The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 40
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
rise to the surface where they were killed with paddles by the
Colonel Warren D. C. Hall visited an Attacapa village several
times in 1817, 1818, and 1819 in journeying from Bolivar to
Calcasieu. "His knowledge of Indian customs, and his observa-
tions of race characteristics, were accurate and reliable." Early
in i817 the Attacapa village in Louisiana contained forty "miser-
able dirty huts." The chiefs and shamans had dwellings upon
oyster mounds. These huts were somewhat larger than the other
huts of the village. The people possessed no temple and no reli-
gious ceremonials except the "Chi" dance, which was patterned
after the dance of the Karankawa, and they had no food taboos.
The men were short, with large heads, dark skin, and prominent
facial features "of an unpleasant cast." They had high cheek bones
and protruding lips. They copied the Karankawa closely in hunt-
ing, fishing, cooking, and dancing. In fact, they copied the Ka-
rankawa rather than their kinsmen living away from the coast.
Head deformations, cuts on nose and chin, and tattooing were
noticeable, especially among the older members. These Indians
used the yaupon leaves to make a beverage, but they did not
drink large quantities of the tea "as was the case in the ceremoni-
als of the Trinity River Indians." They probably drank it at cer-
tain times or seasons to cleanse the system.12
James O. Dyer, in one of his historical accounts, says that it
was a custom of some Gulf Coast Indians to change their names
on the birth of a male heir, or when the heir became famous.
The Attacapa called themselves after their sons. One illustration
concerns itself with a visit by some Indians to Jean Laffite's camp
on Galveston Island. The Coke clan lived some fifteen miles
from the camp. The head man had some twenty years before
adopted the name of his first-born son, Hai-a or Shark. The
father's name thus became Ka-hai-a or Father of the Shark. As a
result of the son's exploits he received the name Hai-a-wai or
Shark Killer, and his father upon adopting the new name became
Ka-hai-a-wai or Father of the Shark Killer. The term wa-i was
of interest to ethnologists since it really meant man or people
who kill, or else warrior. The term was, therefore, the testi-
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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/m1/53/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.