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drum dance
The Drum Dance is one of the most sacred and oldest of Caddo dances. It began long ago as a celebration of victory and survives today as a celebration of the survival of Caddo traditions. Photo by Dayna Lee.

Caddo Voices: Past and Present tell about the history of the Caddo people since 1835 through the words of Caddo elders. The main story told is not a happy one; while its twisting path is unique, Caddo history parallels that of many other Indian groups in North America. But it is one thing to learn about Indian-White relations and the overall trend of Caddo history from textbooks and official histories; it is quite another to read the words of Caddo people. Few people today understand what really happened and know how badly and unfairly Caddo peoples were treated by the governments of the United States, the Republic of Texas, and the State of Texas.

Within this story of great suffering and betrayal is also the story of a resilient people, a proud people who have survived much and yet still preserve core traditions and a strong sense of their distinctive identity. Faced with no choice, the Caddos have adapted to the ways of the modern world. Today they are continuing to grow in number and they are finding new ways to maintain a Caddo Nation.

Caddo Voices can be best appreciated if the sections are followed in this order:

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