The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 39
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The Indigenous Indians of Lower Trinity Area of Texas 39
The Attacapa lived mostly on fish and practiced about the
same customs and habits as neighboring tribes in spite of dif-
ferences in physical characteristics. This similarity in practices
was determined in large measure by climate and local condition.
All had similar methods of cooking and preparing fish; all went
bareheaded and barefooted. The religious and tribal customs of
the Attacapa bore a close resemblance to those of their neigh-
The Attapaca were skilled fishermen. They frequented the
near-by coastal waters in frail dugouts, never daring to venture
far into the Gulf. They did not employ the bow and arrow ex-
tensively in fishing, but depended principally upon spears and
darts. These they could handle with great skill. Bone-tipped
darts were used for short distances and were equipped with
floats. The heavier flint-tipped harpoon had a wooden float at-
tached to a thong which made it possible for the Indian to re-
trieve his weapon as well as to tire out a wounded fish. Flounders
were speared by torchlight with a short-handled dart tipped with
a bundle of sharp fish bones."
Oysters were gathered from salt water lagoons with rakes made
of two strong poles, curved at the ends and interlaced with strong
vines. The heaps of oyster shells which accumulated in the vil-
lage were piled in a mound and served as an elevated base for
the lodge of the head man or shaman.0O
Flounders were cooked whole in a pit with the fish being
placed one above the other. Small fish of all kinds were dried by
being hung on reeds and smoked over banked fires. Fish pro-
vided an article of barter with interior tribes, by whom they
were considered a delicacy."'
Some fish, also, were trapped in small lagoons which were
subject to tidal overflow. The shaman powdered dry roots or
herbs in a wooden mortar and sprinkled the powder upon the
surface of the lagoon. In a short time the stupefied fish would
SJoseph O. Dyer, The Lake Charles Atakapas (Cannibals) Period of 1817-1820
(Galveston, 1917), 1.
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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/m1/52/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.