Caddo peoples to be recognized Tuesday

– The heritage of the Caddo peoples in Hunt County will be celebrated Tuesday morning during a historical marker dedication.

Chairman of the Caddo Nation Tribal Council, Brenda Edwards, will speak at the event, to take place at Highway 69 and FM 1564, about seven miles south of Greenville. The site, first recorded in 1957, comprises an open occupation site with ceramic, mixed Archaic and late Prehistoric or Protohistoric occupations.

The Caddo people are thought to have thrived in the region for nearly 1,000 years, from approximately 800 to 1800 AD. During that time, they were able to make contact with European explorers and later colonists. The area furnished a great variety of nuts, berries, fruits, plants, fish and wild game that could sustain life in a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

Historical findings show the Caddos were highly successful agriculturalists, and known by other Indian tribes for their bow making, notably from bois d'Arc wood (Osage orange), which is particularly abundant in Northeast Texas. To many Texans their greatest significance lies in the fact that the state name was derived from the Hasinai confederation of Caddoes. The tribes of this confederation called each other Tayshas, meaning "allies" or "friends", and the Spaniards, to whom it was also applied, soon came to employ the word for these and other friendly natives. Probably the pronunciation of the term was closer to "Tayshas" or "Taychas" than to "Texas".

Tuesday's dedication ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Other speakers for the dedication include Judge Andrew Bench, Dr. James Conrad, head of special collections; retired, and Dr. JIm Eidson; Ecoregion Manager for The Nature Conservancy.