Famous Caddo

Famous Caddo, notable chiefs, medicine men and leaders

At the top of Caddo society were religious and political leaders who held inherited positions. These positions were normally held by men, but a few female leaders are known from historic accounts and in some high-status prehistoric tombs the principal individuals appear to have been women.

Among the Hasinai groups, the xinesi (pronounced chenesi, meaning Mr. Moon) inherited the position of spiritual leadership (head priest) and served all of the allied communities.

Each community had a caddi or principal headman (civil chief), a rank that was also inherited from father to son, as well as a group of village elders known as canahas.

In consultation with the canahas, the caddi was primarily responsible for making the important political decisions for the community, sponsoring major ceremonies of a diplomatic nature, leading councils for war/raiding expeditions, and conducting the calumet (or peace pipe) ceremony with important visitors to the communities.

The tammas were subordinate “enforcers” who made sure the caddi’s decisions were obeyed and that people behaved properly.

Tommy Wayne Cannon (September 27, 1946–May 8, 1978) – An important Native American artist of the 20th century. An enrolled member of the Kiowa Tribe with Caddo and French descent, he was popularly known as T.C. Cannon.

LaRue Parker – Former tribal chairperson

Jereldine “Jeri” Redcorn, aka Bah-ha Nutte, (meaning “River Woman) (born 1939-) – A Caddo-Potawatomi  artist who single-handedly revived traditional Caddo pottery.

John Wilson (1840-1901) – Caddo Peyote roadman

José Maria, aka Iesh (Aasch) –  Chief or caddice, as the Caddo people called their principal leader –  of the Anadarko (Nadaco) from about 1842 to 1862, who rose to become principal chief of all the Caddo during the mid-1800s. He led the Caddo from the short-lived Brazos Reserve in Texas to the Indian Territory in 1859.

Sho-We-Tit (Billy Thomas) – A Caddo man photographed by Joseph Dixon on June 21, 1913 at Anadarko, Oklahoma.

Tinhiouen – Kadohadachos Chief from 1760 to 1789.

Dehahuit – Kadohadachos Chief from 1800-1833.

Whitebread – Caddo chief (caddi) from 1902-1913.

Bar-Zin-Debar (Tall Man)

Sho-e-tat (Little Boy) aka George Washington (1816-1883) – Louisiana Caddo leader of the Whitebread Caddos.  Appointed to the rank of major and in command of two-companies designated to protect peaceful Indian settlements from marauding Comanches. He played both sides of the fence, and bootlegged weapons to the wild Indians for more than 10 years.

Tskararalisin (Eagle Chief)

Lisha-Lalahikots (Brave Chief)

Caddo Tribes:

Adai Caddo Indian Nation, LA (S)
Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, OK (F)