Hasinai Confederacy

Hasinai Confederacy. Hasinai signifies “our own folk.” The name often occurs in the forms Assinay or Cenis.

Hasinai Confederacy Connections. The Hasinai Confederacy constituted one of the major divisions of the Caddo, the others being the Kadohadacho Confederacy, the Natchitoches Confederacy, and the Adai and Eyeish, the two last probably connected but not confederated. All belonged to the Caddoan linguistic stock.

Hasinai Confederacy Location. In northeastern Texas between the headwaters of the Neches and Trinity Rivers.

Hasinai Confederacy Subdivisions

The following tribes or bands were included:

  • Anadarko, northwest of Nacogdoches in the present Rusk County.
  • Guasco, position unknown.
  • Hainai, 3 leagues west of Nacogdoches.
  • Nabedache, 3 to 4 leagues west of Neches River and near Arroyo San Pedro, at a site close to the old San Antonio road, which became known as San Pedro.
  • Nacachau, just north of the Neches tribe and on the east side of Neches River.
  • Nacanish, north of the Hainai.
  • Nacao, probably part of the Nacanish.
  • Nacogdoche, at the present Nacogdoches.
  • Nacono, southeast of the Neches and Nabedache and 5 leagues from the former.
  • Namidish or Nabiti, on Angelina River north of the Hainai.
  • Nasoni, two towns:
    1. about 27 miles north of Nacogdoches near the Anadarko;
    2. in the Kadohadacho Confederacy.
  • Nechaui, southeast of the Nabedache, half a league from the Nacono, and 5 leagues from the crossing of the Neches at the Neches village.
  • Neches, the main village 1 league or more east of Neches River, nearly west of the present Nacogdoches and near the mounds southwest of Alto, Cherokee County.

The following names may belong to other allied tribes but next to nothing is known of them:

  • Naansi
  • Nabeyeyxa
  • Nadamin
  • Natsshostanno
  • Neihahat
  • Tadiva

Lesser and Weltfish (1932) speak of a tribe called Kayamaici, but this was probably a local group on Kiamichi River.

Hasinai Confederacy Villages. As recorded by our authorities, these almost always bore the names of the tribes occupying them.

Hasinai Confederacy History. On their way west in 1542 after the death of De Soto, in an endeavor to reach Mexico overland, the Spaniards who had followed him passed through the Caddo country, and the names of the Nabedache, Nasoni, Anadarko, and Nacanish seem to be recognizable. In 1686-87 La Salle and his companions spent some time in their villages, and it was near one of them that La Salle was murdered by his own people. In 1690 the Spaniards entered their country and opened the first mission among them at the Nabedache village in May of that year. A number of missions were established in the other villages. All were abandoned in 1719 in expectation of a French attack, but they were reestablished in 1721. They did not prove successful, how-ever, and were gradually removed to the neighborhood of San Antonio. Early in the nineteenth century the Hasinai were joined by the Louisiana Caddo, and all were placed upon a reservation on the Brazos River in 1855. Threatened with massacre by some of their White neighbors, they fled to Oklahoma 4 years later, were granted new lands near the present Anadarko, and finally allotted land in severalty.

Hasinai Confederacy Population. Mooney (1928) estimates that in 1690 the entire Caddo population, including the Hasinai, the Kadohadacho and Natchitoches Confederacies, and the Adai and Eyeish tribes, amounted to 8,500, 700 more than the number I arrived at. He does not give figures for the Hasinai by themselves, but it is probable that he would have al-lowed between 4,000 and 5,000. The former figure is the one I suggested (see Swanton, 1942). Referring to earlier estimates, we are told that a Canadian who had lived for several years among the Hasinai stated in 1699 that they had between 600 and 700 warriors, which would indicate a population of 2,500-3,000. In 1716 Don Diego Ramon, under whom the missions were established, gave it as his opinion that they were serving a population of 4,000-5,000. When Aguayo reestablished them in 1721 he distributed presents to the inhabitants of the principal towns. His figures are evidently incomplete, but even so they suggest some falling off in the 5 years that had elapsed. At any rate it is evident that these Indians lost very heavily during the eighteenth century and that their numbers did not exceed 1,000 at the opening of the nineteenth century. A rather careful estimate by Jesse Stem in 1851 would indicate a population of about 350. In 1864 the United States Indian Office reported 150, and in 1876 and subsequent years still smaller figures appear which are evidently incomplete. The first seemingly accurate census taken by the Indian Office was in 1880, when the figure for the united Caddo people was given as 538. It varied little from this until after 1910 when it showed steady gains. In 1937, 967 Caddo were reported.

Connection in which the Hasinai Confederacy have become noted. The Hasinai are noted as the Indians among whom La Salle came to his untimely end, and along with the Kadohadacho and Natchitoches as makers of the beautiful Caddo pottery. (See Kadohadacho Confederacy.) Texas, a common name applied to them, was adopted as the designation of a Republic and later State of the American Union. It has been given to places in Washington County, Ky., and Baltimore County, Md.; to Texas City, Galveston County, Tex.; Texas Creek, Fremont County, Colo.; and in the combined form Texarkana to a city on the boundary line between Texas and Arkansas, entering also into Texhoma, Texas County, Okla., and Sherman County, Tex.

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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