The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 37
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The Indigenous Indians of Lower Trinity Area of Texas 37
consisted in the main of the Orcoquiza, Bidai, Deadose, and
others of lesser importance. Herbert E. Bolton has shown that
these western tribes were Attacapan.2
The name Attacapa is of Chotaw derivation and means can-
nibal: hatak "man" and apa "eats." The Attacapa and Karanka-
wa seem to have merited this term more than did their neigh-
bors. Many of the early maps show southwestern Louisiana and
the entire coast of Texas to be occupied by "wandering canni-
bal tribes." The name Attacapa itself is often thought to have
been applied in a general and indefinite sense to all these canni-
bal tribes. As far as is known the term Attacapa has never been
applied to any Indians besides those in this area. John Sibley,
Indian agent for the Orleans territory from 1805 to 1814, de-
clared that the term "cannibal" was no more applicable to them
than to their neighbors.3
In 1698, the Attacapa, together with the Orcoquiza, Bidai,
and others, had a population of about 3,500, including i,ooo
warriors and about 400 cabins; about half of the population was
in Southeastern Texas. By 1908 there were nine Louisiana Atta-
capa living, and all the other tribes, including those along the
lower Trinity, were practically extinct.4
The country occupied by the Attacapa was not encroached
upon by white colonists until the latter part of the eighteenth
century. In their wild and unspoiled state these Indians lived in
scattered villages and roamed about hunting and fishing. The
Attacapa frequented and were closely associated with the pine
forests of the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Texas.5
Short accounts of the mythology and customs of the Chiti-
macha and Attacapa Indians of Louisiana have been preserved
21bid., II, 437-438; Herbert Eugene Bolton, Texas in the Middle Eighteenth
Century (Berkeley, 1915), 3-
3Swanton, "Indian Tribes of the Lower Mississippi Valley," Bureau of American
Ethnology, Bulletin 43, p. 360; Hodge, Handbook of American Indians, I, 115;
Albert S. Gatschet and John R. Swanton, "A Dictionary of the Atakapa Language,"
Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin zo8 (Washington, 1932), o07; John Sibley,
"Historical Sketches of the Several Indian Tribes in Louisiana," American State
Papers, Indian Affairs (Washington, 1832), IV, 724.
4Swanton, "Indian Tribes of the Lower Mississippi Valley," Bureau of American
Ethnology, Bulletin 43, PP. 43-45.
51bid., 38; signed statement of Dr. Alex. D. Krieger, August, 1950, Archives,
University of Texas Library.
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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/m1/50/: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.