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Angelina River west of Nacogdoches, Texas.JPG

Angelina River west of Nacogdoches, Texas, ancestral Hasinai homeland
Total population
under 5,757 [1]
Regions with significant populations
formerly Flag of Louisiana.svg  Louisiana, Flag of Texas.svg  Texas,
currently Flag of Oklahoma.svg  Oklahoma
Hasinai, English
Native American Church, Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Hainai, Nabedache, Nabiti, Nacogdoche, Nacono, Nadaco, Nasoni (Lower), Nechaui, Neche, and other Caddo people

The Hasinai Confederacy (Caddo: Hasíinay [2] ) was a large confederation of Caddo-speaking Native Americans located between the Sabine and Trinity rivers in eastern Texas. Today they are enrolled in the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma.

Caddo language Native American language

Caddo is a Native American language, the traditional language of the Caddo Nation. It is critically endangered, with no exclusively Caddo-speaking community and only 25 speakers as of 2009 who acquired the language as children outside school instruction. Caddo has several mutually intelligible dialects. The most commonly used dialects are Hasinai and Hainai; others include Kadohadacho, Natchitoches and Yatasi.

Caddoan languages family of Native American languages

The Caddoan languages are a family of languages native to the Great Plains. They were spoken by tribal groups of the central United States, from present-day North Dakota south to Oklahoma. In the 21st century, they are critically endangered, as the number of native speakers has declined markedly.

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".



Hasinai is also spelled Hasini. The Caddo word táyshaʼ, meaning "friend," was adopted by colonists as the name of Texas. Earlier Spanish explorers referred to the Hasinai as Tejas, their transliteration of the name in old Spanish spelling.[ citation needed ] They are also referred to as Hasini, Asenai, Asinai, Assoni', Asenay, Cenis, Senis and Sannaye.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.


At the time of the Spanish and French encounter with the Hasinai in the 1680s the Hasinai were a centrally organized chiefdom under the control of a religious leader known as the Grand Xinesi. The Xinesi lived in a secluded house. He met with a council of councilors. The Hasinai chieftainship consisted of several sub-divisions which have been designated "contonments". Each of these was under the control of a Caddi. There was also men designated as Canahas and Chayas who helped the Caddi run the system. [3]


During the 17th century the Hasinai carried on trade with the Jumano at the western Hasinai city of Nabedache. [4] Some consider the residents of Nabedache to have been a distinct people designated by that name.

Historic populations

It is estimated that in 1520 the people who would become the Hasinai, the Kadohadacho and the Natchitoches, numbered about 250,000. [5] Over the next 250 years the population of these Caddoan-speaking peoples was severely reduced by epidemics of endemic diseases carried by Spanish and French coming to the Americas and spread through contact by indigenous trading networks. Native Americans had no acquired immunity to the new diseases and suffered high mortality.

The Kadohadacho are a Native American tribe within the Caddo Confederacy. Today they are enrolled in the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma.

In 1690 the Hasinai numbered in the vicinity of 10,000 people or a little more. By 1720 as a result of infectious diseases such as smallpox, the Hasinai population had fallen to 2,000. [6]

Smallpox infectious disease that has been eradicated

Smallpox was an infectious disease caused by one of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The last naturally occurring case was diagnosed in October 1977 and the World Health Organization (WHO) certified the global eradication of the disease in 1980. The risk of death following contracting the disease was about 30%, with higher rates among babies. Often those who survived had extensive scarring of their skin and some were left blind.

See also


  1. 2011 Oklahoma Indian Nations Pocket Pictorial Directory. Archived 2012-05-12 at the Wayback Machine.Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission. 2011: 7. Retrieved 20 Aug 2013.
  2. Edmonds 27
  3. Gary Clayton Anderson, The Indian Southwest, 1580-1830: Ethnogenesis and Reinvention (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999) p. 44
  4. Anderson, The Indian Southwest, p. 47
  5. Juliana Barr, Peace Came in the Form of a Woman: Indians and Spaniards in the Texas Borderlands (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007) p. 20
  6. Anderson, The Indian Southwest, p. 57

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