The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991

Southwestern Hzstorzcal Quarterly

strangely weak. How else to explain a section on "Prehistoric Indians"
without including the most recent works by Alfred Crosby, Paul Mar-
tin, or Calvin Martin? And are watercolor illustrations, albeit nicely
done, color ones, really good substitutes for reproductions from Catlin,
Bodmer, Curtis, or any number of fine photo collections of material
I developed a conviction reading the first couple of pages of this
book that the author and illustrator are actually aiming for a junior
high and high school audience. There is nothing wrong with that, of
course, but it does mean that serious scholars are not going to take
much more than a passing interest in this volume.
Texas Tech University DAN L. FLORES
Hasinai: A Traditional History of the Caddo Confederacy. By Vynola Beaver
Newkumet and Howard L. Meredith. Foreword by Arrell Mor-
gan Gibson. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1988.
Pp. xvi+ 144. Foreword, preface, illustrations, glossary, notes, sug-
gestions for further reading, index. $16.95.)
The authors, an educated Caddo (Newkumet) and a non-Indian re-
searcher (Meredith), synthesize what is known about the western Cad-
dos (properly, Hasinai) both by the Indians themselves and by non-
Indian scholars. The result is not what we initially expect, a long Indian
narrative with non-Indian historical and anthropological annotations.
Instead the book is a readable exposition of Caddo lifeways and Caddo-
European interactions, simultaneously combining oral tradition, ar-
chaeology, ethnography, and recorded history. The book is regrettably
short, partially because of Newkumet's premature death and partially
because both authors wanted a wide, non-professional readership.
Each chapter opens with a description of one of the dances the Cad-
dos still perform annually to relive their traditions. Then each discusses
an aspect of Caddo life: origin beliefs, hunting, farming, housing,
clothing, kinsmen, politics, relations with non-Caddo, medicine, lan-
guage, modern tribal affairs, and, finally, views on recent Caddo his-
tory. There is some overlap between topics, natural in a culture with
interrelated parts. The narrative is only moderately detailed; if used as
a text in history or anthropology courses, it would suit high-schoolers
or college freshmen. Readers wanting heavy-duty anthropological or
historical descriptions, however, are referred in footnotes to the schol-
arly literature, which is also handled at length in the bibliographic essay
titled "Suggested Readings." That essay is a major asset of the book, for
as far as I can tell it pulls in everything written about the Hasinai.


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 5, 2015.