A No Flag People
Nine Flags Coffee Roasters gets its name from the nine groups which claimed sovereignty over Nacogdoches, Texas. Some of them lasted for a few weeks and others for more than a century.
But the confederation that lived in Nacogdoches the longest, didn’t have a flag. They were part of a “nation” 250,000 people strong living in the Ark-Ok-La-Tex called the Caddo.
More than 800 years ago, the Caddo knew how to grow and store maize. Having a surplus of food is an element of all civilizations. It allows for greater population density. It also means that some members can be artists because they don’t have to find food for a living. Besides maize, they also cultivated sunflower, pumpkins, and squash.
Though farmers, they still operated as hunter-gatherers. The women stayed at home and did the farming. The men hunted.
The men wore body paint and jewelry. But the women tattooed their faces.
As with other Native Americans, the Caddos had no immunity to the European diseases of smallpox, influenza, and malaria. So during the "Age of Contact," they suffered high fatalities that decimated the region’s tribes.
The Caddo negotiated peace with the Spanish and French settlers in the area and eventually with the Anglos. During the War of 1812, the Caddos stayed neutral and were left alone by the U.S. government for a time.
Relations between white settlers and Caddos eventually went bad and after several clashes, they stayed in Oklahoma. They have suffered greatly due to disruption of their traditional way of life.
An archaeological feature of the Caddo are mounds. These mounds originally began as dwellings. Then as they aged, they were burned and covered with a fresh layer of earth. Centuries later, these mounds became burial sites.
In 1938, through the Constitution for the Caddo Indians of Oklahoma, they became an established government. The Tribal Council is composed of 8 members including 4 representatives from 4 distinct areas with high populations of Caddo people.
Today’s Caddo people share an unbroken cultural history going back over a thousand years. They were the most advanced of all the pre-european cultures in Texas.
Nine Flags Coffee Roasters sits in the heart of Nacogdoches which got its name from the Caddo band who settled and lived in the area a millennium ago. And Texas comes from the Caddo word, táysha which means friend.
Want to know more? https://www.spthb.org/about-us/who-we-serve/caddo-nation/