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Agency

Caddo Archeology Journal

Abstract

In a recent volume of the Caddoan Archeology Newsletter, Daniel Hickerson (1995) argues that Apache aggression across the Southern Plains, Apache trade in horses and other European goods, and European-introduced diseases dramatically affected Caddo an populations by encouraging their migration south to the upper Neches/Angelina river basins area traditionally occupied by one segment of the Caddo, the Hasinai groups. In his opinion (Hickerson 1995: 12), the Hasinai confederacy was a nascent chiefdom that developed as a direct result of this mid to late-seventeenth century southern migration. As has been pointed out by Caddoan ethnographers, ethnohistorians, and archeologists for 50 years or more, the Caddo were affected by a number of historical processes that resulted from the European exploration and settlement of the New World, and we would agree with Hickerson that these are worthy of study and continual reexamination. However, it is our view that Hickerson's consideration of historical processes has only dealt with a fraction of the available archeological and archival/documentary literature on the Caddo peoples, and this reliance on a limited sample of this material has led to a portrayal of Apache aggression and its effects on the Caddo populations in eastern Texas that is overdrawn and misleading. Furthermore, Hickerson incorrectly characterizes the limitations of the eastern Texas environment, leading to depictions of the region, as an impenetrable forest that stood as a defensive barrier, that do not stand up to scrutiny. Finally, a failure to differentiate between the Caddo and Southern Plains Caddoan-speakers causes Hickerson to inappropriately attribute to the Caddo the effects of Apache hostilities directed against the Pawnee and Wichita, close tribal allies (Meredith 1995:20-21).

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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