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Native American Facts For Kids was written for young people learning about the Caddos for school or home-schooling reports. We encourage students and teachers to visit our main Caddo website for more in-depth information about the tribe, but here are our answers to the questions we are most often asked by children, with Caddo pictures and links we believe are suitable for all ages. Photographs are the property of the sources we have credited.
|Here is a link to the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, where you can learn about the Caddo people past and present. The Texas Indians and Texas Beyond History websites also have terrific information about the Caddo tribe.|
|They do the same things any children do--play with each other, go to school and help around the house. Many Caddo children like to go hunting and fishing with their fathers. In the past, Indian kids had more chores and less time to play, just like colonial children. But they did have dolls, toys, and games to play. In one Caddo game, kids tried to throw a dart through a moving hoop. A Caddo baby was traditionally carried in a cradle board-- a custom which many American parents have adopted now.|
|Caddo men were hunters and sometimes went to war to protect their families. Caddo women were farmers and also did most of the child care and cooking. Both genders took part in storytelling, artwork and music, and traditional medicine. In the past, the chief and council members were always men, but today Caddo women can sit on the council too.|
|The Caddos didn't live in tepees. There were two different types of Caddo houses. The eastern Caddos in Louisiana built tall beehive-shaped grass houses like the one in this picture. The western Caddos, in Texas and Oklahoma, built earthen lodges with thatched roofs. Here are some more pictures of Native American houses like the ones Caddo Indians used. Each Caddo village also included a temple and a sports field. Sometimes villages were surrounded by log walls for protection. No one lives in these old-fashioned dwellings anymore. Today the Caddoes live in modern houses and apartment buildings, just like you.|
(Courtesy of Texas
Caddo Indian men wore breechcloths, sometimes with leather leggings to protect their legs.
Caddo women wore wraparound skirts and poncho tops made of woven fiber and deerskin. Both genders wore earrings and
moccasins. Caddo men did not
usually wear shirts, but in cold weather, both men and women wore buffalo robes.
In colonial times, the Caddos adapted European costume such as cloth jackets and calico dresses. Here is a webpage with pictures of
Caddo ribbon shirts, and here are some photographs
and links about traditional Native American clothing in general.
The Caddos didn't wear long headdresses like the Sioux. Caddo men usually cut their hair in the Mohawk style or shaved their heads except for a scalplock (one long lock of hair on top of their heads.) Sometimes warriors would make this hairstyle more impressive with a colorful roach headdress. Caddo Indian women usually wore their long hair in a bun. For special occasions, Caddo women fastened their buns with beaded hair ornaments and long trailing ribbons like this. Here is a website with pictures of these Native American hairstyles. The Caddos also wore traditional tattoos, and women painted their faces and bodies bright colors for special occasions.
Today, some Caddo people still wear moccasins or a ribbon shirt, but they wear modern clothes like jeans instead of breechcloths... and they only wear roaches in their hair on special occasions like a dance.
(Courtesy of Texas
|The Caddos knew how to make dugout canoes from hollowed-out logs, but usually they preferred to travel by land. There were no horses in North America until colonists brought them over from Europe, so the Caddos used dogs to help them carry their belongings. Today, of course, Caddo people also use cars... and non-native people also use canoes.|
(Courtesy of Texas
|The Caddo Indians were farming people. Caddo women harvested crops of corn, beans, pumpkins, and sunflowers. Caddo men hunted for deer, buffalo, and small game and went fishing in the rivers. Traditional Caddo foods included cornbread, soups, and stews. The Caddo Indians in Texas also mined salt from underground mines, which they boiled down to use in their cooking. Here is a website with more information about traditional American Indian food.|
|Caddo hunters primarily used bows and arrows. Caddo fishermen caught fish and shellfish in basket traps. Caddo warriors fired their bows or fought with lances or tomahawks. Farmers used tools such as hoes and spades, which they made from wood, carved bone, and mussel shells. The Caddos also made axes with heavy stone heads for chopping wood.|
(Courtesy of Texas
|The Caddos were most famous for their pottery. Caddo artists made elaborately decorated pots and bottles in many different styles. Here is a website of Caddo pottery photographs for you to look at, and another site on the history of Mississipian Indian pottery and other artifacts. Traditional Caddo art forms also include native basketry and woodcarving.|
Caddo powwow drum
|The most important Caddo instrument is the drum. Caddo drums are very large. A group of Caddo men stand around the drum and play it together, while other Caddos dance in a circle and sing. Here are some audio clips of Caddo songs. You can see Caddo dances today at powwows, which are cultural festivals attended by many different tribes that are open to the public.|
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