Restoring native Texas prairie at Caddo Mounds SHS pays tribute to the deep roots of Caddo ancestry in East Texas and was an important first step in a broad range of land conservation projects planned for the site. According to the Native Prairie Association, the deep roots of native grassland plants protect the watersheds in which they occur, increase water infiltration and water yield, increase water supply by reducing erosion and reservoir sedimentation, and increase water quality due to the lack of fertilizer, pesticide, and herbicide use. Above ground, the native prairie provides food and shelter for pollinators and wildlife. In February 2022 a short-eared owl, a rare site in east Texas, was spotted during a winter bird survey in our restored prairie.
It is a common misconception that indigenous people lived in their native environments having little impact on those spaces. In fact, Indigenous people managed their homelands and tended the wild. Historically, the Caddo would have conducted controlled burns, tended wild berries and nut trees, and fostered turkey habitat. Nooh, turkey, are woven through Caddo stories, art, songs, dance, and historical accounts. Núh Ka áwshan (The Turkey Dance) was first documented by French explorer Henri Jotel in 1687 and is still performed today. Verses of the turkey dance song tell the story of Caddo’s victories through time.
What's in Caddo Voices
Each section of the Caddo Voices Virtual Experience places content into a play list of Contemporary Caddo, Practice, and Ethnohistory videos.
- In Contemporary Caddo you will learn about current Indigenous movements.
- In Practice you are invited to explore hands-on projects that incorporate traditional Caddo knowledge into modern projects.
- In Ethnohistory you will tap into a wide range of scholarship about Caddo history and culture from anthropologists, historians, and other researchers.
In this extensive 2021 bibliography, you will find 386 pages of resources to learn more about Caddo history and culture, https://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4012&context=ita
Visit the THC’s Learning Resource page for garden related lesson plans and activities you can do at home or on a visit to Caddo Mounds SHS, https://www.thc.texas.gov/education/learning-resources
Read the Caddo stories written down in Traditions of the Caddo by George Dorsey in 1905. Dorsey’s stories were collected from Caddo informants including Tsa Bisuh “Wing” (who told 49% of the stories) and Dashkat Hakaayuʔ “Whitebread” (who told 19% of the stories) https://archive.org/details/traditionsofcadd00dorsrich
Explore more about the Caddo history and culture at Texas Beyond History, https://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/ .
Learn more about Texas Native Prairies at, https://texasprairie.org/