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Agency

Caddo Archeology Journal

Abstract

When French explorers first arrived in northwest Louisiana, the local Caddo Indians had already earned a reputation for being important players in the salt trade. Likewise, many western Caddo groups living near the southern Plains were known for their involvement in the horse trade. In the first part of this paper, the relationship between the local salt industry and the introduction of the horse is considered. It is suggested that at least some of the salt made in northwest Louisiana was being fed to horses and other livestock acquired either directly or indirectly from the Spanish. In addition to its potential effect on the salt trade, the introduction of the horse in the southern Plains also spurred an increase in theft and raiding. Historical data suggest that Caddo salt producers may have been worried about such activities from hostile groups like the Osage and Chickasaw. In the second part of this paper, it is argued that these Caddos may have tried to discourage raiding by using salt licks bordered by waterways, by working in close proximity to other salt producers, and by traveling long distances to reach well-protected salt production sites.

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

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