Kadohadacho Tribe

Kadohadacho Indians (Kä’dohadä’cho, real Caddo “Caddo proper’ ). A tribe of the Caddo confederacy, sometimes confused with the confederacy itself. Their dialect is closely allied to that of the Hainai and Anadarko, and is one of the two dialects dominant today among the remnant of the confederacy.

The Kadohadacho seem to have developed, as a tribe, on Red river of Louisiana and in its immediate vicinity, and not to have migrated with their kindred to an distance either north or south. Their first knowledge of the white race was in 1541, when De Soto and his followers stayed with some of the subtribes on Washita river and near the Mississippi. The Spaniards never penetrated during the 16th and 17th centuries to their villages in the lake region of north west Louisiana, but the people came in contact with Spanish soldiers and settlers from the west by joining the war parties of other tribes. Various articles of European manufacture were brought home as trophies of war. The tribe was not unfamiliar with horses, but had not come into possession of firearms when the survivors of La Salle’s party visited them on their way 1687. For nearly two years La Salle had previous direct relations with tribes of the Caddo confederacy who were living in what is now Texas, so that when the approach of the French was reported the visitors were regarded as friends rather than as strangers. The chief of the Kadohadacho, with his warriors taking the calumet, went a league, to meet the travelers, and escort them with marks of honor to the village on Red river. On arrival, the women, says Douary “as is their wont, washed our heads and feet in warm water and then placed us vas is their wont washed our heads and feet in warm water and then placed us on a platform covered with very neat white mats. Then followed banquets, the calumet dance, and other rejoicing day and night.”

The friendly relations then begun with the French were never abandoned. A trading post was established and a flour mill built at their village by and the French early in the 18th century, both were given up in a few years owing to the unsettled state of affairs between the Spaniards and the French. These disturbances added to the enemity of tribes who were being pushed from their homes by the increasing number of white settlers, together with the introduction of new diseases, particularly smallpox and measles, brought about much distress and a great reduction in the population. During the last quarter of the 18th century the Kadohadacho abandoned their villages in the vicinity of the lakes in north west Louisiana, descended the river, and settled not far from their kindred, the Nachitoches. By the beginning of the 19th century their importance as a distinct tribe was at an end, the people became merged with the other tribes of the confederacy and shared their misfortune. In customs and ceremonies they resembled the other Caddo tribes.

The tribes of the Caddo confederacy, including the Kadohadacho, have 10 clans, according to Mooney, viz.:

  • Suko (Sun)
  • Kagahanin ( Thunder)
  • Iwi (Eagle)
  • Kishi (Panther)
  • Oat (Raccoon)
  • Tao Beaver)
  • Kagaih (Crow)
  • Nawotsi (Bear)
  • Tasha (Wolf)
  • Tanaha (Buffalo)

The Buffalo clan was sometimes called Koho (Alligator), “because both animals bellow in the same way.” The members of a group did not kill the animal from which the group took its name, except the eagle, whose feathers were necessary for regalia and in sacred ceremonies; but the bird was killed only by certain men initiated to perform this ceremonial act. The rituals and songs attending the rite of preparation for the killing of eagles have passed away with their last keeper, and the people have now to depend on other tribes for the needed feathers.

Caddo, Kadohadacho,

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

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