For many in East Texas, gathering wild food and medicine, gardening, and other activities of self-sufficiency are everyday practices with knowledge and skills passed down through generations by parents and grandparents. Caddo story says that Snake Woman brought seeds to the people of the world. In This fertile East Texas landscape, the Caddo developed the skills to cultivate and care for Snake Woman’s gifts around 2,500 years ago. In this area of the Caddo homeland, they tended the foods and medicines of wild spaces as well as domesticating and cultivating garden crops.
At Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, we explore and teach about the land management, farming, and foraging practices of the early Caddo people through the knowledge of scientists (archeologists and botanists), historians, anthropologists, and contemporary Caddo people.
In 2016, after a visit to the Plum Bayou Garden at Toltec Mounds Archeological Park in Scott, Arkansas, the staff at Caddo Mounds broke ground on Snake Woman’s Garden. Snake Woman’s Garden is a 50×50 foot space that highlights the history of Caddo agriculture from prehistory to the present day.
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
Read an ethnographic work about Indigenous gardening traditions in Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden https://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/buffalo/garden/garden.html
Learn about how plants were used as medicine by various Indigenous people in the Native American Ethnobotany Database, https://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/buffalo/garden/garden.html
Explore more about the Caddo history and culture at Texas Beyond History, https://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/