For instance, Caddo groups living along Red River below the Great Raft interacted with lower Mississippi Valley peoples living a day's canoe trip downstream.In contrast, Red River Caddos living upstream from the Great Bend near the western edge of the homeland traded with Arkansas Valley peoples as well as neighboring Plains tribes (with whom they sometimes fought).During the historic era in particular, Caddo society was radically transformed by the chain of events initiated by the European invasion.Even before Europeans arrived, there is no reason at all to think that Caddo society was uniform across the Caddo Homeland at any point in time.
For the scene above, the artist depicted a moment about 900 years ago at the height of one of the ancient Caddo sites archeologists know the most about.
Therefore we need to employ anthropology's favorite descriptive device: the concept of the ethnographic present.
We will try to describe what Caddo life was like about 400 years ago, at the end of the 17th century (late 1600s), based mainly on the accounts of early Spanish and French observers.
With these factors in mind, we will mention geographical variations glimpsed from available documents as well as make brief references to earlier and later periods to point out a few of the more important changes through time.
Like other aspects of Caddo life, Caddo society changed through time.