domingo Teran (Castaneda, 1936) spent a miserable week in this country exploring it and taking soundings of Red River, and we owe to him the first map of the region. In 1700 Bienville undertook to reach them but got no farther than the Yatasi village halfway between the Natchitoches and Kadohadacho. In 1719 the French officer Bernard de la Harpe (1831) spent some time among them and established a trading post which endured for a considerable period. French traders quickly monopolized the Kadohadacho trade, the principal trading point being Natchitoches, but no missions were established. This group of tribes proved to be a strong bulwark against the warlike northern Indians, particularly the Osage, but they suffered much in consequence, and late in the eighteenth century the Kadohadacho or a part of them moved to another location some miles below their ancient village. The town established in the new location, however, was also attacked by the Osages, who inflicted such losses upon its inhabitants that they removed again about 1800 and established themselves on Sodo Creek northwest of the present Shreveport. In 1824 a treaty was signed between the United States Government and the Quapaw Indians by which the latter agreed to give up their lands on the Arkansas and remove to the country of the Caddo Indians. The Quapaw removed the year following but suffered such losses on account of floods in Red River that in 1833 they surrendered these lands and removed to Oklahoma. Two years later the Kadohadacho and their allies also subscribed to a treaty by which they surrendered all of their lands within the territory of the United States. In consequence, they removed to Texas and settled near their Hasinai kindred, whose fortunes they afterward followed although the two parties remained distinct for a considerable period. Some united themselves for a time with the Cherokee under Chief Bowl. Some also took up their residence with the Chickasaw in the Indian Territory. Those who remained in Texas were fellow victims with the Hasinai of the increasing friction with their white neighbors embittered by Comanche and Apache depredations for which they were in no way responsible. We may now call these united peoples by the simple term “Caddo.” In an endeavor to end these difficulties a reservation was set apart for the Caddo on Brazos River in 1852 but trouble arose again of such a violent character that in 1859 the Caddo abandoned Texas and were assigned a new reservation in the southwestern part of the present State of Oklahoma, where their descendants still live, most of the scattered bands having been gathered into one section. Most of the Caddo sided with the Federal Government during the Civil War and went to Kansas, where they remained until it was over, though experiencing many hardships in consequence and losing many of their people in epidemics. They took considerable interest in the Ghost Dance Religion and still more in the Peyote Cult, John Wilson, a mixed-blood Caddo and Delaware, being one of the prominent leaders. The fact that they had always cultivated the ground has made their adjustment to the new economic system fairly easy. In 1902 they were allotted land in severalty.

Kadohadacho Confederacy Population. My estimate for the Kadohadacho division of the Caddo before White contact is 2,000. Bienville and La Harpe place it in 1700–1709 between 2,000 and 2,500. In 1718, however, Bienville asserts that it had fallen to 200 warriors, which would mean about 800 people, and Sibley (1832) indicates the same figures as late as 1805. In 1829 Porter (in Schoolcraft, vol. 3) gives an estimate of 450, and in 1851 Stem (1851) who is likely to be reliable, places it at 476. In 1857 Neighbors returns a partial enumeration of 235, and in 1876, the last time they were returned separately from the Hasinai, the Indian Office reported 467. It is evident, however, that this also includes part of the Hasinai and all of the Adai and Eyeish besides the remnants of the Natchitoches group. After this date the population of the united Caddo group remained around 500, but during the present century it has been steadily increasing and in 1937, 967 were reported.

Connection in which the Kadohadacho Confederacy have become noted. The Kadohadacho group is noted as containing the tribe which ultimately gave the name Caddo to the linguistic family of which it is a part. The name Caddo has been applied to a parish and lake in Louisiana; a county in Oklahoma; a creek and gap in Arkansas; to the village of Caddo Gap, Montgomery County, Ark.; and to villages in Bryan County, Okla., and Stephens County, Tex.; and in Hunt County, Tex., is Caddo Mills.


Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

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