The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 41
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The Indigenous Indians of Lower Trinity Area of Texas 41
monial of many of the Gulf Coast tribes-Karankawai, Tonkawai,
and the like. The Attacapa at this particular period were a gen-
tle and timid people, but undoubtedly had become less aggres-
sive than formerly. The early French visitors to their territory
spoke of their "valor and propensity to eat the body of their
Dyer attributes other information about the Attacapa to a
Greek trader connected with Laffite's camp on Galveston Island.
From this trader it was learned that the shaman's hut was taboo
to everyone. The trader's venture into one of them brought
him a blow on the head by an unknown attacker. In the hut
he saw many snake skins, feathers, and fancy shells together
with curios of varied descriptions. In baskets on one side of the
hut were found human skulls and bones, leading to the suppo-
sition that it was a custom of the tribe to exhume the bodies of
the dead, after a few months, and clean and pack the bones in
The chief articles of trade of these Indians were mil, moss, and
pinal. A mil was simply a bundle of dried or smoked fish. Moss
was gathered from trees near at hand and was in considerable
demand at Galveston Island for use as bedding. Pinal was hard
stone or flint which was in great demand among the Karankawa
along the coast toward the southwest.14
Dyer says that the Lake Charles Attacapa used a Caddoan
dialect in communicating with the whites, though they possibly
had their own tongue. A few of their words, principally those
relating to fishing, were the same as ancient Karankawan words.l5
It is said that the Attacapa were too lazy to tan animal or
fish skins. They depended on tribes to the north of them for
pottery. They obtained conical or globular oil jugs from the
Karankawa. These were quite serviceable to the canoe voyager
when fitted into cane frames. The Attacapa furnished the In-
dians to the north of them with shark's teeth, marine curios,
dried or smoked fish, feathers, and seaweed. This last article
was used as a medicine. The plumes of the heron, crane, and
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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/m1/54/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.