Texas Indians: Southeastern and Gulf Cultures

The Caddoes

The Caddo were mostly villagers and farmers. They lived in grass houses with grass roofing. The Caddo farmers grew beans, watermelons, pumpkins, tobacco, and more. They also hunted animals, especially deer. The Caddoes were also excellent fishermen. Around 200 years ago, they started riding horses.

The Caddoes traded fur, guns, horses, and other items with Europeans.

Eventually all Caddo groups had moved to the Brazos River area to in order to maintain their own way of life.

The Coahuiltecans

The Coahuiltecans Indians settled in areas in Mexico and southern Texas. The Coahuiltecan area was one of the poorest in North America, and the Indian groups that lived there did not survive long.

They were mostly hunters and gatherers of food, but they also grew some crops. They hunted deer and buffalo, and smaller animals such as armadillo, rabbits, birds and snakes.

The Karankawas

They were a tribe that lived along the Gulf of Mexico in southern Texas. The Karankawa traveled around hunting and gathering their food, and they built small villages of several families. They lived in small wooden huts which could be easily packed to move around with them. Their food included shellfish, birds, turtles, and plants. The men hunted and used canoes to travel. Their main weapon was the long bow and arrow.

The Wichitas

The Wichitas separated from other Caddo people and moved to the southern plains, living in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

About 200 years ago they started using horses to hunt buffalo and travel around to look for food. They used skin tipis as homes on their travels. Most of the year they stayed in permanent villages and farmed. Their villages were usually situated near rivers. Men hunted buffalo twice a year, while the women grew corn, beans, and tobacco.

Source: Texas Indians: Southeastern and Gulf Cultures
Courtesy of The Portal of Texas History, UNT Libraries

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