The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004 Page: 124
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
invaluable resource, not only for the level of detail but as well because of its com-
prehensive bibliography. The Wzchzta Indians should be considered a major step
toward a more analytical understanding of the Wichitas and the Southern Plains
region. This text has broad appeal, however, and the casual reader will find it an
entertaining history. Smith has appealed to a larger audience here.
Lorain County Community College SHARONJ. DEUBREAU
The Hasmazs: Southern Caddoans as Seen by the Earliest Europeans. By Herbert
Eugene Bolton, edited by Russell M. Magnaghi. (Norman: University of
Oklahoma Press, 2002. Pp. xiv+194. Illustrations, map. ISBN o-8o61-1150-
x. $14.95, paper.)
The writing and eventual publication of The Hasmazs by Herbert Eugene
Bolton, the founder of Spanish borderlands studies, has a long and storied jour-
ney that is well laid out in an introduction by Russell Magnaghi, the editor of the
1987 and 2oo2 editions of the book. Bolton became interested in the Hasinai
Caddo peoples of East Texas shortly after he arrived at the University of Texas at
Austin in i901, and through twists and turns, he had the present book-length
manuscript virtually completely written and ready for submittal to the
Smithsonian Institution in 1907. Unfortunately, Bolton then put the manuscript
aside as he moved on to other borderlands historical work on the West Coast
and California (p. 13) and he never completed it. Magnaghi first took up the
task of editing the book manuscript in 1971.
The Hasinai Caddo peoples lived in the Neches and Angelina River basins in
East Texas, and were a settled and socially complex agricultural folk comprised of
at least nine separate groups or tribes linked by kinship ties and shared systems of
religion, politics, and ritual. Bolton's task in writing the book was to tell the story
of what these Caddo people were like at the time of the earliest Europeans, or at
least those Europeans (mainly Spanish missionaries) that wrote about the Hasinai
groups in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, since Bolton's bor-
derland studies had already impressed upon him that the Hasinai had played an
important role (p. 28) in the early history of Texas and Louisiana.
Bolton's book primarily focuses on an ethnographic exploration of the basic
character and organization of the Hasinai groups. He covers in separate chap-
ters their presumed social and political organization; economic life; houses,
hardware, and handicrafts; dress and adornment; religious beliefs and cus-
toms; and war customs and ceremonials. In so doing, he is able to provide a
succinct and readable presentation of the culture of the Hasinai groups as
seen through the eyes of various Europeans. As long as the reader realizes that
the view Bolton provided represents a distillation of a mix of reports from the
frontier that were written by Europeans with many different agendas-with lit-
tle input from the Hasinai Caddo themselves-it is still possible to come away
from a reading of the book with an important characterization of what the
lives and times of the Hasinai Caddo were some two hundred or three hun-
dred years ago.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004, periodical, 2004; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/m1/142/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.