The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 36
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rke JAdiemoKs J#dias of tfe
ower rrinity Area of areas
MARVIN C. BURCH
THE HISTORY of the Indian inhabitants of the lower Trinity
River region and the surrounding area in Texas is some-
what confused by the limitations of the various accounts
of them. These accounts do not always adhere to common ter-
minologies or geographical limits, and the student is left in some
instances to mere assumptions. Early travelers and explorers, of
course, were handicapped by the wild nature of the country,
the limited areas of explorations, and the limitations of lan-
guage. Indian tribes themselves were often on the move in
search of food, and this gave the explorer no assurance of their
permanent dwelling places. It is possible, however, to piece to-
gether a general concept of the Indians in the lower Trinity re-
gion by a study of the various accounts that have been pre-
The territory of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisi-
ana was the home of several Indian tribes whose similarity of
language and customs caused them to be grouped under the gen-
eral name of Attacapan. The Attacapan tribes had their own
distinctive tribal names as well. The most important of these
were the Attacapa, the Orcoquiza, the Opelousa, the Bidai, the
Deadose, and the Patiri. Of these, the Attacapa lived in Louisi-
ana and Texas, and the Bidai, Orcoquiza, and others lived in
rather vaguely defined areas of the lower Trinity River region.'
Certain dialects of the Attacapan language were spoken from
Vermillion Bay and Bayou Teche in Louisiana westward to Gal-
veston Bay and the area on both sides of the Trinity River, as
far north as Bidai Creek. The western group of the Attacapa
1John R. Swanton, "Indian Tribes of the Lower Mississippi Valley and Adjacent
Coast of the Gulf of Mexico," Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 43 (Wash-
ington, 1911), 35; Frederick Webb Hodge (ed.), Handbook of American Indians
North of Mexico (2 vols.; Washington, 19go), I, 114.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/49/?rotate=270: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.